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The Orgin of Tea - Indian Legend

Darma, third son of Koyuwo, King of India, a religions high priest from Siaka (the author of that Eastern paganism about a thousand years before the Christian era), coming to China, to teach the way of happiness, lived a most austere life, passing his days in continual mortification, and retiring by night to solitudes, in which he fed only upon the leaves of trees and other vegetable productions. 

After several years passed in this manner, in fasting and watching, it happened that, contrary to his vows, the pious Darma fell asleep! When he awoke, he was so much enraged at himself, that, to prevent the offence to his vows for the future, he got rid of his eyelids and placed them on the ground. 

On the following day, returning to his accustomed devotions, he beheld, with amazement, springing up from his eyelids, two small shrubs of an unusual appearance, such as he had never before seen, and of whose qualities he was, of course, entirely ignorant. 

The saint, however, not being wholly devoid of curiosity--or, perhaps, being unusually hungry--was prompted to eat of the leaves, and immediately felt within him a wonderful elevation of mind, and a vehement desire of divine contemplation, with which he acquainted his disciples, who were eager to follow the example of their instructor, and they readily received into common use the fragrant plant which has been the theme of so many poetical and literary pens in succeeding ages.

Tea Samovar

Since India didn't have any record of date, or facts, on stone or tablet, or ever handed down a single incident of song or story, apart from the legend, as to the origin of tea, until a quite recent period botanists believed that the tea plant was a native of China, and that its growth was confined to China and Japan. But it is now definitely known that the tea plant is a native of India, where the wild plant attains a size and perfection which concealed its true character from botanical experts, as well as from ordinary observers, for many years after it had become familiar to them as a native of Indian forests.

While everyone knows now where tea originated, no one knows for sure when the now worldwide custom of tea infusion began.

Although the legend credits the pious East Indian with the discovery of tea, there is no evidence extant that India is really the country where the custom of tea infusion began. Most likely that plant was slumbering on the slopes of India, unpicked, unsteeped, undrunk, unhonored, and unsung.

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