Talk:Bodhidharma/Archive 4

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7am Arivu

A tamil movie is being made about bodhidharma and his visit to china — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, 7aam Arivu, starring Suriya and Shruti Haasan directed by A. R. Murugadoss. Secret of success Talk to me 16:17, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

The addition of this is unsourced, and without an appropriate reliable source to give this addition any weight, it doesn't belong in the article, per WP:IPC. However, if the IP editor that is inserting the information feels otherwise, please discuss here why it belongs in the article. Thank you. - SudoGhost 21:03, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Legacy and depictions in popular culture

There should be a section called "Legacy and depictions in popular culture" or something like "Film and Literature". Ben (talk) 21:44, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

It's too trivial to mention films on the main article. Feel free to create a sister article to be linked to. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 22:02, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 28 October 2011

Tonydass (talk) 08:26, 28 October 2011 (UTC) He belongs to Udayar Caste of moderntime.

Symbol question.svg Question: Do you have a reliable source that shows this? - SudoGhost 13:25, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

In Telugu, its బోధిధర్మ and not something భోధిధర్మ written in the article. Someone with edit permissions, please change it. రహ్మానుద్దీన్ (talk) 17:25, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. Steven Zhang The clock is ticking.... 21:22, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Citation overkill in the lede?

All I see that Bodhidharma was from south India. Being known martial arts tells me he somehow connected to present Kerala. Whether he is Brahmin or kshyatria tells me he was aryan just like every king in olden India was a Kshyatriya and an aryan. No where I see any context about about tamilnadu.

<ref>Broughton 1999:2; Dumoulin 2005:90; Addiss 2008:9; Faure 1996:45; Hoover 1999:1(Chapter One); Dumoulin 1988:89; Chung 1998:188; Jørgensen 2005:111</ref>

This style is a bit more pleasing to the eye:

<ref>Broughton, 1999, p. 2; Dumoulin, 2005, p. 90; Addiss, 2008, p. 9; Faure, 1996, p. 45; Hoover, 1999, p. 1, Chapter One; Dumoulin, p. 1988, p. 89; Chung, 1998, p. 188; Jørgensen, 2005, p. 111</ref>

However, the latter style would require changing the entire reference format. I offer it only to show an alternative. I recommend doing a first pass, bundling multiple references per the example above, and then coming back on a second pass to see if the multiple refs are even needed. Viriditas (talk) 03:43, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

The sentence in the lede, "Scholars have concluded his place of birth to be Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu." is supported by eight citations. This seems to be a bit much, so I wanted to discuss the possibility of trimming this down to around two or three of the strongest and most reliable sources. Does anyone have any objection to this, or a suggestion on which of the references would be best to keep, and which can be removed? - SudoGhost 09:08, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Do we know if the citations just support that sentence or the entire paragraph? We would have to look through the page history and/or the talk page to find out for sure. As a short term solution, what about bundling the refs like this:

I do have a question, if any editors would know. Why is the Tamil translation in the lede? It was inserted here by an IP editor, but I don't see why this Tamil translation gives an English reader any further understanding of the article's subject, as most English readers wouldn't even begin to know how to pronounce போதிதர்மன். I'm removing it from the lede, as it is already found in the infobox. - SudoGhost 19:42, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Person's name in their native language is usually added in the lede. I think it should be added! Ben (talk) 21:44, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
The sentence in the lede, "Scholars have concluded his place of birth to be Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu." is supported by eight citations. This seems to be a bit much, so I wanted to discuss the possibility of trimming this down to around two or three of the strongest and most reliable sources. Does anyone have any objection to this, or a suggestion on which of the references would be best to keep, and which can be removed? - SudoGhost 09:08, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Do we know if the citations just support that sentence or the entire paragraph? We would have to look through the page history and/or the talk page to find out for sure. As a short term solution, what about bundling the refs like this:
And, yea I thought you always added the person's native name and transliteration in the lede, so Tamil seems obvious...
-- (talk) 22:19, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
The sources on the page do not support a historical connection to the southern kingdom. See the discussion below for more details. For his connection to martial arts, please see the section of the article called "Bodhidharma at Shaolin." --Ghostexorcist (talk) 23:22, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

No the sources below seem to contest his origin in Kanchipuram, they seem to point out South India quite consistently. -- (talk) 14:00, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

The sources plainly point out that his origins are not truly known. The best that we can do is to say that historians suggest that he may have come from southern India. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 14:41, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Ghostexorcist, I do'not understand whats your concern in putting his name in Tamil. his mothertongue is Tamil and so am trying to put his name is in Tamil. I am from Chennai, India. Mahabalipuram -- A pallava capital is an hour drive from my home. I am known growing up with stories of Pallavas, BodhiDharma, Siddha medicine and all. You sitting in USA and have little practical knowledge about Tamilnadu or south india, wants to control this thing ? I think you have insidious agenda in doing so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pgomat (talkcontribs) 14:06, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Inclusion of his various names in the lede

There is an anon who keeps on putting Bodhidharma's Tamil name into the lede. This is not necessary since it is already mentioned in the info box. The Zen patriarch is known the world over by many different names, so there is no reason to give preference to a certain one. I hope that the anon will come here to discuss the issue instead of re-adding it over and over again. This will naturally lead to the page being protected. That fact that they keep jumping IPs isn't very helpful either. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 15:26, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

A newly established editor who added the Tamil name has left a message on my page that is related to this. Interested parties can view it here. My reply should establish why the Tamil name should not be added to the lede. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 14:03, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
On second thought, because I will eventually archive my talk page, I have posted part of my reply here for posterity:

As I stated before, his Tamil name keeps on getting removed because he is known by so many names around the world. You stated that other Wikipedia articles include multiple names for other historical personages in an info box, but always post their native name in the lede. That's normally true if they are concretely known to have come from that area. However, there is not enough historical information to say he really did come from Southern India. Most of what is known about him comes from Chinese records, and none of them agree with each other. There are some historians who think he really didn't have anything to do with Chan Buddhism, and there are others who don't even think he was a historical person. I took the liberty of looking at some of the sources from the article which support his Tamil origin. The Bodhidharma Anthology (p. 2) says he was from East India. The Zen Sourcebook: Traditional Documents From China, Korea, and Japan (p. 9) says “Because accounts of Bodhidharma’s life and teaching were generally written some time after his life, they are historically questionable; a few scholars have even wondered if he existed at all.” The author then goes on to mention how “later accounts” say he was the son of a monarch in Southern India. The Zen Experience (chapter 1) presents the “Zen legend” that Bodhidharma came from southern India. It also states that he stayed in the Shaolin Temple, which is not a reliable story. The first source mentioning him actually setting foot in Shaolin is from the 8th century. This of course postdates him by hundreds of years. Across the Himalayan Gap: An Indian Quest for Understanding China (p. 188) says he was the son of a king of Kanchi. The author later says, “The historicity of Bodhidharma has been controversial. The first mention of Kanchi is in “The Record of the Transmission of the Lamp” compiled in 1002." Again, this posdates his supposed life by hundreds of years. It is evident from these sources that his origin has not truly been established.

