Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dalma and Dalmado

Bodhidharma, Dalma-daesa in Korean, was an Indian monk who is believed to be the father of kung fu. After travelling all the way from South India, he settled at the Shaolin (Kor. Sorim) Temple and trained his adepts in the aggressive calisthenics that evolved into a whole panoply of martial systems . He is considered the First Patriarch of Zen Buddhism.

Artistic portrayals of Dalma-daesa emphasize the large, bushy eyebrows, the huge, staring eyes, the ring in the ear. Many artists portray Dalma as wrapping himself in his robe, a few strokes of the brush implying a hand or fist beneath the bunched-up cloth, holding the robe closed against the elements.

Dalmado is a picturization of Dalma. According to legend, he projected out of his body, but when he came back, his body was gone. So he returned to the body of a homeless beggar. It is believed that a Dalmado drawn by a virtuous monk brings good luck and offers protection.

Here is the wonderful Dalma painted by the redoubtable Mr Lee for Nirmala, and here are a few more I managed to find on the web.

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