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Korea and India Linked

By the sciences of Hinduism and Buddhism

The idea that Hinduism and Buddhism represent a scientific approach to living may be foreign to some but it's helpful to remember that once when Europeans were still cave dwellers and hunter gatherers, India represented the world's leading civilisation with a wide global influence.

It is conclusively known that Hindus were sailing the world in 5000 BC and perhaps for many millennia before that. These connections to our ancient past being validated by archaeological and genetic evidence. It's well known that Hinduism flourished across Southeast Asia and eventually gave rise to the city of Angkor Wat in Cambodia yet even today Hindu iconography and traditions are vibrantly alive across the parts of Southeast Asia not decimated by Islam including Japan and Korea.

Over more than 2000 years Korea has been subjected to foreign occupation, numerous regime changes and ancient history has been reclassified as ancient legends because some of the context has been lost. Yet there are some Koreans who remember and continue to celebrate the link with Hindu India from an emissary who arrived in Korea before the spread of Buddhism which replaced Hindu influence .

The Legend:

The legend says that Princess Suriratna, also known as Heo Hwang-ok (Ho Hwangok ), went to Korea in 48 AD, some 2000 years ago and started the Karak dynasty by marrying a local king by the name of Kim Suro. This is substantiated by some Chinese-language texts that claim the then King of Ayodhya had a dream where God ordered him to send his 16-year-old daughter to South Korea to marry King Kim Suro of Geumgwan Gaya and she went on to have 10 sons and 2 daughters living to a ripe old age of 157.

Many Koreans alive today believe that the Princess Suriratna was the mother of descendants who helped to bring together various Korean kingdoms in the 7th century according to the principals of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) . And ever since that happened, the Karak went on to become the largest clan in Korea.  Today more than 70 lakh people in Korea consider themselves as direct descendants of Princess Suriratna and that the holy city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh (birthplace of the Hindu god Ram) is their maternal home. Every year hundreds of South Koreans make a spiritual pilgrimage to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. There are many Hindu temples in South Korea.

It is also said that Princess Suriratna also brought with her a pagoda and Buddha statue to Korea. There is some archaeological evidence proving a ‘double-fish’ pattern discovered inside the mausoleum of Kim Suro was also prevalent during the same time in central India. There could be debate about the authenticity of the legend, but there cannot be denial to the fact that Koreans believe that princess Suriratna came from Ayodhya creating significant proof to consider that India and Sanatana Dharma had a place in the mental map of Korea during that period.

Buddhism was introduced to Korea in the second half of fourth century and Koguryo was the first among the three kingdoms of Korea which received Buddhism. During the reign of Kim Sosurim (371-384), Buddhism was officially recognized in Korea. Supposedly, Buddhism reached from India to Korea and Japan via China.

Links:
BBC.com
Indiatimes.com
NDTV.com

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