--Ghostexorcist (talk) 14:10, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

I just looked at another of the sources cited as supporting his links to southern India. Inventing Hui-neng, the sixth Patriarch: Hagiography and biography in early Ch'an (p. 111) doesn't give any concrete support for a Kanchipuram origin. In fact, it doesn't even mention Kanchipuram on that page, nor is it mentioned in the rest of the book. It only just reviews what the various Chinese sources say about him: that he was either Persian and South Indian. Therefore, it is evident that these sources are not supporting the statements being made in the article. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 03:25, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Ghostexorcist-- The problem is you donot know much of Indian history. Everyone in Tamilnadu knows Pallava dynasty is centered around Kanchipuram. Why should i explain you the basic facts - for you lack of knowledge ? if you do more research you will find yourself how things are connected. please let us know, if you have any insidous agenda ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pgomat (talkcontribs) 14:16, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

You need to keep a civil tone while discussing an issue on the talk page (see WP:Civil). If you continue to be belligerent, your editing privileges can be revoked. I'm afraid there is not enough evidence to say he was concretely from that area of India. Can you provide Contemporary Indian sources or modern day archaeological evidence to support this? --Ghostexorcist (talk) 15:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is based on verifiability, not what people "should" know. If you want information in an article, it is up to you to provide the proof of this. As the Tamil translation of the name is already in the infobox, there is no reason to unnecessarily duplicate this by placing it in the first sentence of the lede as well. Doing so provides no additional information and does not enhance the reader's understanding of the article's subject in any way. - SudoGhost 14:33, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

ok here is another proof: that he is from Kanchipuram. Since he is a Tamilian, Am going to put his name in Tamil Again. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pgomat (talkcontribs) 14:56, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

This is one source, one that conflicts with others that say differing things. However, this still doesn't address the fact that the tamil name is already in the infobox, and putting it in the lede as well adds nothing to the article. - SudoGhost 15:06, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

A Tamilian will google by his Tamilname, this may come up in google search. Bodhidharma is born Tamilian, there are so many references to check. This provides a chance for uses to read about Tamil as well. this is how wiki works -- by interconnected facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pgomat (talkcontribs) 15:05, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

This is irrelevant, as anyone typing in Tamil would likely be searching the Tamil language Wikipedia. Even if they were searching the English Wikipedia, the Tamil name is already in the article, and adding it to the lede doesn't add anything useful. See above. SudoGhost 15:08, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Adding one more proof that he is from Kanchipuram, TamilNadu and he is a Tamilian. Please remember that its a proof from Former Professor of University of Tokyo, Japan

May be your mothertongue is Engish, so you do not understand this. Tell me why people's name is in their mothertongue is so many wiki pages. Let me tell you, your argument is pale. We can wakeup people who are sleeping but not the one who is faking. I will do one more time. if you revert it back, may be damo likes your ego to be satisfied. be with it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pgomat (talkcontribs) 15:15, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS is not a reason for adding content, and those articles are of individuals of whose origins are not disputed, which makes it a poor comparison. Those also do not have translations in the infobox, making it an even poorer comparison. - SudoGhost 15:19, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Unless a valid argument can be given to the contrary, there is no reason to include the Tamil name in the first sentence of the lede. It is already in the infobox, and duplicating this translation serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever, and every argument given for including it in the first sentence is already satisfied by having it in the infobox. - SudoGhost 15:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 31 October 2011

Its states that he is from Nalanda University. (talk) 05:15, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done Provide a specific request. CTJF83 21:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 31 October 2011

I question the validity of some of the statements here and suspect that they have been included by the publicity department of a recent movie in Tamil. There's no proof that Bodhidharma was a Tamil prince. Some sources believe that he was from Kerala where the martial art 'Karali' supposed to be the origin of kung-fu, was invented. At the most, he could be South Indian, though some believe that Bodhidharma was born in the North.

Ashokscape (talk) 03:26, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done Please, if you want to improve the quality of the article, make an edit request propose an actual change to the page, with well sourced information. Zidanie5 (talk) 03:42, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

The article now holds the line "He was the third son of a Tamil king of the Pallava Dynasty.[1][2]". Let me explain the references used here.

Ref 1 calls Broughton, Jeffrey L. (1999), The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen, Berkeley: University of California Press. In the contents of this book (search for the book in Google books and search for key words and to see), there is no mention about Tamil or Pallava.

Page 2 of the above book mentions his as Bodhitara, the 3rd son of a South Indian king. For information on Bodhitara, refer: The Record of Transmitting the Light: Zen Master Keizan's Denkoroku. By Keizan, Francis Dojun Cook, Francis Harold Cook ISBN-10: 0861713303. This book calls Bodhitara as the 3rd son of the King of Koshi (Japanese pronunciation as per books note) in Southern India.

Ref 2 calls for Dumoulin, Heinrich (2005), Zen Buddhism: A History, 1: India and China, Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom. Again, in the contents of this book too(use the same Google Book search), there is no mention about Tamil or Pallava. The book mentions South Indian and Brahmin only and nothing about Tamil and Pallava. The book also mentions a possible Persian origin.

Page 89 says the teacher of Dharma, who came from South India in the Western Regions, the third son of a great Brahman king, possessed wonderful wisdom and penetrating clarity..."

In page 90, it says Tao-hsuan and T'an-lin speak of Bodhidharma's Indian origins. T'an-lin's account of the third son of a great Brahman king is mentioned to be a later addition. The book also says Tao-hsuan speaks of the origins of Bodhidharma from South Indian Brahman stock but that it is not clear whether he is referring to roots in nobility or to India in general as the land of Brahmans.

As we can see both references used do not contain Tamil or Pallava and hence the same should be removed to prevent misleading people. So, I here by suggest removing the line: He was the third son of a Tamil king of the Pallava Dynasty. And using the references quoted for the above line with "but some accounts state that he was from a Brahmin family in southern India and possibly of royal lineage". don thomas (talk) 17:14, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 4 November 2011

This page is edited with biased information. Jeevaaks (talk) 10:23, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. mabdul 11:16, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 6 November 2011


Goldensingar (talk) 09:54, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: That is not a source. Please review the discussions above about the contradictory nature of the sources and Wikipedia's policy on NPOV. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 10:57, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 4 November 2011

Electraspider (talk) 07:15, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. mabdul 11:16, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

why want to question his caste when he himself opted to become a Buddhist to avoid all these?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 9 November 2011

bodhidharma was not form pallava heir, because of a strange reason that pallava regime destroyed and demolished Buddhism in southern part of india. if of their heir bodhidharma was, then would have gone to china to promote hinduism not buddhism.

Caadhavan (talk) 02:52, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: You did not ask for a specific item to be changed. You seem to be speculating more than anything else. If you have a source by a credentialed scholar mentioning this, please feel free to post it here. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 03:42, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Bodhidharma as "the idealized image of a saint"

According to John McRae and Bernard Faure, Bodhidharma is the subject of a hagiographic proces which served the needs of the Chinese Ch'an movement. According to them it is not possible to write an accurate biography of Bodhidharma:

"It is ultimately impossible to reconstruct any original or accurate biography of the man whose life serves as the original trace of his hagiography - where "trace" is a term from Jacques Derrida meaning the beginningless beginning of a phenomenon, the imagined but always intellectually unattainable origin. Hence any such attempt by modern biographers to reconstruct a definitive account of Bodhidharma's life is both doomed to failure and potentially no different in intent from the hagiographical efforts of premodern writers" (Mcrae, John (2003), Seeing through Zen. Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism. The University Press Group Ltd . ISBN 9780520237988. Page 24)

.So it seems that the more interesting question is not what exactly Bodhidharma was, but what meaning he does have. See also Bernard Faure (1986), Bodhidharma as Textual and Religious Paradigm. History of Religions, Vol. 25, No. 3. (Feb., 1986), pp. 187-198.

Joshua Jonathan (talk) 11:52, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Bambalapitya Hindu College.

It is a school started in 1953. It is started with the name of "pillayar padasalai". The school has celebrated its diamond jubilee in 2011. The former principal of Bambalapity Hindu College is Mr.Muthukumarasaamee. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:59, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Lead & biography

Shouldn't a substantial part of the lead be integrated into the Biography-section? Beginning from lne 4, "However, martial arts historians" up to the last line "response to such attacks" The lead is quite long now, and contains discussions, and information which is repeated in the biography-section. Also, the biography-section could be introduced by the quote from John McRae that a reliable historical biography is impossible. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 08:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 4 November 2011

A proof that Bodhidharma is from Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu and he is of Pallava dynasty, from Former Professor of University of Tokyo, Japan

P.vishnu7 (talk) 17:23, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: That's not proof. The person who wrote that just used one of the several Chinese sources that say where he might have been from. An earlier Chinese text says that he was from Persia. So which is it, Persia or India? Shouldn't an earlier text be more accurate than a later one? Where did they get the new information from? That is why we can't say, as a fact, he was from Kanchipuram. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 18:28, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
As per this book, The Lin Kok Collection [1], it quotes the following on page 1: "Bodhidharma was born around the year 440 in Kanchi, the capital of the southern Indian kingdom of Pallava. He was a a Brahman by birth and the third son of King Simhavarman." -- Akootha (talk) 20:45, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Again, that is just a rehash of two contradictory Chinese sources. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 22:02, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Is that against Wikipedia policy to have multiple claims made by different scholars? -- Sathish ! Ramadurai (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:08, 19 November 2011 (UTC).

