He Transmitted the Dharma to Three People;
His Body Is Empty and Gone
After the Patriarch transmitted the Dharma to
Great Master Hui Ke, he also accepted many other Chinese disciples.
While he sat facing the wall for nine years at Bear's Ear Mountain,
it's not known how many people came to take refuge, pay their
respects, and bow to him as their teacher. Among them were three
individuals whom Patriarch Bodhidharma mentioned when he was about to
pass into stillness. He said, "I came to China and transmitted my Dharma to three people.
One received my marrow, one received my bones, and one received
flesh." That is why he himself had no physical body. He divided his
body up and gave it away to others.
Great Master Hui Ke received Patriarch
Bodhidharma's marrow. Chan Master Dao Yu received Patriarch
Bodhidharma's bones. The third was Bhikshuni Zong Chi (Dao Ji). Do you
remember her? When I lectured on the Dharma Flower Sutra didn't I tell
you about how a blue lotus flower grew from her mouth after she died?
That Bhikshuni received Patriarch Bodhidharma's flesh. She consumed
Patriarch Bodhidharma's flesh; Dhyana Master Dao Yu chewed up
Patriarch Bodhidharma's bones, and Patriarch Hui Ke drank Patriarch
Bodhidharma's marrow. In the end, Patriarch Bodhidharma had no body at
all. And so don't look for him in America; you won't find him.