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The transmission of the Dharma in Zen Buddhism

The transmission of the Dharma in Zen Buddhism

We have seen that in Zen Buddhism, the transmission of the Dharma (referred to as truth or reality) era one of the most important transmissions of all and it was considered “a special transmission outside the Scriptures”, But how did this transmission?

The spirit of the Dharma transmission started, According to tradition, on one occasion when the Buddha was sitting in the middle of a big turnout of disciples. Hundreds of Bodhisattvas and Arahants were present, monks and nuns, brothers and sisters lay as well as several orders of celestial beings. All were silently waiting for the Buddha to give a speech, but this time instead of talking about the master simply rose Golden Flower in the midst of the silence of the Assembly.

Only Mahakashyapa, one of the disciples of older known by his austerities, He understood the meaning of the action of the Buddha and subtly smiled. The Buddha then said: “I am the owner of the wonderful eye of the Dharma that is Nirvana, the mind, the mystery of reality and non-reality and the door to the transcendental truth. Now I give it to Mahakashyapa“. This was the spirit of the Dharma transmission.

The special transmission to Mahakashyapa


Although it is difficult to express what happened is necessary to try to understand it: When the Buddha rose Golden Flower - not when he spoke, which made it only into consideration the other disciples who had failed to understand the meaning of his action- took place one direct communication of the truth of one mind to another. Of one Supreme State of enlightenment mind to another almost was and that just needed the most delicate of touches to achieve perfection. This is what should be understood by special transmission; What happens or is transmitted from a mind to another in the spiritual higher.

Then Mahakashyapa conveyed the spirit of the Dharma to others. According to tradition he conveyed the spirit of the Dharma Ananda, It was the personal attendant of the Buddha during his last twenty years. Ananda in turn to his disciple Sanakavasa, and so on the spirit of the Dharma It continued transmitting through a long lineage of spiritual teachers.

The spirit of the Dharma continued transmitting through a long lineage of spiritual teachers. Not fame import some of them while others are among the most distinguished teachers of Indian Buddhism. These are traditionally considered as the Twenty-seven Patriarchs Indians of the school Zen (Twenty-eight including Bodhidharma)

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