Edit request from , 19 November 2011

In this page introduction please change "bodhidharma is the 3rd son of a brahmin king" to "the 3rd son of pallava king"..It can be found in the 2nd paragraph.

Saig95 (talk) 13:19, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

The article has been changed by another editor to reflect the fact that reliable sources give differing accounts of this information, which should solve this issue. - SudoGhost 16:38, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 5 November 2011

In the 'See Also' section, please either remove the third point, i.e. "7aum Arivu, a 2011 Tamil language film based on Bodhidharma's life" or at least change it to "7aum Arivu, a 2011 Tamil language film with a fictionalized account of Bodhidharma's life". The movie is mostly science fiction and gives a highly fictionalized account of Bodhidharma and focuses only on martial arts. For example, it doesn't even make a mention of Buddhism and Bodhidharma's relation to it. There are no mentions of his travels within China either. So I feel mentioning the movie in the 'See Also' section is irrelevant. Also, in case there is suspicion of any bias against the Tamil language, please note that I am a Tamilian and I love my language. (talk) 05:35, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. I think if anyone wants it in the See Also section of the article, they should discuss it here first, because the movie has nothing to do with this article's subject, but instead has to do with a fictional character based on this article's subject. - SudoGhost 05:51, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Akootha (talk) 23:59, 5 November 2011 (UTC) SudonGhost, Sure I understand your point of view. But should not we also include in the Wikipedia as another point of view from the history?

Thanks, Akootha Akootha (talk) 23:59, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. You want to include a fictionalized version of Bodhidharma as alternative historic point of view? - SudoGhost 00:21, 6 November 2011 (UTC) (talk) 02:12, 6 November 2011 (UTC) Yes. Be it 'fictionalized version' as you say, but it is a version nevertheless. Thanks. (talk) 02:12, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree with Akootha. That Tamil movie 7aum Arivu should be added on to the "See Also" section. The first 20 minutes shows a historical biography of Bodhidharma and although there may be facts that he is not a Tamilian, there are also facts that contradict that statement and proves that he is a Tamilian. Either way, this movie should be posted up so people can get an idea of Bodhidharma through a movie portrayal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

The film is a sci-fi movie with a fictional portrail of a Bodhidharma, not a historical biography by any means. However, if you could please provide a reliable source that shows that this sci-fi movie is a historical biography, then that would verify what you're saying. - SudoGhost 02:44, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Checking sources: Dumoulin

The next line references Dumoulin 1995 p.90:

"Tan-lin's account of Bodhidharma being the third son of a pallava king is understood as a later addition."

The reference begins with:

"However sources have proved that he is a tamilian prince from kanchipuram the third son of kantavarman,the king of pallava dynasty:"

This line is NOT in Dumoulin 1995 p.90; also, it cotradicts Dumoulin's statement:

""Tao-hsuan and Tan-lin speak of Bodhidharma's Indian origins. Tan-lin's account of the third son of a great Brahman king is certainly to be understood as a later addition. And when Tao-hsuan speaks of origins from South Indian Brahman stock, it is not clear whether he is referring to roots in nobility or to India in general as the land of the Brahmans"

I will remove the false quote.Joshua Jonathan (talk) 19:37, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Various accounts of Bodhidharma's origins

John McRae gives a nice, comprehensive list of the "element[s] of his [Bodhidharma's] hagiography" (McRae2003 p.26). Neither the Pallava dynasty nor the Tamil origins are being metioned here. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 19:53, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Students and lineage

Yampolski has information about the variations given in the early Chinese lineage(s), and the reasons for this. Unfortunately, at this moment I have no time to put in this information, and a nice quote from him about lineages, but I'll try later. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 14:21, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Some precious time found to put in the information and the quote. It underscores the standpoint of McRae, that the biography of Bodhidharma is to be seen as a hagiographic proces. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 15:12, 21 November 2011 (UTC)


Does anybody understand where the unsourced lineage from Layman Xiang to Ching-yuan comes from? I can't find any information on any of these names, except for Chih-tsang. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 21:15, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I put the various information about lineage together. This way it gives more body to the lineage-section, and it makes the biography-section more comprehensive, carrying only the three major sources and an conclusion about the pieces of the biography "faling into place". But, this re-ordering is just a proposal, to see if it improves the article. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 09:20, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 23 November 2011

details have been inserted wrongly.. (talk) 02:30, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. --Jnorton7558 (talk) 03:05, 23 November 2011 (UTC)


Kailash29792 states "added 7aum arivu; that is the only way through which present tamilians got to know abt bodhidharma! before that movie, only a few in Tamil nadu had known about him!". Given the apparently widespread opninion that Bodhidharma was born in Kanchipuram, it seems quite unlikelt that this specific movie would be so influential.

7aum arivu is not the first movie starring Bodhidharma; McRae mentions the Taiwanese movie Crouching tiger, Hidden Dragon! from 1992. so maybe we should add a Filmography-section. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 07:47, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't have anything against a "Media about Bodhidharma" article that could be linked in the "See also" section, but mentioning it on this article is too trivial. As I pointed out, 7aum arivu is a sci-fi movie that is not even remotely historically accurate (considering the original Chinese sources are so full of embellishments), and Bodhidharma is only present for the first 20 minutes or so. Beyond, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, there was an earlier Chinese film that follows his young life in India, and then it covers his journey to China and the founding of Shaolin kung fu. I've only seen it on YouTube. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 14:47, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that you've got a point here. Maybe 7aum arivu should be mentioned in the article about Kanchipuram? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 08:00, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 21 November 2011

{{edit semi-protected}} Please change

These and later sources vary on their account of Bodhidharma being either "from Persia" (547 CE)[1], "a brahman monk from South India" (645 CE)[1], "the third son of a Brahmin king of South India (ca. 715 CE)[1], a Pallava prince, or a Tamil.


These and later sources vary on their account of Bodhidharma being either "from Persia" (547 CE)[1], "a tamil monk from South India" (645 CE)[1], "the third son of a tamil king of South India (ca. 715 CE)[1], a Pallava prince from tamilnadu.

Note: It refers for a particular community. Books reference says only for Tamil monk/Tamil Prince or he can be from Pallava Dynasty. Please update the page and avoid community references.

Sansfwds (talk) 15:12, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I am going to do a sword of Soloman thing here;
I've changed it to just either "from Persia" (547 CE)[1], "a monk from South India" [2]
ie, I removed "tamil".
You may, of course, discuss it below. See WP:TIGER. Cheers,  Chzz  ►  00:36, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid the 'sword of Solomon was just a little bit to sharp, removing text from a quote which is in the refrenced source. I put back the mention of "Brahman", since this is in the McRae-quote. I also removed Tamil and Pallavine, since this is not in the three principal sources. But I also put Kanchipuram in the modern scholarship-section, since Kanchipuram is a modern interpretation of the principal sources. See "Sourcing Kanchipuram" for an eloborate explanation. I hope that this may finally solve the Kanchipuram-issue. Friendly regards Joshua Jonathan (talk) 06:55, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I put the same reference in the Kanchipuram, as a gesture to the Kanchipuram-origins-supporters. Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 08:07, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Sourcing Kanchipuram

It sounds reasonable to me to mention Kanchipuram, since this is the origin which is stated over and over again. But, there is one burning question related to this "origin": on which source is it based? To be precise: on which dateable source, from China, from the 6th-8th century, which would make it comparable to Yang Hsüan-chih The Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang, Tánlín's Preface to the Two Entrances and Four Acts, and Tao-'s Further Biographies of Eminent Monks? None of these sources mentions specifically Kanchipuram, the supposed place of birth for this story of Bodhidharma's origin (this point has been mentioned before).

