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Bodhidharma was a semi-legendary Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the monks of Shaolin Monastery that led to the creation of Shaolin kungfu. In Japan, he is known as Daruma. His name means "dharma of awakening (bodhi)" in Sanskrit.Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend and unreliable details. According to the principal Chinese sources, Bodhidharma came from the Western Regions, which refers to Central Asia but may also include the Indian subcontinent, and is described as either a "Persian Central Asian" or a "South Indian [...] the third son of a great Indian king." Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as an ill-tempered, profusely-bearded, wide-eyed non-Chinese person. He is referred as "The Blue-Eyed Barbarian" (Chinese: 碧眼胡; pinyin: Bìyǎnhú) in Chan texts. Aside from the Chinese accounts, several popular traditions also exist regarding Bodhidharma's origins. The accounts also differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liu Song dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liang dynasty (502–557). Bodhidharma was primarily active in the territory of the Northern Wei (386–534). Modern scholarship dates him to about the early 5th century.Bodhidharma's teachings and practice centered on meditation and the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra. The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall (952) identifies Bodhidharma as the 28th Patriarch of Buddhism in an uninterrupted line that extends all the way back to the Gautama Buddha himself. Bodhidharma also known as "The Wall-Gazing Brahmin".
Guizong Chopping the Snake
Steal the Moon
Neither budhas nor sentient being
one and ten
invariant against changing
I'm not the beings
Not doable
What was let go?
I am a servant
Manjusri showing up
Guizong Chopping the Snake
One day a scriptural monk came to visit Guizong as he was weeding the garden with a hoe. Suddenly, a snake appeared. Guizong took the hoe and chopped it in two.
The monk said, “Long have I heard that Guizong was a crude-mannered teacher.”
Guizong said, “Are you crude or am I crude?”
The monk then asked, “What is ‘crude’?”
Guizong held the hoe upright in the air.
The monk said, “What is ‘refined’?”
Guizong then assumed a posture to chop the snake.
The monk said, “If you let it, it will go away by itself.”
Guizong said, “If I let it go away, how could you see me chop the snake?”
The monk was speechless.
Steal the Moon
Chan master Liangkuan lived in a small hut at the foot of the mountain and led a simple life. One night when he returned to his hut after teaching , he ran into a thief. The thief found nothing worth stealing in his hut.
Master Liangkuan said to the burglar: "You have gone a long way to visit me, I cannot let you return with empty-handed, here are my clothes, please accept them."
The baffled thief took the clothes and ran away.
The naked master watched the man's shade disappearing under the bright moonlight, he sighed: "Poor man, I wish I could give him this shinning moonlight."
Neither budhas nor sentient being
When Chan master Nanta Guangyong first met Chan master Yangshan, YangShan asked: "What are you doing here?"
Guangyong answered: "To see the master"
YangShan asked again: "Did you see him?"
GuanYong said: "Yes."
Master YangShan asked again: "Does the master look like donkey or horse?"
Guangyong answered: "I don't think the master looks like a Buddha."
YangShan didn't want him to feel easy and asked again: "If the master doesn't looke like Buddha, so what does he look like?"
GuanYong answered without hesitation: "If I can describe his appearance, then what is the difference between him and donkey or horse?"
Master YangShan was fascinated and said: "Both budhas and sentient beings are transcended and the true nature is revealed. I haven't met anyone better than you within twenty years, you should take care of yourself."
After that, when Master Yangshan talk to people, always admired him: "Guanyong is a living Buddha!"
one and ten
Chan master Longtan Chongxin was born in Hunan. Before becoming a monk, He was very poor and made a living by selling pies near the temple of master Tianhuang Daowu.
He didn't have a place to live. Master Daowu pityed him and let him live in a small room of the temple. To express his gratitude, Chongxin gave master ten pies every day.
Everytime when master Daowu accepted the pies, he always gave back one pie to Chongxin. One day Chongxin asked master: "I give the pies to you willingly, why do you return one to me everytime?" Master Daowu said kindly: "If you can give me ten, why cannot I return one to you?" Chongxin was confused and asked again: "I can afford giving you ten pies, why should I care about the one you returned?"
Master Daowu laughed: "Do you think one is not enough? I don't think ten is too much, why do you think one is not enough?" ChonXin got a hint from the words.
Later he made up his mind to become a disciple of master Daowu. Master Daowu said: "One can create ten, ten can create hundred, following this path to millions. Everything starts from one." Chongxin answered confidently: "One creates all, all in one."
