Monday, June 18, 2012

Bodhidarma Doll

In Japan there is a doll…it is available anywhere, here too. The doll is called daruma. Daruma is a Japanese nickname for Bodhidharma, and the doll represents something special. It was made, so goes the story, by Bodhidharma. The doll is made in such a way that its bottom is very heavy, so you can throw it any way and it will always fall and sit up immediately in the lotus posture. When Bodhidharma made it, his disciples laughed: “What are you doing?”

He said, “This will be a teaching even for small children to be a buddha in every position, in every situation. Look at this doll; throw it any way and it will immediately regain its balance and sit in the buddha posture.”

A buddha of the category of Bodhidharma can make a doll far more important than any scripture. The tea you drink…perhaps you don’t know the whole story of it. Bodhidharma was meditating on a mountain in China called T’a. And he did not want to blink his eyes, but it is natural for the eyes to blink. He wanted to keep his eyes open while he was meditating, so he cut off his eyelids and threw them just in front his temple. From the hairs of the eyelids, the first tea leaves grew.

That is the story. It is called tea, because it was first found on the mountain of T’a and all the names in the different languages refer to the mountain, T’a. In Marathi it is cha, in Hindi it is chai. But it originates with the mountain, T’a. Of course it is a fiction. But because it grew out of the hairs of Bodhidharma, it keeps you awake.

So when you want to be awake…just a cup of tea. But remember, it keeps you awake because it is a product of Bodhidharma’s eyelids. And Bodhidharma was a man of absolute awareness, so some quality of awareness still continues in tea.

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