Also, before three "sources" have been mentioned (Lin Kok Collection, Biography of Bodhidharma by Wendell E. Wilson, Tstuomu Kambe: Bodhi Dharma and Oceanic Silk Road). All three are recent documents, without references to original source-material. Like-minded "sources" can be found easily: Damo Qigong, Bodhidharma. Joseph Aranha: From myth to reality. Joseph Aranha acyually gives a clue about Kanchipuram being the birthplace of Bodhidharma:

"The Chinese manuscripts show the birthplace of Bodhi-Dharma as "Kang-zhi", which researchers believe to be Kanchipuram of Tamil Nadu."

Unfortunately, no further references to these researchers are given. The only related reference I can find is from Francis Dojun Cook, in her translation of Keizan's Transmission of the light:

"The master was a member of the warrior-ruler class and his name was originally Bodhitara. He was the third son of the king of Koshi in Southern India" (page 147)

In a footnote to Koshi she (he?) writes:

"I cannot identify the sanskrit original of Koshi, so I give the Japanese pronunciation".

By the way, this is a 20th century English translation of a 12th century Japanese text, so the mention of "waarior-ruler class" should be treated with due abstention. In the same document Bodhidharma. Joseph Aranha: From myth to reality, Tsutomu Kambe writes:

"Documents published just after Tang dynasty of China (ending in 907) describe the name of his kingdom with two Chinese characters , meaning Fragrance-Extreme. It is very likely that those were pronounced as Kang-Zhi."

Yet, here too further references are lacking. The Chinese characters are 香至 (Tstuomu Kambe: Bodhi Dharma and Oceanic Silk Road This document also states that Tstuomu Kambe is a "Former Professor of University of Tokyo, Physics" - so, not a buddhologist). but a further explanation is also given by Tstuomu Kambe (Tstuomu Kambe: Bodhidharma (around 440? - 528?). A collection of stories from Chinese literature):

"According to Chinese records, Bodhidharma was born in a kingdom of South India. Documents published just after Tang dynasty (ending in 907) describe that the name of the Kingdom is expressed with two Chinese characters ‟香至‟. There are four states which are called as South India. No historical record is found in which state the 香至 is located. At this time when interest in Zen Buddhism is increasing throughout the world, the birthplace of this pivotal master would be a great concern. Not only scholars but also those interested in Buddhism would welcome this missing piece of information where in India is the Kingdom 香至. The Chinese name 香至 means “fragrance extreme”. At the time of Tang dynasty, it is likely that 香至 is pronounced as Kang-zhi. In 2007 by examining various documents, the author happened to come across the identification of 香至 to be Kanchipuram, an old capital town in the state Tamil-Nadu. Further investigation revealed that Kanchi means „a radiant jewel‟ or „a luxury belt with jewels‟, and puram means a town or a state in the sense of earlier times. Thus, it is understood that the ‟香至-Kingdom‟ corresponds to the old capital „Kanchipuram‟, located at a distance about eighty kilometers from the city Chennai in South India. It was a capital of Pallava Dynasty at the time when Bodhidharma was living. Currently, it is a sacred town of Hinduism. Historical remains related to Buddhism found in that region are very limited in number. In the Chennai Museum, however, one can see an image of standing Buddha (more than 2m height) excavated in a Hindu temple of Kanchipuram in the early times of 20th century. This image of dignity is reminiscent of the glorious times when Buddhism had flourished in this region where it was discovered."

But what are these "various documents" in which "the author happened to come across the identification of 香至 to be Kanchipuram"?!?

Only one true reference is being made by Tsutome Kambe regarding the biography of Bodhidharma. In part I Tsutome Kambe condences the information about Bodhidharma:

"Bodhidharma was born as the third son of a South Indian King according to Chinese historical documents. It is speculated that the kingdom was Pallava, it‟s capital city being Kanchipuram near Chennai. He was named Bodhitara and his surname was Kshatriya (the class of kings and warriors). [1]"

This footnote reads:

"[1] English translation: “The BodhiDharma Anthology” (edited by Tan-lin, Huike and disciples of Bodhidharma, about 540), translated by Jeffrey L. Broughton (1999, Univ. of California Press). Japanese translation:“Daruma no go-roku (達摩の語録) ” by Yanagida Seizan(柳田聖山, 1969, Chikuma shobo). [Original text was discovered at Dun-huang in 1900.]"

This book contains a translation of texts found at Dun-huang, supposedly written by students of Bodhidharma. Unfortunately, I don't own the book, so I can't check if it is Broughton who speculates about Pallava, or whether this is an inference from Tsutome Kambe. Anybodu owning this book, please check it!

What I can find ([ John Kieschnick (2001), Review, Journal of the American Oriental Society]) is a description of the contents, which states that the first document is a short biography of Bodhidharma by Tan-lin:

"The brief biography of Bodhidharma, for instance, is attributed to a sixth-century monk named T'an-lin and seems to have been the chief source for the biography of Bodhidharma written in the seventh century by Tao-hsuan"

According to Dumoulin the biography by Tan-lin is known in different, almost identical manuscripts (Dumoulin 2005, p.88). So, the reference is back to "The teacher of the Dharma, who came from South India in the western regions, the third son of a great Brahman king"

This is as close as I can get to sourcing Kanchipuram as the birthplace of Bodhidharma: a speculation from one author, based on an interpretation of the reading of two Chinese characters from an 10th-century Chinese document.

But, these "sources" actually seem to establish a true fact: in modern-day Kanchipuram, or in Tamil-nadu (and my apologies if I make a mistake here in the way I write it; I'm not Indian, and I'm not familiair with the specifics of Indian countries and people) Bodhidharma is seen as being born in this place.

So, maybe we should change the specific line to:

These and later sources vary on their account of Bodhidharma being either "from Persia" (547 CE)[1], "a tamil monk from South India" (645 CE)[1], "the third son of a tamil king of South India (ca. 715 CE)[1]. In modern-day Tamil-nadu Bodhidharma is regarded as a Pallava prince from Kanchipuram, Tamil-nadu.

We could also ad a subsection to the biography-section:

Modern accounts
In modern-day Tamil-nadu Bodhidharma is regarded as a Pallava prince from Kanchipuram, Tamil-nadu. The statements from the original Chinese statements about being either "the son of a great Indian king" or "of South Indian Brahman stock" get it a far more precise meaning here, given the sensitivities of the Indian caste-system and the cohabitation of various ethnic and religious groups in the Indian sub-continent

There is one problem to this solution of the dispute: according to Wiki-rules it needs secundary sources, which summarize primary sources like the before-mentioned web-documents. So, are there any available?

But, we do have a source now, and this one can be added to the modern scholarship-section:

"Based on a specific pronounciation of the Chinese characters 香至 as Kang-zhi, "meaning fragrance extreme", Tstuomu Kambe identifies 香至 to be Kanchipuram, an old capital town in the state Tamil-Nadu. According to Tstuomu Kambe "Kanchi means 'a radiant jewel' or 'a luxury belt with jewels', and puram means a town or a state in the sense of earlier times. Thus, it is understood that the '香至-Kingdom' corresponds to the old capital 'Kanchipuram'"

Could this settle the issue for both (supposedly) Indians and (supposedly) Americans and Europeans?

Oh, and let's not forget: Why came Bodhidharma from the west? With other words: what's the main point of Buddhism?

Friendly regards to all the different participants in this discussion, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 18:59, 21 November 2011 (UTC)


For anyone interested, the Zvelebil (1987) source says this, in anrticle about the koan of the sound of one clapping hand:

"Persistent tradition tells us that the 'first Zen patriarch' Bodhidharma (ca. 470-532) was an Indian monk, the son of South Indian ruler, a king of Kanchipuram, and that he appeared one day at the southern Chinese port city of Canton around 520 A.D. whence he traveled to see Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty. This tradition point thus to Bodhidharma as a member of the ruling clan of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas, the contemporary of Skandavarman IV or Nandivarman I. It is well known that Kanchipuram, the Pallava capital, was one of the most important strongholds of Indian Buddhism. An ancient Prakrit charter (the British Museum plates of Queen CArudevT)5m entions among very early Pallavas two kings called Buddhavarman and Buddhayankura, obviously Buddhists, belonging probably to the 4th century A.D. Another Buddhavarman belongs to ca. 540-560 A.D. The well-known commentator Buddhaghosa lived in Kanchipuram probably in late 5th century A.D. The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Hsian Tsang who visited South India in the 7th century A.D. tells us that there were about a hundred Buddhist monasteries in the city with more than 10,000 monks, and he also refers to Kanchih-pu-lo as the birth-place of Dharmapala, the reputed author of treatises on etymology, logic and Buddhist metaphysics. Undoubtedly, the Zen tradition of a South Indian Buddhist monk coming possibly from Kanchipuram to China in the early 6th century may be regarded as trustworthy. If Bodhidharma was a Tamil-speaking South Indian (whether Brahmin, as one version has it, or a prince), the popular saying of one hand producing no sound might have belonged to his linguistic competence."(page 125-126)

No reference to the source for Kanchipuram is being made. No arguments are give why the "persistent tradition" may "undoubtedly [...] be regarded as trustworthy". According to Yanagida, Dumoulin and McRae, the "persistent tradition" is doubtful.

