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Continuing what begun on Vulture Peak. Dharma transmission to Pat George Barry Magid November 20th 2009

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The Gateless Gate The World Honored One Twirls a Flower

The Main Case

Once, in ancient times, when the World-Honored One was at Mount Grdhrakata, he twirled a flower before his assembled disciples. All were silent. Only Mahakasyapa broke into a smile.

The World-Honored One said, "I have the eye treasury of right Dharma, the subtle mind of Nirvana, the true form of no-form, and the flawless gate of the teaching. It is not established upon words and phrases. It is a special transmission outside tradition. I now entrust this to Mahakasyapa."

Commentary

Gold-faced Gautama insolently degrades noble people to commoners. He sells dog flesh under the sign of mutton and thinks it is quite commendable.

Suppose that all the monks had smiled - how would the eye treasury have been transmitted? Or suppose that Mahakasyapa had not smiled how could he have been entrusted with it?

If you say that the eye treasury can be transmitted, that would be as if the gold-faced old fellow were swindling people in a loud voice at the town gate. If you say the eye treasury cannot be transmitted, then why did the Buddha say that he entrusted it to Mahakasyapa?

Verse

Twirling a flower, The snake shows its tail.
Mahakasyapa breaks into a smile,
And people and devas are confounded.

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