Who is Bodhidharma?
Bodhidharma is the father of Shaolin Culture & founder of Zen Buddhism.
He was an eminent Indian Buddhist monk, who traveled to China & established the Shaolin Culture in China. He was born as the third prince to the king of Kanchipuram. After his father passed away, Bodhidharma renounced secular life and he left his kingdom and princehood and became a monk at an early age. His spiritual journey began under the guidance of reverend Prajnadhara, his Dharma teacher. Bodhidharma’s dedication & sincerity led him to become the 27th master of the lineage descending from the first MASTER MAHA-KASSAPA, who had received the dharma from Shakyamuni Buddha.
At the age of twenty-two, he was fully enlightened, later he travelled throughout the country and turned the wheel of dharma for his people. After which, he was ready to be sent as a messenger to China by his master, Prajnadhara, to spread the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism and Dharma.
He took the ocean Silk Road, as this was one of the active trade routes across the Indian ocean between India and China. Bodhidharma departed from Kanchipuram to Mamallapuram along the coast of Bay of Bengal and embarked to the east. The moment the news of his arrival reached emperor Wu, he organised a grand reception for Bodhidharma & himself received him at the borders of his empire.
Buddhism originated from India. Ancient martial arts, Kalaripayattu, was widely used in battles. Ayurveda, the most ancient form of traditional medicine was used for healing & elevating one’s health. Bodhidharma had mastered the art of Kalaripayattu and extensively practiced Ayurveda. These are the roots of our country, India, that later were spread to the other parts of Asia and the rest of the world and Bodhidharma played a significant role in spreading the culture.