  • Zvelebil, K.V.; 1987: The Sound of the One Hand, Journal of the American Oriental Society 107(1), p. 125-126.

Joshua Jonathan (talk) 20:52, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Specific description

Here we go again... but since "the third son of a Pallavine king from Kanchipuram" is the specific description that keeps popping up over and over again, it may be wise to mention it. It is now covered by two references, which actually mention "speculations", not prove. And it is embedded in "Some traditions specifically describe" - nicely stated, Ergative rlt! Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 19:17, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Martial arts

The Kanchipuram gives a source: "Henning, Stan and Tom Green, "Folklore in the Martial Arts" in Green, Thomas A. Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2001), p. 129." But I haven't read this source, so according to Wiki-policies I can't quote it here. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 08:24, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

I was the person who added that reference to the Kanchipuram article. The source states:

One of the most recently invented and familiar of the Shaolin historical narratives is a story that claims that the Indian monk Bodhidharma, the supposed founder of Chinese Chan (Zen) Buddhism, introduced boxing into the monastery as a form of exercise around a.d. 525. This story first appeared in a popular novel, The Travels of Lao T’san, published as a series in a literary magazine in 1907. This story was quickly picked up by others and spread rapidly through publication in a popular contemporary boxing manual, Secrets of Shaolin Boxing Methods, and the first Chinese physical culture history published in 1919. As a result, it has enjoyed vast oral circulation and is one of the most “sacred” of the narratives shared within Chinese and Chinese-derived martial arts. That this story is clearly a twentieth-century invention is confirmed by writings going back at least 250 years earlier, which mention both Bodhidharma and martial arts but make no connection between the two.

This legend is ultimately connected to the Yijin Jing manual, a 17th century forgery attributed to Bodhidharma. Most of this is already covered in Bodhidharma#Bodhidharma at Shaolin. The material from it and the martial arts section should be merged. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 20:21, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Great! I'll take a look at it. Thanks. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 07:54, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

about bodhidharma and 7aum arivu

why shouldnt i add the fact that the Tamil film 7aum Arivu is loosely based on bodhidharma? i've heard numerous people saying the film was false about him, any proof?

Please see WP:BURDEN. - SudoGhost 22:09, 26 November 2011 (UTC)


So, who died of starvation? Emperor Wu or general Hou Jing? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 09:03, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

The Cambridge History of China (Vol. I) states that Hou Jing conquered the capital and starved the 85 year old Emperor Wu to death (see here). --Ghostexorcist (talk) 22:04, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! But read this one; who copied who? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 22:44, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
I was just going off of your question. The link to Bodhidharma is no doubt a later oral legend attached to Wu's historical starvation. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 23:02, 26 November 2011 (UTC)


I have so many sources from stating the bodhidharman was born in kodungallur. But i am unable to add the links here as shows this links are in blocked list Tulu war (talk) 04:57, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Sourcing Kodungallur

Hi Tulu war. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion on Bodhidharma's origins, and for using the Discussion Page to re-intruding Kodungallur as the birthplace of Bodhidharma. It's a pity you don't give the links; could you provide them here? That would make it possible for others to read those sources. I searched Google.books for Bodhidharma Kodungallur", Bodhidharman Kodungallur", Bodhidharma Muziris" and Bodhidharman Muziris", but couldn't find any source mentioning this connection. A general Google search did give hits, as these:

None of these webdocuments gives references to historical documents or historical research. As a matter of fact, the most elaborate exposition, by Maddi, is clearly a speculation about Bodhidharma being from Kodungallur:

"The Bodhidharma anthology by Broughton starts with the para that he was the 3rd son of a prominent South Indian King from the Western region. With that one could assume that he originated from Kodungallur (Muziris) and probably not Kanchipuram. Could he have been a Perumal who became a Buddhist and went on a pilgrimage? Much of the problem may have been due to Bodhidharma being confused with Boshisena since it appears that Bodhisena was a Brahmin from Kanchipuarm. The confusion over Tamil was due to the Pallava fact and of course the reason for Bodhidharma sailing out of Muziris or Quilon is because Buddhism was widespread in Kerala at that time (except for the Kanchipuram pocket)."Maddi (2008)

To repeat the arguments being used before: there are three principal sources for the biography of Bodhidharma. These sources are contradicting. They specifically mention Bodhidharma to be "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). The specific birthplace of Bodhidharma is unknown. Any specific inference about Bodhidharma's birthplace is not supported by these sources. Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 08:47, 2 December 2011 (UTC)


I have searched it with kerala,cragnore, muzris etc. I have shown interest in this subject because I have seen a lot of similarities between Budhist countries and kerala. In martial arts(kalaripayattu), Building architecture, smilarities between kerala's temple rituals and that of budhist temple, atrology, food habits etc. If you see the building architecture in kerala, completely different from other states in India including Tamil Nadu(kancheepuram) and its so close to budist countries. Kancheepuram also has rich culture and its temples' are architectural marvel. But i could not find her(Kancheepuram)influences in these budist countries like China, Japan etc.I know these are facts thats create interest in scolars and historians and nothing do with wikipedia. Can You also try searching with "kodungallur bodhidharma"? Its got reference says he is from kodungallur. Tulu war (talk) 12:02, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

It makes sense that there are similarities, since buddhism dìd come from India. But that doesn't give us exact information about the origins of Bodhidharma. I'll do your search later (my family is waiting again). By the way, speaking of similarities: in Mali there is a musical tradition that very much sounds like American blues music - or vice versa - which also makes sense, since Mali was a center of slave trade. The musical traditions came to America this way. It's amazing to hear the resemblances. Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 13:13, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I got one hit on "kodungallur bodhidharma":India today: Volume 16,Nummers 13-24, "Kumar, like Bodhidharma, is from Kodungalloor in Kerala. Moreover, he was also planning to make a film in this region." I'm afraid that Kodungalaar is an inference from the original qoute "the third son of a Brahman king of South India" - which Dumoulin sees as a later addition... Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 06:58, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 December 2011

Please remove the following text from the article: "Damo had three students razin,nasir prashna.of all the most powerful is nasir as he can hipnotize with his kanadi.the kung fu specialist is razin he can fight better than 7am arivu suriya,mankatha ajith and velayudham vijay dog.the medical specialist is prasana as he once found a cure for AIDS and dun want to tell anyone the cure bloody cbakau..."

because, it looks like someone having an editing preference on this page has vandalized this page. The text is referring to scenes from a recent tamil movie "Yezham Arivu".

