Bodhidharma lived in China for fourteen years. Master sent him there, so he spread the message of meditation. Fourteen years later he wanted to go back to the Himalayas; he was old enough and ready for to fade in the eternal snows. He had thousands of disciples - he was one of the rare people who have ever lived on Earth - but he called only four disciples and said to them:
- I ask only one question: What is the essence of my teaching? The one who will give me the correct answer will be my successor.
There was silence, tense expectation. Everyone looked at the first disciple who was most scientists, the most well-read. The first disciple said:
- Going beyond the mind - that is what can be reduced all your teaching.
- You touched only the skin of my teaching, but no more.
He turned to the other disciple, who said:
- There is no one who could go beyond the mind. Everything is quiet. There is no separation between what is needed transtsendentirovat, and those who have transtsendentirovat. This is the essence of your teaching.
- You touched the bones of my teaching.
He turned to the third student, who said:
- The essence of your teaching is inexpressible.
Bodhidharma laughed and said:
- But you expressed it! You said something about it. You touched the bone marrow.
He turned to the fourth student, who had only tears in their eyes and utter silence, no answer. He fell at the feet of Bodhidharma. And he recognized him as his successor, although the pupil did not answer.