A Bit of History...
Bodhidharma (போதிதர்மன்) was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century and is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Zen to China.
He is the patron saint of the Shaolin Monastery, and is attributed to, in Chinese legends, to have begun the physical training of the monks that later turned into Gung Fu.
Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend, but most accounts agree that he was a Pallava Brahman from what is now Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu in southern India.
After becoming a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma traveled to the east via the Silk road to North China. The accounts differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liú Sòng Dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liáng Dynasty (502–557).
Bodhidharma was primarily active in the lands of the Northern Wèi Dynasty (386–534). Modern scholarship dates him to about the early 5th century.
Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as a rather ill-tempered, profusely bearded and wide-eyed barbarian. He is described as "The Blue-Eyed Barbarian" in Chinese texts.
The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall identifies Bodhidharma as the 28th Patriarch of Buddhism in an uninterrupted line that extends all the way back to the Buddha himself.