Religion Past and Present

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(134 words)

[German Version]

(Chin. Putidamo, Jap. Bodaidaruma) is a semi-legendary figure of East Asian Buddhism. This South Indian prince is reputed to have journeyed to northern China c. 500 ce, where he spent nine years in the monastery of Shaolin meditating before a wall. This and similar stories provide the first traces within the Buddhist tradition of the Zen school, which is often described as eccentric, and are of great religious and heuristic importance. Bodhidharma also plays a significant role in the popular culture of China, Korea, and above all Japa…

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Astley, Ian, “Bodhidharma”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 16 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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