Santhosh.nttf (talk) 10:49, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Good reading! Thank you very much! Joshua Jonathan (talk) 11:12, 7 December 2011 (UTC)


Please provide the proof or source that he is a Tamil, south india doesnt only mean that it is tamilnadu if kan-zhi is kanchipuram, calicut is called kuli in chinese. and for that reason it can also be kochi which has more access to the arabean sea and indian ocean.and muzaris in kodungallur used to be the largest port in south asia. it has confirmed the chinese arrival in kochi. kerala state is the land of oldest martial arts kalari payat, and it is the land of medicine called ayurveda. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sawjansee (talkcontribs) 10:31, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

The article does not say that he is "a Tamil". Concerning what you are removing, each statement is backed by a source. - SudoGhost 10:43, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Now we're talking! That's good. Welcome, Sawjansee. You mention Muzaris as an alternative possibility for Bodhidharma's birthplace. Actually, Muzaris has also been mentioned before, and I did soem Google-reseach on that one too. Kochi is new for me; I'll Google that one too, to see if I can find sources for it. I've written a draft on Bodhidharma's birthplace; it seems to be time to submit it.
As has been stated before, the principal sources give only very limited information on Bodhidharma's birthplace. All specifications are inferences, not historically documented 'proof'. Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 12:20, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Sourcing Kochi

I found one web-pages which mentions Kochi:

But then Kanchi is not Westerly in India. Is it perhaps Kochi? Calicut was ‘Kuli’ to the Chinese. Cochin was Ko-Chih. Nevertheless, almost all indicators point towards Kanchipuram rather than Kodungaloor or Muziris. From many accounts Bodhidharma was a studious child who studied under his Guru Pragnattara. Hence it is very unlikely that Bodhidharma had serious martial arts training in Kanchipuram to have transferred it to the pupils in Shaolin, since they already had a fair exposure to martial arts for many decades. It could of course be that he taught them valuable breathing exercises, silambam stick fighting and forms of

Omega (academic journals) gave no results. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 05:49, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Is Bodhidharma a Brahmin ?

My Wishes to everyone who is contributing and maintaining this great Page. Please don’t take this request as yet another recent activity on the page related to Tamil and other things. That’s not my intention. My intention is only to point out the contradictions in this article and correct the factual mistakes

The Wikipedia article says as follows “ but some accounts state that he was from a Brahmin family in southern India and possibly of royal lineage.[3].”

This implies that as if Bodhidharma is from a Brahmin Family. Brahmin is a caste in India. So, it implies that he belongs to the Brahmin caste

Let’s see what the citation says “Bodhidharma is said to have come from a Brahman family in southern India and may even have been of royal blood”

Please note, it says “Brahman” and not “Brahmin”

If you look at the wordings used by the citation “said to have come”, “may even have been” are all speculation. But let me leave the speculation aside and look at what they are referring it is “Brahman family”.

Brahman means many things. Holy, pure, Supreme etc., If you look at this wiki article about Brahman ( ) you can understand this.

In this case I believe the citation refers to it as “holy family”. I believe this because the citation goes on to say “royal blood”. Royal blood means Kshatriya which belongs to a different caste in the Indian caste system which I have explained below by citing a Wiki Article. (So, it’s not just my personal belief, but based on strong material evidence based on the Indian Varna caste system and my life with these complicated caste system in India)

So, I don’t think it is correct to take the word Brahman and translate it as Brahmin. Since the word Brahman itself can refer many things, how can we definitely conclude and change the citation in the wiki article?

Let’s look at one more contradiction in the Bodhidharma article. It says Bodhidharma belongs to Kshatriya warrior caste - “Bodhidharma's royal pedigree implies that he was of the Kshatriya warrior caste”

How come he can belong to Brahmin caste as well as Kshatriya warrior caste ?

Anyone who understands the caste system in India can understand that there are four different caste layers. Look at this article -

the Brahmins: scholars, teachers, priests and sages.[citation needed] the Kshatriya: kings, soldiers, and rulers.[citation needed] the Vaishyas: merchants, cattle herders and agriculturists [3] the Shudras: labourers, craftsmen and artisans.[citation neede

So, if go by the Wikipedia article that Bodhidharma was a Brahmin, then he can’t be a Prince (Kshatriya) and if we go by the argument that he belongs to the Kshatriya warrior caste, then he can’t be a Brahmin

Which one is correct?

So, I strongly believe that the Citation does not refer him as a Brahmin. Even in Buddhism Brahman or Brahma can have different meaning -

Since Brahman can give different meanings and not just Brahmin, my suggestion is to remove the word “Brahmin family” as it gives a wrong meaning. We can correct the wiki article as below

“but some accounts state that he was from southern India and possibly of royal lineage.[3]”

This will leave out the confusing terminology and present Bodhidharma was from South India. That will not confuse the readers. This is my opinion.

I leave it to the Editors to decide which the right thing to do — Preceding unsigned comment added by Thamizhsasi (talkcontribs) 04:14, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi User,

I agree. I dint notice that difference. But the reference material specifically says Brahman and so it is not wise to leave it out. Instead I have made it Brahman where Brahmin was used. Hope this will do. don thomas (talk) 12:49, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for the correction. However it is still incorrect and might be confusing for readers especially those outside India who does not understand the caste system of India. So it is better to leave out the complete sentence which refers to both brahmin and Kshatriya warrior caste as these are just speculation and not conclusive evidence about Bodhidharma. If you understand the Indian caste System these references are really offensive to other sections of the society who belong to different caste.

His preachings and philosophies are more important than his caste. So, i kindly request for removing his references to the caste (talk) 13:42, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Is Bodhidharma a Brahmin or Brahman ?

I moved this section here because there was already a discussion on it

Following mentioned lines in the current version is fundamentally contradicting. "but some accounts state that he was from a Brahmin family in southern India and possibly of royal lineage.[3]. However Broughton (1999:2) notes that Bodhidharma's royal pedigree implies that he was of the Kshatriya warrior caste" Bodhidharma [458931774]

How a Brahmin became a worrier? The person who wrote above lines could have zero understanding about the fundamental civilization structure in the South India. Please review those lines and correct it to the original statement.

Shayanthan Kanaganayagham (talk) 07:21, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

The quote about him being "from a Brahman family in southern India and possibly of royal lineage" is simply a summery of the available Chinese sources. It is not saying he was both a Brahmin and a Kshatriya. If you refer to the Chinese sources presented on the page, Tanlin (6th century) states that "He was the third son of a great Indian king." Daoxuan (7th century) states that he was of "South Indian Brahman stock." Therefore, the author made no mistake. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 16:44, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
My concern is caste is a sensitive issue and without proper proof if the article speculates it will lead to some confusion. If you understand the caste system in India, we can understand the sensitives of this issue. So, it's important that wikipedia has proper information as many people refer it as a major source of information. In this case the article totally misleads the readers. So, i still strongly feel the contradiction should be removed. It is appropriate to remove the references to both the Brahmin caste, Kshtriya caste and also the Brahman family reference. Brahman family can mislead the readers as it can mean many things.
Already i have provided enough evidence and argument for this case. I hope this will be considered and the wordings are rewritten based without contradiction
Thamizhsasi (talk) 17:57, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
WP:NPOV demands that all sides of an issue be covered. If an ancient source mentions that he might have been of a Brahmin family, it must be included in the article. Likewise, if a different ancient source mentions that he might have been of a Kshtriya rank, it too must be included. This how an article become comprehensive. Confusion is a not a valid point for removing cited material. Besides, Confusion can be avoided by stressing the mysterious nature of Bodhidharma's past (i.e. we really don't know). As I've pointed out before, some historians don't even think he was a historical person. This information needs to be added at some point as well. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 18:24, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Following is the current version of this document. "some accounts state that he was from a Brahmin family in southern India and possibly of royal lineage.[1] [2]. However Broughton (1999:2) notes that Bodhidharma's royal pedigree implies that he was of the Kshatriya warrior caste as royals cannot be Brahmins as per the Indian caste system."

As per the Tanlin (6th century) statement in "He was the third son of a great Indian king.", and from some other evidence he was from south India. Lets us have an argument, even though there are enough citations as evidences to make the note that he was a Kshatriya warrior, why should the editor trying to put the note as some accounts state that he was from a Brahmin family in southern India in the first place and put the actual facts in the second. This will create an unnecessary confusion among the readers that they will unnecessary started to think that Bodhidharma was a Brahmin. “Brahmin family” as it gives a wrong meaning. Why the editor trying to create this unwanted ambiguous around Bodhidharma?

Further, current version doesn't even mention that he from a Pallava Dynasty.

