00260 The Story of the 28th Zen Patriarch—Bodhidharma (1/2)
00260 The Story of the 28th Zen Patriarch—Bodhidharma (1/2)
No. 00260
Category / Between Master and Disciples-story
Event date / 1987.07.30
Place / (Formosa/Taiwan) Hsintien
Language / Chinese
Time (mins) / 1h06m52s
Related Video/Audio/ 00261 The Story of the 28th Zen Patriarch—Bodhidharma (2/2)
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  • Summary
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After reading the historical records of the Twenty-eighth Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma and seeing his pictures, do you think Bodhidharma is a cold-hearted and harsh person? He was not moved even when Huike waited in snow for a whole night for his teachings; he passed on the Dharma to him only after Huike cut off his own arm to show his determination. This behavior seems to be cold-hearted, but despite all the hardships, Bodhidharma travelled for many years on the sea and reached China. Then he sat facing the wall for nine years, only to wait for the right time to transmit the Dharma. Supreme Master Ching Hai said, "Bodhidharma is truly merciful, incredible and have boundless compassion. He looks cold outside, but is very warm inside. Otherwise, why should he take so much pain to come to China totransmit the Dharma?"

Before getting enlightenment, Shakyamuni Buddha had been tested and disturbed by a lot of evil spirits. Supreme Master reminds us through a lot of examples that we should know there are a lot of obstructions after one becomes a monk. Laypersons already have so many troubles in spiritual practice, it is even harder for the monks. Some monks fall into a test of leaving or staying as a monk. By telling the story of a Korean Zen master, Supreme Master hopes and encourages the monks to be determined in their practice and not to be bound by the trivial human emotions.

  1. Why did many evil spirits appear when Shakyamuni Buddha was almost to attain Buddhahood?
  2. What is the level of emptiness and single-mindedness?
  3. Why do many masters take their disciple to higher levels when the disciple is asleep?
  4. What did Bodhidharma think of Emperor Wu of Liang's action of building innumerable temples and printing boundless Sutras?
  5. Why did Bodhidharma pass on the Dharma to Huike only after he cut off his arm to show his determination?
  6. Which four methods did Bodhidharma use to teach his disciple?
  7. Why did Bodhidharma say that Huike has got his essence even when Huike said nothing at all?
  8. Why did Bodhidharma pass on the lineage to Huike?
  9. Why did Bodhidharma say that he would stop passing on the lineage any more 200 years after he died?
  10. How should we explain the Dharma-transmitting poem written by Bodhidharma?