Buddhism in Kerala

History of Buddhism in Kerala

There was wide-spread presence of Buddhism in Kerala from the 3rd Century BCE to at least the 12th Century CE. Some world-renowned scholars and yogis in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition like Bhavaviveka, Vajrabodhi, Ayyappa and Paramabuddha were from Kerala. The practices of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and Bodhisattva Tara originated and spread from Potalaka (Agastyakoodam / Potikai) in the Malaya mountains to the rest of the world. There were also some world-renowned Mahayana Viharas in Kerala, such as Sreemoolavasam.

Paramabuddha (Padampa Sangye) and Ayyappa

Paramabuddha (Padampa Sangye), an Indian Buddhist Mahasiddha, taught Zhije & Chod in Tibet. his birthplace can be identified to be in Kerala, near Sabarimala hills. His connection with Ayyappa is also explored.

Ancient Buddha Statues of Kerala

Many ancient Buddha statues, dating back to 7th Century CE onwards were discovered from various parts of Kerala. These Buddha statues smile to the world even today as the embodiment of peace, sublime thought, and the excellence of intellectual climate that prevailed in the region in the foregone eras.

Sreemoolavasam – an Ancient Buddhist Monastery in Kerala

Sreemoolavasam Mahayana Monastery was one of the ancient Buddhist centers in South India (in South Kerala) and had a famous Avalokitesvara statue, with Tara and Bhrikuti on two sides. The then Ay King Vikamaditya Varaguna was a patron of this monastery.

Soon to come

  • Potalaka – Sacred mountain of Avalokitesvara