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Prajñādhara was the twenty-seventh Brahmin patriarch of Indian Buddhism, according to the Chinese Chan lineage. He or she traveled around India preaching the Buddha's teachings, and some traditions consider them the guru, or teacher, of Bodhidharma.

Prajnatara may have been a woman, per an oral tradition in southern India,[1] and members of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.[2] According to Osho, Bodhidharma was initiated by an enlightened woman, named Pragyatara and it was she who asked him to go to China.

The Denkoroku: Record of the Transmission of Light by Keizan Jokin Zenji relates the following legendary exchange between Prajnatara and Bodhidharma. Prajnatara: "What is it that is formless amongst things?" Bodhidharma: "Formlessness is unborn." Prajnatara: "What is the highest amongst things?" Bodhidharma: "The Actual Nature is the highest." [3]


  1. ^ Le maître de Bodhidharma
  2. ^ Austin, Shoshan Victoria (2012). "The True Human Body". In Carney, Eido Frances. Receiving the Marrow. Temple Ground Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0985565107. 
  3. ^ WWZC translation of Denkoroku

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Buddhist titles
Preceded by
Mahayana patriarch Succeeded by