Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:50 pm

Who exactly was this Bodhidharma character? . . Is he a character in Buddhist folklore
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Indrajala » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:54 pm

He is the patriarch in Chan who is said to have transmitted said lineage from India to China. He is usually depicted with a beard, long hair, a red cloak and elongated ears with an earring.

The earliest records incidentally have him as a Persian, not as an Indian.
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Astus » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:34 pm

Historically there is nothing certain about Bodhidharma himself, except that we can be quite sure he is not the founder of any Chan lineage nor even Chan teachings. Based on what could be found about Huike and related Buddhist teachers, that there was a Lankavatara school where they lectured on that sutra. The connection between the group of Bodhidharma and Huike to the teachers of East Mountain - Daoxin and Hongren, the first originators of Chan - was made later, after the death of Shenxiu (who was the first famous Chan teacher in China, but not yet identified as "Chan"). Practically, Bodhidharma became a mythological figure with many stories created throughout the centuries, until it reached the form as we have it today around the 10th century.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Jinzang » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:45 am

Wesley1982 wrote:Who exactly was this Bodhidharma character?


And why did he go to the West?
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Wesley1982 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:52 am

Jinzang wrote:And why did he go to the West?


I can't say for sure. It was Bodhidharma's descision of where to travel/journey? . .
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby kirtu » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:09 am

Jinzang wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:Who exactly was this Bodhidharma character?


And why did he go to the West?


HAHAHAHAHAHA! :twothumbsup:

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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby kirtu » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:10 am

Wesley1982 wrote:
Jinzang wrote:And why did he go to the West?


I can't say for sure. It was Bodhidharma's descision of where to travel/journey? . .



This is a formulation of a classic koan.

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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Bonsai Doug » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:31 am

Legend also has Bodhidharma at the Temple in Shaolin, where he introduced the monks to physical fitness
which eventually evolved into the Kung Fu which the Shaolin monks practice today.
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

~ Tibetan Book of the Dead
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby plwk » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:11 am

From the Sixth Patriarch Sutra...
http://cttbusa.org//6patriarch/6patriarch8.asp
After the meal, the Magistrate asked the Master to take his seat. Together with officials, scholars, and the Assembly, he bowed reverently and asked, “Your disciple has heard the High Master explain the Dharma. It is truly inconceivable. I now have a few doubts and hope you will be compassionate and resolve them for me.”
The Master said, “If you have any doubts, please ask me and I will explain.”

The Honorable Wei said, “Is not what the Master speaks the same as the doctrine of Bodhidharma?”
The Master replied, “It is.”

The Magistrate asked, “Your disciple has heard that when Bodhidharma first instructed the Emperor Wu of Liang, the Emperor asked him, ‘All my life I have built temples, given sanction to the Sangha, practiced giving, and arranged vegetarian feasts. What merit and virtue have I gained?’

“Bodhidharma said, ‘There was actually no merit and virtue.’
“I, your disciple, have not yet understood this principle and hope that the High Master will explain it.”

The Master said, “There actually was no merit and virtue. Do not doubt the words of a Sage. Emperor Wu of Liang’s mind was wrong; he did not know the right Dharma. Building temples and giving sanction to the Sangha, practicing giving and arranging vegetarian feasts is called ‘seeking blessings’. Do not mistake blessings for merit and virtue. Merit and virtue are in the Dharma body, not in the cultivation of blessings.”

The Master said further, “Seeing your own nature is merit, and equanimity is virtue. To be unobstructed in every thought, constantly seeing the true, real, wonderful function of your original nature is called merit and virtue.”

“Inner humility is merit and the outer practice of reverence is virtue. Your self-nature establishing the ten thousand dharmas is merit and the mind-substance separate from thought is virtue. Not being separate from the self-nature is merit, and the correct use of the undefiled (self-nature) is virtue. If you seek the merit and virtue of the Dharma body, simply act according to these principles, for this is true merit and virtue.”

“Those who cultivate merit and virtue in their thoughts do not slight others, but always respect them. Those who slight others and do not cut off the ‘me and mine’ are without merit. The vain and unreal self-nature is without virtue, because of the ‘me and mine,’ because of the greatness of the ‘self,’ and because of the constant slighting of others.”

“Good Knowing Advisors, continuity of thought is merit, and the mind practicing equality and directness is virtue. Self-cultivation of one’s nature is merit, and self-cultivation of the body is virtue.”

“Good Knowing Advisors, merit and virtue should be seen within one’s own nature, not sought through giving and making offerings. That is the difference between blessings and merit and virtue. Emperor Wu did not know the true principle. Our Patriarch was not in error.”
http://cttbusa.org//6patriarch/6patriarch21.asp
The Assembly made obeisance again and asked, “Will you please let us know for how many generations the teaching has been transmitted since the first Buddhas and Patriarchs appeared in the world?”
The Master said, “The Buddhas of antiquity who have responded to appear in the world are numberless and uncountable.”

“But now I will begin with the last seven Buddhas.
In the Past ‘Adorned Eon’ there were Vipashyin Buddha, Shikhin Buddha, and Vishvabhu Buddha.
In the present ‘Worthy Eon’ there have been Krakucchanda Buddha, Kanakamuni Buddha, Kashyapa Buddha, and Shakyamuni Buddha.”

“From Shakyamuni Buddha, the transmission went to Arya Mahakashyapa, Arya Ananda, Arya Sanakavasa, Arya Upagupta, Arya Dhrtaka, Arya Miccaka, Arya Vasumitra, Arya Buddhanandi, Arya Buddhamitra, Arya Parshva, Arya Punyayashas, Mahasattva Ashvaghosha, Arya Kapimala, Mahasattva Nagarjuna, Arya Kanadeva, Arya Rahulata, Arya Sanghanandi, Arya Gayashata, Arya Kumarata, Arya Jayata, Arya Vasubandhu, Arya Manorhita, Arya Haklena, Arya Aryasimha, Arya Basiasita, Arya Punyamitra, Arya Prajnatara, Arya Bodhidharma, Great Master Hui K’o, Great Master Seng Ts’an, Great Master Tao Hsin, Great Master Hung Jen, and I, Hui Neng, am the Thirty-Third Patriarch.

Thus the transmission has been handed down from Patriarch to Patriarch. In the future transmit it accordingly from generation to generation. Do not allow it to become extinct.”
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby pueraeternus » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:31 am

Jinzang wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:Who exactly was this Bodhidharma character?


And why did he go to the West?


Life is peaceful there.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby catmoon » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:40 am

My theory is that one lovely fall day, it was so pleasant outside that he just had to go for a walk. A reason to stop never presented itself and eventually he wound up in China.
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Astus » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:56 am

The Bodhidharma film (English in subtitles): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kOvLb4YnRI
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Aemilius » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:29 am

Huseng wrote:He is the patriarch in Chan who is said to have transmitted said lineage from India to China. He is usually depicted with a beard, long hair, a red cloak and elongated ears with an earring.

The earliest records incidentally have him as a Persian, not as an Indian.


No long hair, a baldy with little hair at the back, look at the google images!
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Anders » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:03 pm

Jinzang wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:Who exactly was this Bodhidharma character?


And why did he go to the West?


:rules:

The journey from India to China is not a westward one. He came from the west, travelled to the east.
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I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Astus » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:52 pm

One of the greatest questions:

Image

或庵曰、西天胡子、因甚無髭。
Wakuan said, "Why has the Western Barbarian no beard?"
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Who was this Bodhidharma character?

Postby Aemilius » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:15 pm

Jinzang wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:Who exactly was this Bodhidharma character?


And why did he go to the West?


He came from the West. Because India is west of China.
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