Monday, 25 October 2021


409. The account of Bodhidharma's audience with the Chinese emperor in 520 C.E. clearly illustrates how the teaching of the Dhyana master from India differs from that of the Buddhism that had preceded him to China by several hundred years. 'What are my merits?' 'None whatever!' 'What is the highest teaching?' 'Vast emptiness, nothing sacred.' 'Who are you?' 'I don't know.' To question the historicity of Bodhidharma's encounter with the emperor is to miss the point of this story by a thousand miles.