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Bodhidaruma Memorial

Why did Bodhidaruma come to the East?

Calligraphy by Yamada Mumon Roshi

Today is the memorial day for the passing of Bodhidaruma, his formal name read in Japanese as: Shishu Buji Damo En Kadai Su Dai Osho, the first patriarch of Zen. On the 5th of October it is said that Bodhidharuma´s body was placed in the coffin, yet when later opened, he was not there.

The traditional ceremony in Sogenji is as follows: 
Maha Prajan Paramita Ridaya Sutra
Teidai Denpo
Hannya Shingyo, Shosaishu
Honzon Eko
Ryogonshu Gyodo

The Ryogonshu Gyodo is only read for Bodhidaruma, the three Buddha´s ceremonies and Kaisan Osho, the founding abbot of a monastery (which in Sogenji is in the beginning of November). The sutra being read is section 6 of the Surangama Sutra, which is one of the four sutras which Bodhidharuma brought to China, read in a walking fashion.

Traditional set up of altar for high priests. Explanations here.

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