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Mahakasyapa smiling at the lotus flower

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1 David Zuniga PhD MDIV MA = "Thanks Shawn for sharing. This is certainly a beloved image and story in Buddhism, especially Zen where it is understood to convey the essence of Zen, dharma transmission, and the lineages of Zen that exist to this day."
2 gary gach = "Compare / contrast the Buddha holding up a flower, as a sermon, and Christ pointing to the wildflowers in his Sermon on the Mount ______________________________________________A survey of the Buddha survey’s implications can be found in Enlightenment, a paper by Kido Inoue ( with citations to the flower's seminal appearance in bothTransmission of the Light  (teachings following the filiation / lineage of Zen ancestors) and also the Gateless Gate (Mumonkan) koan anthology )What did the Buddha say?Why did Mahkasyapa smile ?"
3 Shawn Bose = "The concept of actually coming to understanding as Mahakasyapa does in this scene through Buddha not speaking, but revealing that which is truth without words connects to the moment in the Bhagavad Gita when for all the explanation that Lord Krishna delivers to Arjuna about the nature of life, existence, truth, and more - Arjuna does not truly understand until Krishna reveals himself in his Universal Form.The experience is in essence ineffable.  Just by beholding the Lord in the ultimate form, Arjuna comes to understand that which we all seek and aligns his mind with Divine truth."
4 Enakshi Ganguly = "Who was Mahakasyapa?"
5 Enakshi Ganguly = ""THE FLOWER SERMONToward the end of his life, the Buddha took his disciples to a quiet pond for instruction. As they had done so many times before, the Buddha’s followers sat in a small circle around him, and waited for the teaching.But this time the Buddha had no words. He reached into the muck and pulled up a lotus flower. And he held it silently before them, its roots dripping mud and water.The disciples were greatly confused. Buddha quietly displayed the lotus to each of them. In turn, the disciples did their best to expound upon the meaning of the flower: what it symbollized, and how it fit into the body of Buddha’s teaching.When at last the Buddha came to his follower Mahakasyapa, the disciple suddenly understood. He smiled and began to laugh. Buddha handed the lotus to Mahakasyapa and began to speak.“What can be said I have said to you,” smiled the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.”Mahakashyapa became Buddha’s successor from that day forward.Background to the Flower SutraThe Flower Sutra is a sutra in the Zen (or Chan) tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. It's earliest versions date from the 11th century. Zen Buddhism stresses wordless insight more than most other types of Buddhism. This sutra exemplifies that very well.In many versions of this sutra the Buddha doesn't walk around, he merely holds up the Lotus, roots and all, to a group of disciples. Most disciples are confused. Mahakashyapa smiles. To Zen Buddhists this sutra shows the origins of the wordless teachings of Zen - its history started with the Buddha himself"Source: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/flower-sermon.htm"
6 Enakshi Ganguly = ""As a flower in a pond, the lotus was generally regarded as a symbol for highly esteemed qualities, such as beauty, transformation and purity.  The Lotus Sutra goes further than viewing the flower as a mere symbol: it identifies the lotus both as a symbol - and also as amanifestation of the Dharma (the Law of Cause and Effect).  The natural Law (of Cause and Effect) operates within the essence of all phenomena, but it is specifically visible in the case of the lotus plant, which produces its seeds (cause) and flower (effect) simultaneously. In his writing The Entity of the Mystic Law, Nichiren quotes from Nagarjuna the following explanation: “The lotus represents both the Law itself and a metaphor for it”. In this light, it can be seen that Shakyamuni was conveying to his disciples that the lotus flower - he held before them - is not to be viewed as just a symbol for the Dharma, but - on a deeper level -  as a manifestation of the Dharma itself, which is ‘the Principle’ or ‘the Law of the Lotus’. The Flower Sermon can be viewed as an indication for the ‘Principle of Oneness of Cause and Effect’ - expounded in the Lotus Sutra as the Buddha’s final teachings."Source: http://www.sokahumanism.com/nichiren-buddhism/The_Origin_of_Zen.html"