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Thread: Bodhidharma Movie - Trivia

  1. #1

    Bodhidharma Movie - Trivia

    I am reading bits of "Seeing Through Zen" by John R. McRae. He mentions an film made of Bodhidharma in 1992 in Taiwan. McRae doesn't provide the title and google doesn't come up with anything. Anyone know of this film??

  2. #2

    Re: Bodhidharma Movie - Trivia


    If it's the one that I'm thinking of, you can check it out at

    It's called, "Why has Bodhidharma Left for the East."

    Many Blessings,

  3. #3

    Re: Bodhidharma Movie - Trivia

    Hi, again,

    Also, if you google "bodhidharma movie", you'll find a ton of stuff about it.

    I was just reading about that movie the other day - funny thing, eh?


  4. #4

    Re: Bodhidharma Movie - Trivia


    But the movie is not actually about the life of Bodhidharma ...

    Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East: This unique Korean film explores the relationship between an elderly Zen master, an orphaned boy, and a young monk named Ki Bong. With little time left before his impending death, Master Hyegok teaches his two students all he knows about Zen Buddhism, which he has devoted his life to. In order to learn, both Ki Bong and the orphan Hae Jin must face and overcome their feelings of guilt for past deeds. Ki Bong left behind his blind mother and family when he came to the monastery; Hae Jin accidentally caused the death of a bird. After the old man's death, the monk and the orphan attempt to use their master's teachings to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
    ... except, of course, in one of those wacky "Zen" meanings like, okay ... everything is about "the life of Boddhidharma".

    WHICH, come to think of it, may be a 'point' of this Koan ...

    "Why Did Bodhi-Dharma Come from the West": A monk asked Joshu, "With what intention did Bodhidharma come to China [from the West]?" Joshu answered, "The oak tree in the front garden."

    Mumon's Comments:
    If you grasp Joshu's answer precisely, there is no Shakyamuni Buddha before you and no Maitreya Buddha after you.

    Words do not express fact,
    Phrases do not reveal the delicate motion of mind.
    He who accepts words is lost,
    He who adheres to phrases is deluded.

    (case #37 of the Wumenguan as well as case #47 of the Book of Serenity)

  5. #5

    Re: Bodhidharma Movie - Trivia

    Quote Originally Posted by lora

    It's called, "Why has Bodhidharma Left for the East."
    Hi lora.

    I haven't seen this movie and thought it might be this movie, but two things going against it:

    1) this movie was made in '89, the one the author mentions is 1992.
    2) this movie seems to have been made by S. Korean production company, the one the author mentions is Taiwanese.

    I barely discovered this film recently which I was surprised to find out was made back in 89. Wow. Time flies.

    Now that we are talking about movies with Buddhist themes (directly or indirectly), I also discovered this film this weekend while watching IFC: Onibaba.

  6. #6

    Re: Bodhidharma Movie - Trivia

    no luck on finding the movie you mentioned, my friend, but since you've expanded the thread...

    i enjoyed Samsara which i happened upon while appreciating the fine theaters of Dharamsala a few years back.


  7. #7

    Re: Bodhidharma Movie - Trivia


    It isn't "little buddha" with keanu reeves?

    It came out 1993 in sweden, but when were it on the big screen?

    May the force be with you

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