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Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • Mar 8, 2012

Founders of Shaolin Kung Fu - Indians Or Chinese?

Recently I came across the name 'BodhiDharma' who was a Buddhist monk from South India. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Ch'an (Sanskrit: Dhyāna, Japanese: Zen) to China, and regarded as the first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan.

These sources vary on their account of Bodhidharma being either "from Persia" (547 CE), "a Brahman monk from South India" (645 CE), "the third son of a Brahman king of South India" (ca. 715 CE).
Some traditions specifically describe Bodhidharma to be the third son of a Pallava king from Kanchipuram.

I understand that where the things originate are of less importance than where they flourish, but since the art of Shaolin is regarded as so pure/spiritual and a sense of greatness is associated with it, I was wondering if should Indians really be getting the credit for being the founders of such a great skill.

Had only BodhiDharma decided to stay in India and teach Shaolin to the masses (or may be every Indian knew about it during his time), the skill would have been passed down through generations (just like it is being taught to chinese people even today.).

What do you think, CEans?
Ambarish Ganesh
Ambarish Ganesh • Mar 8, 2012
There's a film on BodhiDharma, recently released, "7am Arivu" which tells the same story! It did make me wonder about the origin of Kung-Fu.
silverscorpion
silverscorpion • Mar 8, 2012
We really can't say for sure.

And whatever actually was the case, the Chinese continued to nurtured those skills and developed it into a full fledged way of life. Going by the above argument, if it was indeed an Indian who took those skills to China, that will mean that we knew all that earlier... The same skills not existing in India now, should only mean that they were neglected back in India, and were lost to time.

So, two scenarios.. We knew it all already but lost it.. Or, shaolin was originally Chinese, to begin with. Somehow, the second option looks less shameful to me.
Mr.Don
Mr.Don • Mar 8, 2012
Yes the movie named 7th sense tells the same. Its was amazing to know but for our sadness the technique was not there in India.
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • Mar 8, 2012
silverscorpion
So, two scenarios.. We knew it all already but lost it.. Or, shaolin was originally Chinese, to begin with. Somehow, the second option looks less shameful to me.
There should be some way of tracking back to the origin. India needs a overdose of things they should be proud of. If confronted by a foreigner about the things about India that make you proud, most Indians would be speechless.

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