In short

The 5th day of the month of Yángyu, Taoists and Buddhists celebrate the birth of Damo also known as Bodhidharma, “teaching of wisdom”.



Persian Buddhist monk from India, he is the legendary founder in China from the Chan school, contemplative current (dhyāna) of Mahāyāna, which became Japan the Zen school known in the West. The Chan school claiming to date back to Buddha, Bodhidharma is considered his 28e patriarch and like his first patriarch Chinese.

Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as a non-Chinese with a bad temper, a slightly shaggy bearded face, large eyes topped with bushy eyebrows and a somber appearance. He is nicknamed "The Great Traveler" and "The Light-Eyed Barbarian" in Chán texts.

According to legend, he is said to have created and taught Shaolin kung fu to the monks of the Shaolin temple, to help them defend themselves from animals and bandits who roamed around the monastery. Academic research contests this thesis from the XVIIIe century, and some historians date the creation of this legend to XVIIe century, with the mention of physical practices in Shaolin (qigong) in passages of Yì Jīn Jīng (estimated after XVIIe century).

Tradition also links Bodhidharma to the creation of Chan Buddhism, at the Shaolin temple. Academic research disputes this legendary thesis. Although he had preached doctrines influencing Chan thinkers, most historians consider that the designation of Bodhidharma as founder of Chan has no historical character..

A legend links Bodhidharma to the culture of tea: after meditating for 7 years motionless in front of a wall, he fell asleep. To prevent this from happening again, he cut his eyelids. By falling to the ground they would have given birth to two tea plants, very useful for keeping zazen practitioners awake..

Another legend has it that, after 9 years of meditation, Bodhidharma's legs and arms rotted, which is the origin of the spherical statuettes and Daruma tumblers in Japan.

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Today, Taoists and Buddhists celebrate the birth of the legendary Bodhidharma around 440 CE. Founder of the Chan school in China, of the Zen school Japanese, this Brahmin monk from India transmitted his contemplative teaching to the Eastern world. Legend has it that he was also the originator of Shaolin kung fu and love. Chinese for tea. #mythology #myth #legend #dharma #taoism #Buddhism #bodhidharma #shaolin #chan #zen