Bodhi Dharma was a Tamil prince born in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu. He travelled to China to spread Buddhism. He is worshipped in China
Enlightenment, Meditation, Yoga etc are related to inner contemplation which have been explored by saints, wise men, gurus, god men through their 7’th sense. These Indian men lived in greater India from Afghanistan to Tamil Nadu from ancient times. Bodhi Dharma was one of them.
We all have five physical senses. The rational thinking of the human being is the sixth sense. Our brain collects information using five senses through seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching and arrives at a analytical conclusion by Sixth sense. The seventh sense is finding the truth by transcending the sixth sense. That is the next stage. The ways of attaining seventh sense are practiced by enlightened individuals.
Why anyone should attain seventh sense?
Those who search for realisation of the true meaning of life end up in seventh sense. Then why should one understand true meaning?
Because that gives eternal joy and ends the wretchedness of birth.
Such questions and answers can be reasonably settled only by acquiring the seventh sense. Bodhi Dharma was one such person. What is special about him? Has he not just followed Buddha? In what way he differed from Buddha?
Individuals find the new ideals. The next step is the fusion of ideals. What Bodhi Dharma attempted was combining the age old Tamil wisdom in yoga practices with Buddhism found by Gauthama Buddha to discover Zen Buddhism not before meeting various cultures and philosophies in and around India.
Thiruvalluvar ( around 50 BC) , Patanjali ( time unknown) are some of the people from Tamil nadu who found their own ways to attain the seventh sense.
Thiruvalluvar has given some ethics and literature about seventh sense although his practical methods are not recorded. Chapter 36 of Thirukkural is about 7th sense. Thiruvalluvar should have decided that seventh sense can be achieved by remaining in a family life whereas others consider family life as a hindrance to get in to seventh sense and therefore they preach a bachelor or segregated life.
Siddha of Tamil tradition is for meditation and Yoga by living a life of recluse. They also practiced Medicine which is followed in Tamil Nadu as Siddha medical system. The Siddhars give great importance for maintenance of body and food in contrast to some other school of thoughts which ask us to hate this body as a cause for all ills. No wonder Bodhi Dharma has inherited Tamil wisdom of meditation, medicine and physical arts together in total which is rare to find in any other personality in this world since such a combination is explored in Tamil nadu from unknown times.
Patahjali is one of the Tamil Siddhar. From the work of Thirumandiram by Thirumular, another Sidhar, we come to know that Patanjali learnt Yoga from Nandi deva. Patanjali was born near Coimbatore and his Samadhi is in Tiruppatur near Trichy.
The Patanjali Yoga is a compilation of Yoga methods. However it has been in practice by many Siddhars in Tamil Nadu for many centuries. Bodhi Dharma born in Tamil Nadu who followed Buddhism should have been exposed to Yoga practices as practiced in this area.
The excellent understanding and perfection of five senses through proper food and medicine and conditioning of the body by martial arts and practice of yoga over and above are the foundations on which one can find the ways to understand the life personally and individually instead of keep on reading the scriptures. Only under such environment the seeds of Zen Buddhism could have been developed.
Zen was initiated by Buddha but evolved by Bodhi Dharma when he got the right environment and experience.
In other words Bodhi Dharma attained his seventh sense by learning the theories of Buddhism and combining them with Yoga, Medicine and Physical arts as practiced by Sidhars in Tamil nadu.
Bodhi Dharma was both a Buddha and Siddha.