Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs


A verse in his praise says:

He renounced

   the crown

To sit in quiet


In a rock cave.

Suddenly he met

   a Knowing One

And all

   the ancient things

Were overturned.

This Sala King

   caught the thief,

Smashed the vessel,

   and a river of gold

Flowed forth like the sea.

The Venerable One was born in Sravasti where he was the crown prince. When he was seven years old he grew tired of worldly pleasures and asked to leave the home-life. One evening he came to a large rock cave and found the Sixteenth Patri­arch inside meditating, and he also sat down to meditate. Twenty-one days later, when they arose from samadhi, the Patriarch asked, "When your body is in samadhi is your mind in samadhi?"

"Body and mind are both in samadhi." The Patriarch replied, "If body and mind are both in samadhi, how can there be a leaving and an entering?"

"Although there is a leaving and an entering, the mark of samadhi is not lost."

The Patriarch questioned the Venerable One closely and then crossed him over. With his right hand he took his bowl to the Brahma Palace and brought back delicious food. After they both had eaten, he used his right hand to enter the Vajra Wheel Limit. Holding a lapis lazuli vessel filled with sweet dew, he transmitted the great Dharma to the Venerable One. Afterwards he went to Magadha where he met Gayashata. With his right hand he reached up and grabbed the branch of a tree and entered the stillness.