28 Aug 2017/Monday

Why World and specially China should be indebted to India for its large heartedness?

India and China are two of the oldest civilizations having peaceful coexistence for more than two millenniums. Perhaps they didn’t have many wars due to the Himalayas. Though China had been benefited from India culturally, but India hasn’t got much contribution from Chinese side. It is not that Chinese philosophers travelled to (especially during Kushan empire), but they failed to leave any significant imprint behind. However, from the Indian side philosophers travelled and left everlasting imprint in Chinese society.

Bodhidharma, born in Kanchipuram, near Madras, India, the third son of a local king and therefore a member of the caste of warriors and rulers. At the age of seven he purportedly began making observations of precocious wisdom. His teacher, Prajnatara, changed the boy’s name from Bodhitara to Bodhidharma. Following his father’s death, Bodhidharma served Prajnatara for many years spreading Buddhism. Upon Prajnatara’s death Bodhidharma left his monastery in India to follow his master’s last wish that he go to China and spread the teaching. Exact date of his arrival or where he arrived in China is still not clear, but the effects of his teachings left profound impact on the Chinese society.

It is said that he arrived in the land named Shao where he prolonged his spiritual activities. Shao had the temple in its premises hence was known as shaoline temple.. Bodhidharma (is also known as Taishi Daruma in Japan) eventually became revered as the founder of Zen Buddhism and is still widely and beneficially accepted as the “Father of the Asian Martial Arts”. Bodhidharma initiated training programs at the Shaolin temple which related to martial arts. Bodhidharma taught his brand of dhyana meditation to monks at the temple, but found that they did not possess the necessary stamina. They were so weak that they tended to fall asleep during meditation lessons. In order to strengthen their “flaccid and emaciated bodies” he instituted calisthenics, breathing exercises and Indian fighting exercises of Kalaripyattu.

His emphasis was said to be the cultivation of intrinsic bioenergy (called ki in karate) through breath control. Bodhidharma is supposed to have been well versed in these techniques as a result of the training given all members of the Indian warrior caste in their youth. Kalaripyattu underwent a period of decline when the Nair warriors lost to the British after the introduction of firearms during the British colonial rule in the 19th century. The British eventually banned kalaripayattu and the Nair custom of holding swords so as to prevent rebellion and anti-colonial sentiments (More like what happened to samurais in Japan after WW2). During this time, many Indian martial arts had to be practiced in secret and were often confined to rural areas.

Today Karate and Kung-fu are popular around the world as martial arts however no one knows the mother of all these modern Asian martial arts which originated from vedic periods i.e. Kalaripyattu. 

Today, we see a huge competition of becoming super power and huge political and territorial disputes. The Chinese, were always proud of their civilization, looked upon the outside world with contempt. In the ancient times they called the tribes living to their North “Hun slaves,” and the tribes living to the North-West “barbarians,” while the Japanese were denominated by them “Dwarf Pirates.” But their attitude towards India was different. India was known to them by a number of names, not one of which was contemptuous. India was called Hsin Tu, the Kingdom of the Hindus, or Ti Yu, the Western Land, to Buddhists she was Fu Kuo, the Land of the Buddhas.

Many historians also speak of an earlier “ready-made culture” imported into China. They are right, it was the Vedic Hindu culture from India with its Sanskrit language and sacred scripts. The contemporary astronomical expertise of the Chinese, as evidenced by their records of eclipses; the philosophy of the Chinese, their statecraft, all point to a Vedic origin. That is why from the earliest times we find Chinese travellers visiting India very often to renew their educational and spiritual links. The introduction of Buddhism to China was one of the most important events in Chinese history.

It would not be wrong to say Chinese civility is a derivative of Indian civilisation. So being two great civilisation on both banks of great mighty Himalayas, where, on the north resides the pupil who is a ever seeker of knowledge and on the south resides the Guru an ever giver, should not have any disputes. Communists world over had a habit of downplaying history and traditions. Present disregard to historic cooperation between the two great nations is this outlook of Communist philosophy which feels endangered in giving importance to any historical facts or records as this diminishes Communist history.

Today China is a remarkable country which has progressed despite being under communist government. Credits may be given to the Communist party of China (CPC) which came into existence since 01 July 1921 in Shanghai. It soon took over China after 28 years of struggle and became the ruling party of mainland China.  Chinese today are manufacturing hub of various MNCs in various other fields.

It is high time that the Pupil throws his arrogance and goes to his Guru for guidance and resolves his differences for ensuring peaceful coexistence in the future. It is of practice that Guru will always be upcoming and will be ever magnanimous embracing his old pupil with a smile.

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