Chongxin lived in Longtan temple and was called master Longtan Chongxin.
invariant against changing
Chan master Daoshu built a monastery next to a Taoist’s Temple. The Taoists couldn’t stand the Buddhist temple on the sidelines, so every day they created some demons and ghosts to disturb the monks in the temple and tried to scare them away. some day the wind with rain was called, and the other day thunder and lightning were created, which really scared away many young monks .
After more than ten years, all the magic skills of the Taoists were used up, but chan master Daoshu still lived there. The Taoists could not find any other way, so they gave up the Taoist’s temple and moved away.
Later, someone asked master Daoshu: "The Taoists have so many powerful spells, how could you beat them? "
Master said: "I have nothing to defeat them. I reluctantly said that only the word 'Nothingness' can defeat them."
"Nothingness? how can you beat them with it? "
Chan master said: "Their spells have finite, end, quantity, and bounds; I have no spell, nothingness is infinite, countless and boundless; the relationship between nothing and something is like invariant against changing. Of course my invariant will beat changing"
I'm not the beings
Master Weikuan was once asked by a scholar: "Do dogs have Buddha-nature?"
"Yes." Answered master Weikuan.
"Do you have Buddha nature?"
"I don't have."
"Why do all sentient beings have Buddha nature except you?"
"Because I'm not the beings you are talking about."
"Are you a Buddha instead of a sentient being?"
"Neither is it."
"Then what are you?"
"I'm not a what!"
The scholar finally asked: "Is that what we can see or think of?"
"That’s the most incredible thing."
Not doable
Master Daoqian and his friend Zongyuan once had a trip together. On the halfway, Zongyuan was tired of walking through mountains and rivers, so he called several times to go back .
Daoqian comforted him and said: "We have already taken the initiative to join the school, and we have walked so far. It’s a pity that we give up halfway through. Well, from now on, if I can do things for you along the way, I will definitely do it for you, but there are only five things I can't help. "
Zongyuan asked: 'What are the five things?"
Daoqian said very naturally: "Dress, eat, shit, pee, walk.'
After listening to Daoqian's words, Zongyuan never complaint again.
What was let go?
When the Buddha was alive, a Brahmin named Black Finger came to the Buddha. He used his supernatural powers to hold two vases in both hands and offered them to the Buddha.
The Buddha said to Black Finger: "Let down!"
The Brahmin put down the vase he held in his left hand.
The Buddha said again: "Let go!"
The Brahmin put down the vase he held in his right hand.
However, the Buddha still said to him: "Let go!"
At this time, Black Finger said: "I'm empty-handed and there is nothing left. What do you want me to let go now?"
The Buddha said: "I did not ask you to put down your vases. What I want you to put down are your six dusts, six senses and six consciousnesses. When you put all of them down, there is nothing more, you will be free from the shackles of life and death."
I am a servant
Master Nanyang Huizhong was grateful to his servant for his 30-year's service. He wanted to help him to get enlightened.
One day he called: "Servant!"
When the servant heard the master's call, he immediately replied: "Master! what can I do for you?"
The master said: "Don't do anything!"
After a while, the master called again: "Servant!"
The servant immediately replied: "Master, what's up?"
The master said helplessly: "Nothing!"
After several attemps, the master changed the title of the servant: "Buddha! Buddha!"
The servant confulsedly asked: "Master! Who are you talking to?"
The master had no choice but had to explain clearly: "I'm calling you!"
The servant was confused and said: "Master! I am a servant, not a Buddha!"
With a deep sigh, master Huizhong said to the servant: "Don’t blame me for failing you in the future. In fact, you are failing me! "
The servant still insisted: "Master! No matter what, I won't let you down, and you won't let me down!"
Huizhong: "Actually, you have failed me"
Manjusri showing up
Chan master Wenxi went to worship the Mount Wutai. He stayed in a hut for the night before arriving and met an old man, Wenxi asked: "How is the Buddha Dharma upheld here?"
The old man replied: "Dragons and snakes are mixed, saints and sinners live together."
Wenxi asked: "How many monks are there?"
The old man replied: "Front three three, rear three three."
When Wenxi got up the next day, he found the hut was gone and saw Manjusri riding a lion in the air, he regretted that he had no vision to know the Bodhisattva and missed the chance.
Wenxi later atttained enlightenment during a visit to Chan master Yangshan, he settled down and worked as a cooker.
One day when he was cooking, he saw Manjusri appearing from the steam of the rice pot, he raised his rice shovel to hit it and said: "Manjusri is Manjusri, Wenxi is Wenxi, I can't be confused any more."
Manjusri chanted the following gatha: "The roots of bitter cucumber are bitter, The stalk of a sweet melon is sweet. I spent three long aeons in self-cultivation, yet am I still disliked by this monk."
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