Buddhist Monk Disciple SUBHUTI(Shobatai) - from Shomyoji Temple - Signed by RIKKYU
Overall Height = 37 cm. Made of Japanese cypress wood (Hinoki).
Of the thousands of Shakyamuni's disciples, ten were especially close to him, accompanying him wherever he went and using their individual talents to help in his work. Because they were present whenever Shakyamuni taught, their names appear at the opening of many sutras as members of the audience. One of the these 10 great disciples of Shaka Buddha (Historical Buddha) is Subhuti or SHUBODAI in Japanese.
Subhuti is the son of a rich man who lived near Shravasti, Subhuti understood the doctrine of void, or shunyata, better than any of the other disciples. He frequently appears in Mahayana scriptures pertaining to this teaching.
Subhuti appears in several koans, such as this one, from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings (compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki, ISBN 0-8048-3186-6).
Subhuti was Buddha's disciple. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness, that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity. One day, in a mood of sublime emptiness, Subhuti was resting underneath a tree when flowers began to fall about him.
"We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness," the gods whispered to Subhuti.
"But I have not spoken of emptiness," replied Subhuti.
"You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness," responded the gods. "This is the true emptiness." The blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain.
Subhuti was one of Buddha's greatest disciples. He was told by Buddha, "be attentive and listen well."
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