A new breed. Denkai explained. Barry Magid August 9th 2011

After nine years had passed, the master Bodhidharma wanted to return to the western land of India. He said to his disciples, "The time has come for me to go back home. I want each of you to show your understanding."

One disciple, Dao Fu answered, "According to what I understand, the function of the Tao cannot be grasped through literal knowledge, nor is it apart from literal knowledge."

The master remarked, "You have gained my skin."

A nun, Zong Chi said, "What I understand now, is like Ananda's glimpse of the realm of Akshobhya Buddha. It may be seen in oneness, but never in duality."

The master said, "You have gained my flesh."

Dao Yu said, "The four great elements are originally empty, the five aggregates do not exist and in my comprehension, there is not a single thing to be found."

The master declared, "You have gained my bones."

Finally, Huike bowed and remained standing at his seat.

The master said, "You have gained my marrow."

Looking at Huike, the master told him, "In days gone by the Tathagata handed onto Mahakasyapa the True Dharma Eye. Through the patriarchs from one to another it then came into my hands. Now I am giving it to you and you must take good care of it. Besides this, I will give you my yellow robe which shall be the testimony of faith in the Dharma. Each has a significance you should know."
Huike said, "Will you please reveal to me the significance?"

The master said, "By carrying the Dharma seal you'll be inwardly in accord with the approved mind and the keeping of the robe will fix the outer spiritual message. In later generations when mutual trust is slight and doubts arise, people may say - 'he was a man of India, and you're a son of this land, how could the Dharma have been transmitted? What proof is there?' Now that you are receiving the robe and the Dharma, they can be produced as proof and the activity of the message will be freed from obstacles."

The Transmission of the Lamp

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