Friday, 25 January 2013

Tea-as part of meditation

              Bodhidharma (known as Daruma in Japan) was said to have been a pious sage from India who lived in the fifth or sixth century AD. He is credited with travelling from his native India to China to spread his Buddhist teachings (which eventually reached Japan); the Japanese consider him to be the founder of Zen (or Chan) Buddhism. One of the main practises of Zen Buddhism is meditation, which involves sitting still yet awake for long periods of time. This story tells of the origins of the first tea plant and also explains why, to this day, drinking green tea is such an integral part of Japanese meditation ceremonies.   
                Bodhidharma was the first man who created tea -- the name `tea' comes from the name TAI, because it was created on the mountain Tai.He lived on this mountain whose name was Tai.And all the words for tea in any language, are derived from the same source, tai. In English it is tea, in Hindi it is CHAI. That Chinese word tai can also be pronounced as CHA. The Marathi word is exactly CHA. Malayalm word is chaya.

Cannot be historical:

                           The way Bodhidharma created tea cannot be historical but is significant. It is said that Bodhidharma travelled to Northern China, where he entered a cave outside the Shaolin temple; here he vowed to meditate without sleeping for nine years in order to demonstrate the principles of Zen Buddhism and also to achieve enlightenment. He was meditating almost all the time, and sometimes in the night he would start falling asleep. So, just not to fall asleep, just to teach a lesson to his eyes, he took out all his eyebrow hairs and threw them in the temple ground. The story is that out of those eyebrows, the tea bushes grew. Bodhidharma plucked one of the leaves and chewed on it, he found the leaf had a stimulating effect that helped him stay awake and eventually complete his task.Those were the first tea bushes.
                       That's why when you drink tea, you cannot sleep. And in Buddhism it became a routine that for meditation, tea is immensely helpful. So the whole Buddhist world drinks tea as part of meditation, because it keeps you alert and awake.

Sitting like Bodhidharma sat -- eyelids missing. Meditating boys in India