Home Discussion Forum What do you think of this saying about Bodhidharma:?

What do you think of this saying about Bodhidharma:?

Bodhidharma: Even if a buddha or bodhisattva should suddenly appear before you, there’s no need for reverence. This mind of ours is empty and contains no such form. Those who hold onto appearances are devils. They fall from the Path. Why worship illusions born of the mind? . . . The basic nature of a buddha has no such form. Keep this in mind, even if something unusual should appear. Don’t embrace it, and don’t fear it, and don’t doubt that your mind is basically pure. . . . Also at the appearance of spirits, demons, or divine beings, conceive neither respect nor fear. Your mind is basically empty. All appearances are illusions. Don’t hold on to appearances. If you envision a buddha, a dharma, or a bodhisattva and conceive respect for them, you relegate yourself to the realm of mortals.
If you seek direct understanding, don’t hold on to any appearance whatsoever, and you’ll succeed. . . . The sutras say, “That which is free of all form is the buddha.” Disciple: But why shouldn’t we worship buddhas and bodhisattvas? Bodhidharma: Devils and demons possess the power of manifestation. They can create the appearance of bodhisattvas in all sorts of guises. But they’re false. None of them are buddhas. The buddha is your own mind. Don’t misdirect your worship.


  1. Buddha, Dahrma and Bodhisattva is the only form in mind that ought to be given due respect and no other forms beside them for these are onlly illusions envisioned by the mind. Minds are so powerful that can be decieved in any other forms through evil forms. Buddha calls for a respect and dignity among men and women and nothing in mind whatsoever except Buddha.

  2. Where is the Buddha? Is the Buddha not even in thistissue paper I just used, even in these electrons I write on…?
    The Buddha is in my head said the acolyte. The Zen Master then, taking up a stick, hit him.
    What did he learn? Buddha nature is not learnt through learning clever answers, but achieving the nature to acquire enlightenment.

  3. The meaning of such teachings is that a person should be free to find their own answer to the meaning and interpretation of all things. The reason we should not hold on to appearances is that they bring with them predefined ideas. By maintaining an empty mind, we are without judgement and able to see things as they are, not coloured by imagination or illusion.
    Just my view, you are free to either share it or choose your own as suits you.


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