Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]

[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Zan.

As for the life of Bodhidharma, Dr. B. Matsumoto's 'A Life of

Bodhidharma' may well be recommended to the reader.

Bodhidharma's labour of nine years in China resulted in the

initiation of a number of disciples, whom some time before his death

he addressed as follows: Now the time (of my departure from this

world) is at hand. Say, one and all, how do you understand the Law?

Tao Fu (Do-fuku) said in response to this: The Law does not lie in

the letters (of the Scriptures), according to my view, nor is it

separated from them, but it works. The Master said: Then you have

obtained my skin. Next Tsung Chi (So-ji), a nun, replied: As

Ananda[FN#32] saw the kingdom of Aksobhya[FN#33] only once but not

twice, so I understand the Law. The master said: Then you have

attained to my flesh. Then Tao Yuh (Do-iku) replied: The four

elements[FN#34] are unreal from the first, nor are the five

aggregates[FN#35] really existent. All is emptiness according to my

view. The master said: Then you have acquired my bone. Lastly,

Hwui Ko (E-ka), which was the Buddhist name given by Bodhidharma, to

Shang Kwang, made a polite bow to the teacher and stood in his place

without a word. You have attained to my marrow. So saying,

Bodhidharma handed over the sacred Kachaya, [FN#36] which he had

brought from India to Hwui Ko, as a symbol of the transmission of the

Law, and created him the Second Patriarch.

[FN#32] A favourite disciple of Shakya Muni, and the Third Patriarch

of Zen.

[FN#33] The: name means I Immovable,' and represents the firmness of


[FN#34] Earth, water, fire, and air.

[FN#35] (1) Rupa, or form; (2) Vedana, or perception; (3) Samjnya,

or consciousness; (4) Karman (or Samskara), or action; (5) Vijnyana,

or knowledge.

[FN#36] The clerical cloak, which is said to have been dark green.

It became an object of great veneration after the Sixth Patriarch,

who abolished the patriarchal system and did not hand the symbol over

to successors.

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail