The Wild Monk from the West
The 28th Patriarch and
First Patriarch of C’han-Zen
Bodhidharma defines the ends of C’han-Zen Practice:
‘A special transmission outside the scriptures; no dependence on words and letters; seeing into one’s self-nature and the attaining to Buddha-hood.’
‘If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality.’
‘Peace of Mind’, Bodhidharma famously noted, begins when you see that there is no ‘Mind’ you possess that you need to make peace with. Just as ‘Self-Liberation’ is a term that takes on significance only when you see that there is no ‘Self’ here that needs to be liberated.
Chinese chroniclers [Tánlín, Dàoxuān, circa 550 CE] identify him as: ‘The third son of a nobleman of firm Brahman stock from South India‘.
Given what we know of dynasties and trade-routes, he was most likely from Kāñcipuram, the then capital of the Pallavas. [The Lineage Seat of my family Guru, the Śaṅkarācārya].
No shrines, no stupas; no one remembers anymore.