Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs


The Venerable One was from the region of Kapila. His father was named Fan Mwo Ching Te. Outside their home was a tree on which grew mushroom-like fungus that was delicious. Only Ching Te and his second son, Rahulata, picked and ate it. The more the fungus was harvested, the more it produced.

When the Fifteenth Patriarch came to their household, he said, "When you are 81 years old, the trees will bear no more fungus."

In response to his comment, Ching Te said to the Patriarch, "This disciple is old and decrepit and would be of no service to the Master. But I'd like to relinquish my second son so he can follow the Master and leave the home-life."

The Patriarch said, "In the past, the Thus Come One predicted that in the second five hundred years this child would become a great teaching host. This meeting confirms that prophecy." Then the child's head was shaved and he attended upon the Master. Later he was entrusted with the Great Dharma.

After receiving the Dharma, he traveled and taught until he reached the city of Sravasti where he transmitted the Dharma to Sanghanandi. Then he sat at ease and returned to stillness.

A verse in his praise says:

Past causes presently confirmed,

Esoteric matters silently mesh.

Erecting the great Dharma banner,

It fills the skies and surrounds the earth.

Two thousand years later

This sect continues unbroken.

Bearing the ridicule of generations to come,

He raises his weapon and severs his arm.