Zen Katha - The Story of Bodhidharma - Founder of Zen and The Martial Arts

Zen Katha - The Story of Bodhidharma - Founder of Zen and The Martial Arts

Product ID: 13996

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Author: Partap Sharma
Publisher: Rupa
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 101
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8129105640


Revered in China, Okinawa and Japan as the founder of Zen and the martial arts, the Indian monk Bodhidharma was, till the writing, performance and publication of this play, almost totally forgotten in his homeland India.

ZEN KATHA tells the story of how Bodhidharma, born a prince in the south Indian kingdom of Kanchipuram in the fifth century, had to discover ways to excel at unarmed combat because the royal Pallavas prided themselves on their wrestling skills. The prince became a monk and traveled to china. There, his strange, and somewhat eccentric behaviour led to various piquant situations. He became not only the founding Patriarch of Zen but also the first peaceful fighting monk. As Chief Abbot of the Monastery of Shaolin, he initiated the tradition that now makes it unique.

ALDOUS HUXLEY has said of the martial arts devised by Bodhidharma: Movements intrinsically beautiful and at the same time charged with symbolic meaning. The whole body transformed into a hieroglyphic, a succession of hieroglyphics, of attitudes modulating from significance to significance like a poem or a piece of music. Movements of the muscles representing movements of consciousness. It’s meditation in action.


Brilliant playwright Partap Sharma. A prominent fan of his work was the prize-winning African writer, Wole Soyinka!

In An Actor’s Journey

A very considerable writer.

In The Listener

Discovered his own voice. It is not the voice of Arthur Miller or John Osborne. It is Partap Sharma.

In A Double Life




Act One

Act Two