The twenty-eighth Patriarch, Great Master Bodhidharma, was the first Patriarch of the Buddhist Way to go to China. He was sent to China by his Master, Venerable Hannya Tara. Travelling from India by sea, the difficult voyage took three years. Bodhidharma went to China due to his great compassion, and his wish to transmit the Buddha Dharma. Great Master Bodhidharma possessed the Eye Treasury of the True Dharma, and so he left his country in order to save people suffering in delusion.
Arriving in the year 520 A. D. Bodhidharma was welcomed by the Emperor Wu of Liang. Their meeting and the dialogue that took place between them was recorded and forms the first case in the Blue Cliff Records, a well-known Buddhist text.
This is the record of the well-known meeting of the First Patriarch of China and the Emperor Wu of Liang.
Great Master Bodhidharma was the twenty-eighth Patriarch of the Buddhist Way, descending from the Original Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha. In order to transmit the Dharma, Master Bodhidharma sat facing the wall for nine years. Owing to his constant practice, the Buddha Dharma has been transmitted for over 2500 years to the present day.
Concerning Great Master Bodhidharma there is a story of his teaching and the Buddha Nature. While Bodhidharma was still living in India there lived a king named Iken who criticized Buddhism. King Iken did not think highly of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Master Bodhidharma wanted to convert King Iken to Buddhism.
This was the reply by the monk Haradai to the King Iken when asked about the Buddha nature. The King was an unbeliever. However, hearing these words concerning the Buddha nature, he was converted and thereafter he wholeheartedly supported Buddhism.
And from these teachings of the Buddha nature we can see that it is not something that is far away from us. The practice and study of the Buddhist Way is to make these teachings one's own. Then one will realize that from the beginning there was nothing lacking and nothing in excess.
Shobogenzo The Eye and Treasury of the True Law.
Two Zen Classics Mumonkan and Hsekiganroku