Spiritual Heritage of Kerala
Here are a few cases to highlight the great spiritual heritage of Malayalees that is often overlooked or never noticed.
During the fourth century AD when Buddhism was in decline in China Bodhidharma was sent there at the invitation of an emperor. His reformations gave a new life to Buddhism in China and a new face to Buddhism in Japan in the form of Zen Buddhism. The fact that he was the one who introduced to East Asia the form of self-defence that was prevalent only in the northern part of Kerala shows that he was a Malayalee.
During the sixth century A D when Hinduism was almost being wiped out by the spread of Buddhism, a Malayalee, Sree Sankaracharya of Kaladi travelled the length and breadth of India preaching the Advaitha philosophy which rejuvenated Hinduism and brought it back to its due place in India.
When the British rule ended in India and the European missionaries were no more welcome here the work started by them was carried on by hundreds of Malayali missionaries who took over the mission stations all over India.
More recently, when Christianity is losing its hold in the west which is also facing an acute shortage of priests, Malayali priests are found in all such regions helping evangelisation of those lands.
According to an oral tradition at least one of the three wise men who visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem and paid homage to him was from the ancient home of astrologers at the Pazhoor mana in Piravam, a town in the Ernakulam District.