K126 Zen Skull by Ueda Hibutsu 上田非佛

Shakamuni [Buddha], Bodhidharma, Kasyapa*, Confucius died,
all of them ended up looking like this skull!

(signed) Hibutsu**
非佛
み那同じ髑髏乃姿こそなった
釈迦達磨那提ハ孔子を死なば
Ueda Hibutsu (上田非佛, 20th century)
K126 hanging scroll, sumi on paper 149.3 cm × 35.0 cm.

 

* Mahakasyapa, in the Zen tradition reckoned as Buddha’s first Dharma-heir.
** meaning “The Non-Buddha.”

All human beings, including the greatest of masters, eventually end up looking like this skull. Death is the great equalizer. Death is an inevitable part of life and not something to be feared or shunned.