(Shayanthan Kanaganayagham (talk) 16:17, 6 November 2011 (UTC))

Please see my comment above your last post. Also, you seem to know the "actual facts" about Bodhidharma's origins in the south as apart of the Kshatriya class. Beyond the contradictory Primary Chinese sources and modern secondary sources based on those Chinese documents, can you provide any ancient Indian sources or archaeological evidence to back your views? I'm not trying to be rude here, I'm just making sure the page remains balanced per WP:NPOV. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 17:40, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Dear moderators : as many have pointed out the sentence "brahmin family or royal lineage" is self contradictory. brahmin and kshyatrias are totally different caste. Also brahmin is Hindu by religion and cannot be a buddhist. At the meantime during that period pallava kings converted to buddhism and were ruling tamilnadu. Hope this clarifies.

Also please include bodhidharman name in tamil. Its a matter of pride for tamils :) this in know affects any language person reading the page. Hope you would consider the same. - (talk)

Now again the article is saying "but some accounts state that he was from a Brahmin family in southern India and possibly of royal lineage". I don't see any discussion that happened in the talk page before this is changed to Brahmin family again from Brahman family which is given in the citation ? If this is how editing is done here, then all the best :)

Thamizhsasi (talk) 03:44, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

If Broughton indeed says "Bodhidharma's royal pedigree implies that he was of the Kshatriya warrior caste as royals cannot be Brahmins as per the Indian caste system", then this makes more sense than the quote that is now in the article. I've ordered the book, I'll check it. Friendly regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 09:32, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
I haven't received the Broughton-book yet, but I hope that the formulation I put in is, on the one hand, in accordance to the Indian nuances of the caste system, and, on the other hand, meets the requirements of a balanced, NPOV, and referenced article. I'll check Broughton anyway, when I receive the book. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 13:53, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Bodhidharman can't be a brahmin because brahmin can't be kings and they are never been. Brahmins are from central asia. Bodhidharman was from a royal family i.e. from a King family. I think that the word brahmin must be removed from the page. Brahmins are always advisers of kings. They never lead a country nor ruled a country. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Madi Carlo da Silva (talkcontribs) 13:39, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

My complimets, Madi Carlo da Silva. I took Dumoulin from the shelves, thinking "Here we go again" - but Dumoulin writes Brahman, not Brahmin. Good lesson: never think you know it all. Thanks! Joshua Jonathan (talk) 16:59, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
But, I checked page 89 too, and Domulin quotes Tán-lin as "Brahmin". So, the confusion will stay... Joshua Jonathan (talk) 17:01, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm reading too fast, reading Brahman king as Brahmin. Sorry... (Somebody else care to check out again?
But, Madi Carlo da Silva, is it right that "brahman" also can mean "noble"? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 17:58, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Brahman is a ethical character in Hinduism who is considered to be created this world. Brahmin is one of the caste who perform poojas.....they are similar to priests.....In Tamil, we used to call them as iyer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Madi Carlo da Silva (talkcontribs) 12:51, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Pallava prince, a brahmin, or a Tamil

Could we please get over with this endless discussion about Bodhidharma being either a Pallava prince, a brahmin, or a Tamil? It seems that there is no way to get totally clear which source is "true", so the discussion is pointless. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 16:06, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

That's what I have been trying to reiterate. Very few people (you, me, and SudoGhost) are sticking to the NPOV policy. Thanks for insisting on keeping the page balanced. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 00:48, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Bodhidharman is a tamil men from a Pallava royal lineage who born in Kanchipuram...... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Madi Carlo da Silva (talkcontribs) 12:59, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Bodhidharma's birthplace

I have created a separate page on Bodhidharma's birthplace, to provide lenghty quotations from the various references which ware being mentioned regarding Bodhidharma's birthplace. I sincerely hope that this was a wise thing to, though it could also provoke further heathed discussion. again, let's not forget: why did Bodhidharma come from the west? Friendely regards, Joshua Jonathan (talk) 09:31, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

The page on Bodhidharma's birthplace has been move d to a subpage of the Bodhidharma-article: Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources. See Talk:Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources for an explanation why. Anyway, this gives a link to provide all the sources when necessary. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 18:34, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Bodhidharma is an INDIAN MONK

please change Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk to Bodhidharma was an Indian monk because he was born and raised in India. One of his talent is martial arts which he taught and spread it in Da Mo. Sources:

hope you will concern my requestHastha96 (talk) 04:05, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Given that scholars don't agree on his place of birth (as can be seen via this talk page), I'm not sure this change is necessary. Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk, not all scholars agree he was an Indian monk. - SudoGhost 06:12, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

"Buddhist" is more neutral than "Indian", indeed because of all the discussion about his birthplace. It's also more to the point, to my opinion; the issue at stake in Bodhidharma's coming to China is Buddhism, not India. PS: thanks for the weblink. I'll check it and add to Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 13:58, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Wendell E. Wilson (2010), Bodhidharma Wendell E. Wilson has already been mentioned as a websource mentioning Kanchipuram.
  •, The Story of Bodhidharma Nice. We could mention "South India" in general at the birthplace-page, but south India is already being mentioned in T'an-lín's preface to the Two Entrances and Four Acts (6th century CE), Dàoxuān's (Tao-hsuan) Further Biographies of Eminent Monks (7th century CE), and modern interpretations mentioning either Kanchipuram, Muziris and Koch. So it seems to me that this would be a repetition of arguments. Also, this specific website does not mention it's sources, so also in this regard it does not have additional value. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 14:16, 14 January 2012 (UTC)


I've update Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources for Nagarjunakonda. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 09:26, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Bodhidharma birthplace piecing together the information

The extensive wiki talk to identify Bodhidharma's birth place prodded me to try and connect the pieces of information into a logical puzzle that results in hopefully a better understanding.

One focus and train of thought is to establish Kanchi which finds a reference as one of the possible birth places for Bodhidharma and it's significance during the period between 4th and 9th century in promoting Buddhism and the mastery of spiritual (not to be confused with religious) practices.

We start by asking a few questions that demonstrate the relevance of picking Kanchi as a place to investigate:

1. Do we know if Bodhidharma was a buddhist monk? The various sources quoted in Wiki article establishes this as a fact. The answer is YES.

2. Are there any reasons to believe Bodhidharma can be from the region known to be South India? We know the words Bodhi and Dharma both exist in Sanskrit with specific meanings given to them. Sanskrit is an ancient language that has its origin in the Indus valley and its position in the cultures of Greater India is akin to that of Latin and Greek in Europe. This gives us a reasonable assurance that the region of this ancient could be what we now call as India - if his name is historically recorded correctly. Besides, if there is one region in this world that has done immense study of spiritualism (not to be confused with religious paths) that was the essence of Buddha's teachings for centuries, it is India. Meditation is an integral part of this process. We have references that Bodhidharma is a Meditator.

Now to establish the significance of Kanchi as possibility, here are new questions we ask,

3. Is Kanchi the center of buddhist tradition during any part of the time frame between 3rd and 9th century? When you look at what kind of place Kanchi was and the role it played during the period between 4th and 9th century, one comes across references by Xuanzang, the great Chinese traveler, who visited the city in the 7th century and said that this city was 6 miles in circumference and that its people were famous for bravery and piety as well as for their love of justice and veneration for learning. He further recorded that Buddha had visited the place. That Kanchi was a place of Great Buddhist scholars is seen from such scholars as Dignaga, Buddhaghosa, and Dhammapala lived here.

4. Did Pallavas rule Kanchi during this time frame? Yes. Kanchi was under Pallava rule.

5. Where Pallavas the dominant force at this time in S.India? Wiki article quotes Pallavas ruled with Kanchi as their captial were a great maritime power through their chief port Mahabalipuram. They had contacts with far-off China, Siam, Fiji. But it is known history that Pallavas colonized Sumatra, the modern day Indonesia.

6. The final piece of the puzzle is the question, was there evidence of martial arts being practiced in Kanchipuram, the region now known as Tamil Nadu Kutthu varisai (Tamil: குத்துவரிசை) is the unarmed component of silambam (Tamil: சிலம்பாட்டம்) and Varma Kalai (Tamil: வர்மக்கலை) , a Dravidian martial art from Tamil Nadu in south India but also practiced by the Tamil people of Malaysia and northeast Sri Lanka. The term kuthu varisai means empty hand combat in Tamil and was first documented in Sangam literature of the 2nd-1st centuries BC. It is also called kai silambam which means hand silambam. Here is the Wiki article that on Kuttu Varisai.

