• Add to Collection
  • About


    A sketch of Bodhidharma, the first Zen patriarch who carried Zen from India to China.
This is a sketch of the famous Zen patriarch Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma travelled from india to China in the fifth century AD on the request of the Chinese Emperor Wu. Legend has it that he was a prince of the South Indian kindgom of the Pallavas. Bodhidharma is said to have achieved enlightenment at a very young age, and then to have crossed oved to China to spread the path of Buddha. Buddha taught Dhyana or meditation, which went to China with Bodhidharma and became Chan, which moved to Japan and became Zen.
Bodhidharma is also the 22nd patriarch in line from Gautama the Buddha. Bodhidharma is thought to have practiced very similar austerities as the Buddha. For example, before he became enlightened, Gautama was a Samana, a monk who refused to eat and just walked. This fasting is still practiced today in a softer way by many, and is known as Ekadashi. It is traditionally practiced on the eleventh dayafter the full and new moon days.