was the third son of King Simhavarman. He received the Dharma from
Patriarch Prajnatara and was instructed to go to China to pass on the
- He was the twenty-eighth and
the last Patriarch in India since Mahakasyapa.
- The twenty-seven Patriarch
bestowed Mahakasyapa with the absolute dharma-eye, and was
transmitted as such until it reached me. Now I shall instruct you:
Even though China of the east is vast, there is no other path. The
future shall depend upon our uncle’s descendants to carry on. A
golden cock is holding a single grain of seed to nourish and feed
all the saints and monks everywhere."
golden cock is holding a single grain of seed’ represents
the one and only Golden Thread of Tao that was transmitted from one
Patriarch to another Patriarch through a lineage that is also called
the Decree of Heaven. It will nourish and feed all the saints and
monks everywhere implies the life’s line of spiritual salvation
for all people who cultivate Tao.
- Bodhidharma is the Patriarch
of millions of Zen Buddhists and students of kung-fu. He also
brought tea to China and to keep him from falling asleep while
meditating, he cut off his eyelids, and where they fell, tea bushes
grew. Since then tea has become the beverage of not only monks but
also everyone in the Orient. Faithful to this tradition, artists
invariably depict Bodhidharma with bulging lidless eyes.
- Shortly after he had
transmitted Tao to Huik’u, Bodhidharma died in 528 A.D. on the
fifth day of the tenth month, poisoned by a jealous monk. Three
years later, an official met Bodhidharma walking in the mountains of
Central Asia. He was carrying a staff from which hung a single
sandal and he told the official that he was going back to India.
Reports of this meeting aroused the curiosity of other monks, who
finally agreed to open Bodhidharma’s tomb. All they found was a
single sandal and ever since Bodhidharma has been pictured carrying
a staff from which hangs the missing sandal.