You are Bodhidharma, a brahman and the son of a southern Indian King in the 5th century BCE. You are the third child in the royal family and third in line for the throne. Your teacher, Prajnatara is the 27th patriarch in the lineage of Buddha. In your studies you are taught Mahayana Buddhism. After reaching Nirvana (enlightenment) and becoming the 28th patriarch it is revealed to you that your Dharma (Duty) is to spread the Buddhist religion to different nations. You set out on a journey, leaving your home and family behind, to do your Dharma by spreading Buddhism.
You choose to...
[[Travel west->The Middle East]]
[[Travel north->Arrival at China]]Your Journey leads you to the Middle East where the predominant religion is Islam. As you try to spread Buddhism you are persecuted, ridiculed and threatened but you carry on in hopes the people would hear your enlightened teachings. After only a few days in the Middle East you were arrested and taken in by soldiers. In prison you attempt to teach and spread Buddhism though words are heard by deaf ears. Days pass, then weeks. slowly those weeks become months then years and decades. You die in the prisonYou take a boat and travel by sea. Your voyage is long and hard. It takes you three years to reach the destination in the north. You and your boat wash up in the south part of China in Hyang-Zhou. Upon your arrival you are greeted by the local governor, Xiao-ang. He informs you that Emperor Wu, the Emperor of the Liang dynasty, was informed of your arrival. He then reads you an invitation from the Emperor. The Invitation from the Emperor said that he would be honored if you could join him at his palace, in the capital Nan-Jing.
After receiving the invitation you...
[[You decline the invitation believing that there is nothing to gain->Declining Invitation]]
[[You accept invitation wanting to enhance the teachings of Budhism in China->Dining in the Court]]The Emperor is furious when you decline the invitation. In a rage he sends soldiers to find and execute you. After a few days into your journey in China, you hear of this news. deciding that it was best for you to leave and spread Buddhism elsewhere, you travel west.
[[Continue...->The Middle East]]You reach the Capital in mid-October. You are greeted by Emperor Wu, who is a fervent patron of Buddhism. You are given a tour of the palace by the Emperor himself. As the sun wanes, it gets late. The Emperor graciously offers you supper in the court. He leads you to dining room so that you may partake in the feast. Conversation is made, and music is played for entertainment. During conversation, Emperor Wu asks you what sutras you have brought from the south. You answer...
[[None->Conversation in the Court]]
[[Only my self, and the knowledge that I have aquired through enlightment->Conversation in the Court]]The conversation continues. The Emperor then proceeds to ask you what kinds of karmic merit he has received from his contributions to Buddhism; constructing temples, transcribing sutras, and ordaining monks.
[["Oh Dear Emperor, you have gained so much karmic merit that good things were for sure to come" ->Toady]]
[[“None”, because all these things were for the Emperor’s own benefit and not for the good of others->Expulsion from Court]]The Emperor is pleased with this response, in turn giving you the title "Enlightened one." With this you are given an abundance of wealth and property. Throughout the years you divulge from the ways of Buddhism and rule at Emperor Wu's side till his death. In his will, the Emperor ordered for you to be buried with him to keep him safe in the afterlife, causing your death.You explain to the Emperor Wu that because these deeds were done for the benefit of himself and not for the good of others, he deserved no merit at all. This response perplexes and annoys the Emperor resulting in your expulsion from the court.
You decide the next step in your journey is to...
[[Keep traveling north->Reaching Shaolin Temple]]
[[Return to India->Return to India]]You decide that your expedition was not fruitful and had no significant meaning impact on spreading Buddhism you travel back home to India. Your journey was long and hard with many obstacles but finally, after 5 years you return home. Because of your rugged appearance you were not welcome immediately, but your oldest brother waves your charges, welcoming you back home with a huge feast. Afterwards you fall into a deep sleep.
[[Continue...->WHAT??]]You pass the Yangtze River and make your way up Mt. Song, a mountain near the Yangtze river. Upon the summit lay the Shaolin Temple. Hoping to learn from the monks, you request entry to the temple. For mysterious reasons the monks refuse your entry
You decide to...
[[Stay and meditate in a near by cave->Entery to the Temple]]
[[Leave, deciding it is no use to linger->11]]You leave the monastery and believe that your expedition was not fruitful and had no significant meaning impact on spreading Buddhism, so you travel back home to India. You travel back to India in hopes to live out the rest of your days with your family in the palace. Your journey was long and hard with many obstacles but finally, after 10 years you return home. Because of your rugged appearance you were not welcome in your own home, but your oldest brother recognized you and helpes acquit you. You are given a place to stay and food to eat.
[[Continue...->WHAT??]]For 9 years you meditate in the cave. On the 9th year the monks finally see your dedication and are impressed. So impressed that they give you the name "wall-gazing Brahman" and allow your entry to the temple. Once inside, you become dismayed by how weak the monks had become from their meditation without any physical labor.
To rectify the situation you...
[[Shake your head in dismay and believe the monks are a lost cause->2]]
[[Teach the monks the balance of meditation and physical labor->Attempts on life]]You couldn’t get through to the Monks, but you believe in other ways of spreading Buddhism to China. You travel to the East until you meet a kind fisherman. This man is intrigued by the religion you share. After listening to your teachings, he reveals he the son of the Japanese emperor. He wants to bring the religion back to his home so that is may spread. He takes you on a year voyage and you are brought to Japan. In only a short period of time Buddhism spreads like wildfire. You have finished your Dharma.You leave the temple but because of your contribution to the temple, in later years it became renowned for its martial arts. Many years pass, and A jealous teacher tries to assassinate you with poison. All the attempts were futile and did not harm you in any way.
You decide to...
[[Think nothing of it->You Die (Posion)]]
[[Meditate->You Die]]Because of your negligence, you become careless. During your dinner one day, you eat a poisoned orange. Your vision becomes blurry. Your senses become weak and you fall into a deep sleep, never to open your eyes again.You are at peace. You believe that your Dharma has been fulfilled and that the Buddhist religion has been spread to the best of your ability. You meditate, peacefully letting go if this universe such as a flame leaves a candle.Unaware of your brother's evil plans. You returned with the hopes to return to your lavish life in the Kingdome. While you were gone your brother had taken the throne and believes that you return with the intention of taking if from him, so he orders soldiers to throw you in the dungeon. You are confused where you are at first but later you understand the situation you are in. spend your last few months of your life in the murky depths of the dungeon where you finally starve to death.Bodhidharma's Journey to Spread Buddhism
[[Bibliography->Bibliography]]Bodhidharma, and Red Pine. The Zen teaching of Bodhidharma. San Francisco, CA: North Point Press, 1989.
Buddha Weekly. "Buddhist Population 1.6 Billion According to Some Experts." Buddha Weekly: Buddhist Practices, Mindfulness, Meditation. Last modified July 14, 2006. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://buddhaweekly.com/buddhism-now-2nd-largest-spiritual-path-1-6-billion-22-worlds-population-according-recent-studies/.
New World Encyclopedia. "Bodhidharma." New Wrold Encyclopedia. Accessed February 10, 2018. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Bodhidharma#Credits.
Schumacher, Mark. "DARUMA - Father of Zen Buddhism." Edited by Gabi Greve. onmarkproductions. Last modified December 1999. Accessed February 10, 2018. http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/daruma.shtml.
Tsutomu, Tsutomu. "Bodhidharma." purple. Last modified June 8, 2008. Accessed February 10, 2018. http://www.purple.dti.ne.jp/kambe/BodhiDharma-IDS.pdf.