Tag Archives: Bodhidharma


Diogenes is one of the most loved human beings, as far as I am concerned. As far as the world is concerned, he is one of those who are destined to be condemned for their behavior, for their ideas. And Diogenes particularly, because he is so unique.
– Beyond Psychology, Chapter #14

It is said of Diogenes, a man of the same caliber as Bodhidharma …. If they had met, it would have been a great meeting. Diogenes was in Greece. He lived naked; he had such a beautiful body that to hide it behind clothes would have been a crime. It is perfectly good to hide an ugly body behind clothes but a beautiful body needs to be available for anybody who wants to see the beauty, the proportion. Diogenes was one of the most beautiful men. Even when Alexander the Great met him, he felt a little embarrassed — although he was a world conqueror, compared to Diogenes he was utterly poor.
– Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master, Chapter #14

I am reminded of Diogenes, a beautiful Greek philosopher, mystic — and a mystic of a rare quality. He was a contemporary of Aristotle, and he was as much against Aristotle as I am, so I have a certain friendship with Diogenes.
Aristotle defined man as an animal who walks on two legs. What did Diogenes do? He caught one animal — and there are many animals who walk on two legs, but they have feathers also, they can fly also — a peacock. He took out all the feathers — because men have no feathers. Take out all the feathers of the peacock… the peacock walks on two legs. And he sent the peacock to Aristotle with the message: “Please receive the gift of a human being.”
– From the False to the Truth, Chapter #30

I am reminded of Diogenes. I love this fellow Diogenes for the simple reason that he does not claim any authority from God. He does not give any orders and commandments and disciplines to others. He used to live naked — not for any religious reasons, not to get to heaven; he was not concerned about heaven and hell at all. He lived naked, because, he said, “That’s how I was born. Nature wants me to be this way. Why should I be otherwise? I am going to be just natural.”
– From Unconciousness to Consciousness, Chapter #28


Books on Bodhidharma:
The White Lotus (in English)
Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master (in English)

I have a very soft corner in my heart for Bodhidharma. That makes it a very special occasion to speak about him. Perhaps he is the only man whom I have loved so deeply that speaking on him I will be almost speaking on myself.
– Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master, Chapter #1

I AM ECSTATIC because just the name of Bodhidharma is psychedelic to me. In the long evolution of human consciousness there has never been such an outlandish Buddha as Bodhidharma — very rare, very unique, exotic.
There have been many buddhas in the world, but Bodhidharma stands out like Everest. His way of being, living, and expressing the truth is simply his; it is incomparable.
– The White Lotus, Chapter #1

Bodhidharma reached China. He was one of the greatest buddhas of all the ages. After Gautam Buddha, Bodhidharma seems to be the most precious person in the Buddhist heritage.
– The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 12, Chapter #10

Bodhidharma is one of the greatest enlightened men who has ever existed, and one of the most unique amongst all the enlightened men. In many ways he surpasses his own master, Gautam Buddha.
– From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter #7

I also forgot THE NOTES OF THE DISCIPLES OF BODHIDHARMA. When I talk of Gautam Buddha I always forget Bodhidharma, perhaps because I feel as if I have included him in his master, Buddha. But no, that is not right; Bodhidharma stands on his own. He was a great disciple, so great that even the master could be jealous of him. He himself did not write a word, but a few of his disciples, unknown because they did not mention their names, wrote some notes of Bodhidharma’s words. These notes, though few, are as precious as the Kohinoor. The word Kohinoor, do you know, means the light of the world. Noor means the light, kohi means of the world. If I had to describe anything as Kohinoor, yes, I would indicate towards those few notes by the anonymous disciples of Bodhidharma.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #2

But who are they to decide how an enlightened or illuminated person should speak? Have they known Bodhidharma? Have they seen his picture? They will immediately conclude that an enlightened or illuminated person cannot look like that. He looks ferocious! His eyes are those of a lion in the forest, and the way he looks at you is such that it seems he will jump from the picture and kill you instantly. That’s how he was! But forget Bodhidharma, because now fourteen centuries have passed.

I knew Bodhidharma personally. I traveled with the man for at least three months. He loved me just as I loved him. You will be curious to know why he loved me. He loved me because I never asked him any question. He said to me, “You are the first person I have met who does not ask a question — and I only get bored with all the questions. You are the only person who does not bore me.”
I said, “There is a reason.”

He said, “What is that?”
I said, “I only answer. I never question. If you have any question you can ask me. If you don’t have a question then keep your mouth shut.”

We both laughed, because we both belonged to the same category of insanity. He asked me to continue the journey with him, but I said, “Excuse me, I have to go my own way, and from this point it separates from yours.”

He could not believe it. He had never invited anyone before. This was the man who had even refused Emperor Wu — the greatest emperor of those days, with the greatest empire — as if he was a beggar. Bodhidharma could not believe his eyes, that I could refuse him.

I said, “Now you know how it feels to be refused. I wanted to give you a taste of it. Goodbye.” But that was fourteen centuries ago.
– Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Chapter #6

Osho has spoken on hundreds of mystics and traditions including Buddhism, Christianity, Communism, Hassidism., Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, Sufism, Tantra, Taoism, Yoga, Zen and many more…


Book on Atisha:
The Book of Wisdom (in English)

Atisha is one of the rare masters, rare in the sense that he was taught by three enlightened masters. It has never happened before, and never since. To be a disciple of three enlightened masters is simply unbelievable — because one enlightened master is enough. But this story, that he was taught by three enlightened masters, has a metaphorical significance also. And it is true, it is historical too.

The three masters that Atisha remained with for many years were: first, Dharmakirti, a great Buddhist mystic. He taught him no-mind, he taught him emptiness, he taught him how to be thoughtless, he taught him how to drop all content from the mind and be contentless. The second master was Dharmarakshita, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him love, compassion. And the third master was Yogin Maitreya, another Buddhist mystic. He taught him the art of taking the suffering of others and absorbing it into your own heart: love in action.

This could happen because all these three masters were great friends. They had started their search together; while they were on the way they had remained together, and when they attained they were still together.

Atisha became a disciple of Dharmakirti. Dharmakirti said to him, “I will teach you the first principle. And for the second you go to Dharmarakshita, and for the third to Yogin Maitreya. This way you will know all the three faces of the ultimate reality, the three faces of God — the trinity, the TRIMURTI. And this way you will learn each face from the person who is the most perfect in it.”
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #1

Because Atisha learned under three enlightened masters, he is called Atisha the Thrice Great. Nothing more is known about his ordinary life, when and where exactly he was born. He existed somewhere in the eleventh century. He was born in India, but the moment his love became active he started moving towards Tibet, as if a great magnet were pulling him there. In the Himalayas he attained; then he never came back to India.

He moved towards Tibet, his love showered on Tibet. He transformed the whole quality of Tibetan consciousness. He was a miracle-worker; whatsoever he touched was transformed into gold. He was one of the greatest alchemists the world has ever known.

These “Seven Points of Mind Training” are the fundamental teaching that he gave to Tibet — a gift from India to Tibet. India has given great gifts to the world. Atisha is one of those great gifts. Just as India gave Bodhidharma to China, India gave Atisha to Tibet. Tibet is infinitely indebted to this man.
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #1

Atisha is really very very scientific. First he says: Take the whole responsibility on yourself. Secondly he says: Be grateful to everyone. Now that nobody is responsible for your misery except you, if it is all your own doing, then what is left?
– The Book of Wisdom, Chapter #5