Rkumar-connected (talk) 05:56, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

I suggest you read Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources, which investigates a series of supposed sources for a range of suggested birthplaces. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 07:47, 4 July 2012 (UTC)


In my browser, the contents are suddenly in italics. Is that caused by my browser, or went something wrong with the last edit? Anybody a clue? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 06:49, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Problem solved. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 06:51, 6 July 2012 (UTC)


Please refrain from citing his caste without formal references. There are no official references available (and no.. independent self-proclaimed experts are not proper references). People having watched the 2011 movie 7am arivu, stop your incessant claims for the person being from your region - tamilnadu or kerala, and also the claims for him having belonged to your particular caste. This is backward behavior, admins please take notice of these edits being made. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Intwizs (talkcontribs) 05:04, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

In case of dispute, secondary and tertiary sources are to be relied on. Though "brahman" may be an odd translation in an Indian context, it is the translation being offered by several translators. and please note, these are translations from Chinese texts, not Indian. Who knows what misunderstandings the Chinese had of the Indian caste-system? Joshua Jonathan (talk) 05:30, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Bodhidharma's Birthplace (oct. 2012)

Thread copied from User talk:Joshua Jonathan#Bodhidharma's Birthplace:

Excuse me.I have sound knowledge in that field related to bodhidharma.Please recheck your work.IT has be confirmed by many scholars that bodhidharma is and always been a south indian prince..He is the 3 son of King Janaka of India.The period between the time bodhidharma was on this earth is the same point of time of many kriya yoga masters.He was thought by one of the 18 siddhas of south india. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AKveeru (talkcontribs) 07:27, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Could you provide sources for "sound knowledge" and "many scholars"? This subject has been discussed before. See above, and see Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources. The removal or change of quotes on Bodhidharma's birthplace from reputable sources is not acceptable. Additional opinions and sources are welcome, but it will be assessed if they are WP:RELIABLE. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 07:37, 7 October 2012 (UTC)


Compliments to User: he did add a new source to the birthplace-discussion which is really an addition. Now, let's see how long it takes for this one to be deleted... Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 21:38, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Indian Zen Buddhists and Indian Expatriats

"Indian Expatriats" is irrelevant to this article; and "Indian Zen Buddhists" is a nonsense category and should be deleted. "Indian Buddhist missionaries" is relevant, though. Copperchro may be right that "Indian" is an anachronism, but it does not only refer to the modern state India, but also to the subcontinent. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 18:41, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Origin-related Categories

It seems that two of my edits were reverted adding the Category:Tamil People to the article.It is well perceived that his origins are not recorded clearly but the two of the widespread versions are Kancheepuram the capital of the Tamil Pallava Empire around that time, this version popular in India and China whereas the other is Persia according to some Japanese versions.Citations for both are present in the article itself and I assume that there is no need for me to elaborate further.

Now what is sinister here is that while the Category:Tamil People is not allowed for its uncertainty there there is another category Category:Persian philosophers in the same page which no-one has taken note of. Does that mean the version that links him to Persia is accepted and that to Kancheepuram not when both are of the same reliability?

Further, there are other categories such as Indian Zen Buddhists, Indian Buddhist missionaries, Indian expatriates in China which have no meaning if he did not originate from present day Tamil Nadu.

I hereby request consensus on adding the Category:Tamil People here or propose the removal of the others mentioned above as each equally violates the norms if you consider only the former to do so.--CuCl2 14:11, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

You are assuming that if Bodhidharma was Indian he was necessarily specifically Tamil. That isn't a safe assumption. Helpsome (talk) 14:19, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Refer to the article, the second para says he may have been a Tamil Pallava prince. That makes him necessarily Tamil and not Indian. India came into existence only during and following the colonial period there.Otherwise there were several independent kingdoms ruling the territories that make up the India you see today. And during the time he belonged to its quite safe to assume he was more Tamil than Indian(since no India existed back in the 6th century).--CuCl2 14:34, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
"May have been" isn't sufficient reason to put a category there saying that the individual is from there, because that hasn't been established, it's one of several theorized locations. - SudoGhost 14:52, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please refer to the article and see that of the many options only one is Tamil Nadu. Two options are from the state of Kerala, one is Nagarjunakonda and one is Sri Lanka. And those are just the Indian possibilities. Bodhidharma/Birthplace sources. Helpsome (talk) 15:05, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── User SudoGhost, The on what grounds does he belong to the category Persian philosophers, you hve been evading this question right from the start. By your argument if he was a Persian Scholar or even if there is a theory to contend he was one makes it invalid to have categories such as Indian expatriates or Indian Zen Buddhists etc.He only 'could have' been from India.

Within the article and outside it, in a reliable source^ it is mentioned that:

Scholar Dumoulin comments on the three principal sources. The Persian heritage is doubtful, according to Dumoulin:

"In the description of the Lo-yang temple, bodhidharma is called a Persian. Given the ambiguity of geographical references in writings of this period, such a statement should not be taken too seriously". --CuCl2 01:44, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

User Helpsome, that is very funny. Just because you have two Kerala options so you can invalidate the stronger theories and the more popular beliefs surrounding his Tamil origin? India did not exist in 6th Century.Only different kingdoms did. Even then, Kerala in the 6th century constituted the Chera Kingdom which was Tamil-speaking in those times.

Check both the sources below:



These Chinese sources lend themselves to make inferences about Bodhidharma's origins. "The third son of a Brahman king" has been speculated to mean "the third son of a Pallavine king".[11] Based on a specific pronunciation of the Chinese characters 香至 as Kang-zhi, "meaning fragrance extreme",[11] Tsutomu Kambe identifies 香至 to be Kanchipuram, an old capital town in the state Tamil-Nadu. According to Tstuomu Kambe:

"Kanchi means 'a radiant jewel' or 'a luxury belt with jewels', and puram means a town or a state in the sense of earlier times. Thus, it is understood that the '香至-Kingdom' corresponds to the old capital 'Kanchipuram'."

Fact is certifying he was a Pallava prince is a different thing. I' am not doing that.The point is how valid are the other categories when each of them can be disputed. Can somebody of you both prove to me he was certainly Persian for sure. In that case we eliminate the categories calling him Indian. If he is not Persian, and you call him Indian, we will contend again on a different forum whether he was Tamil or Malayali.--CuCl2 01:44, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Contrary to your statement here over at Tamil Buddhism you were trying to certify that he was a Pallava prince with nothing more than "Popular Indian and Chinese Traditions". [3] The truth is that we have no idea where Bodhidharma came from or honestly how much if any of his popular biography is even true. Constantly battling in numerous articles because you really want a dead guy to have been Tamil seems kind of silly to me. Helpsome (talk) 02:24, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Your comment is unwarranted and evasive to this discussion here. Only Japanese sources believe he is Persian. Rest pertain that he was a Pallava prince. Read through the links and provide something argumentative, friend. Please refer to who Kambe is first. If you really had no idea about his origins, then you must remove him from the category of a Persian philospoher and equivalently Indian Buddhist categories. Here we are disputing the relevance of other sources. In that article your trying to vandalize everything there.--CuCl2 03:06, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Few days off, and missing all the fun...
  • I've removed the category for "Persian philosophers": no Tamil, no Persia. That's only fair, isn't it?
  • As for the Indian categories, that's point-making WP:POINTy. I'll hav e a look at them, though.
  • Thanks for the sources; they have already been mentioned, and are not exactly WP:RS
  • As for discussing edits and reverts, see WP:BRD. It's up to Coppercholride to convince us why the Tamil-category should be included.
Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 18:28, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Convince 'us' is not fair.It cannot be one vs many. All I did was want to add the Tamil People Category since the other categories existed and then everyone were making such a fuss only about this.--CuCl2 07:09, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
The problem is that "Bodhidharma" is repeatedly being "hijacked" by what seem to be Tamil nationalists. Though I have to say, investigating deeper into Ramana Maharshi's background, I can understand this Tamil "nationalism": it's an ancient culture, which seems to be overshadowed by northern c.q "vedic" culture, while it has an immense richness of its own. Greetings, 07:44, 2 April 2013 (UTC)~