Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/48

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SPREAD OF TAMIL CULTURE ABROAD 37 China to S. India. Huien Tsiang visited, and Itsing mentions a number of travellers who visited India in his time. Among those who went from India was a prince of Kanci in the early years of the 6th century A.D. who took the clerical name Bodhidharma, went to China and preached the dhyana philosophy known in Chinese as Zen." If we turn from this to the 14th century, we find a friendly embassy despatched by the Vijayanagar King Bukka I in 1374 to the then Chinese emperor. Thus the intercourse of South India with China was not only commercial but also cultural. CEYLON AND SOUTH INDIA Though Ceylon was cut off from the submerged continent of old, the relations of South India with Ceylon continued unbroken. The expansion of Rākşasa power from Ceylon throughout the Deccan and South India and even to the borders of Dasaratha's kingdom near Ayodhyā which made Vis'vā mitra request the emperor to send his young son Rāma to protect the peace-loving citizens from these marauders shows the activities of the Ceylonese from prehistoric times. The invasion of Ceylon by Rāma and its consequences are too well-known. Survivals of these tribes were still in the island when Vijaya is said to have landed there by sea about 300 B.C. These were Yakşas who had also disappeared from the face of the earth. Probably the Veddhas of Ceylon are remnants of the old Yakşa tribes. It is believed that Buddhism came