October 18, 2006 6:17am CST
The Shaolin Monastery (Chinese: pinyin: Shàolínsì; "monastery of the woods near Shaoshi peak" ) is a Buddhist temple, located in Henan province of the People's Republic of China, famous for its long association with Chán (Zen) Buddhism and martial arts, and is perhaps the Buddhist monastery best known in the Western world. According to the Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks (645 CE) by Daoxuan, the Shaolin Monastery was built on the north side of Shaoshi, the western peak of Mount Song, one of the Sacred Mountains of China, by Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty for the monk Bátuó. Yang Xuanzhi, in the Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang (547 CE), and Li Xian, in the Ming Yitongzhi (1461 CE), concur with Daoxuan's location and attribution. The Jiaqing Chongxiu Yitongzhi (1843 CE) specifies that this monastery, located in the province of Henan, was built in the 20th year of the Tàihé era of the Northern Wei Dynasty, that is, the monastery was built in 497 CE. The Pagoda Forest, located about 300 meters west of the Shaolin Monastery in Henan. A painting on a wall in the temple.Kangxi, the second Qing emperor, was a supporter of the Shaolin temple in Henan and he wrote the calligraphic inscription that, to this day, hangs over the main temple gate. The monastery has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. Perhaps the most well-known story of the Temple's destruction is that it was destroyed in 1732 by the Qing government for supposed anti-Qing activities; this destruction is also supposed to have helped spread Shaolin martial arts through China by means of fugitive monks. This story commonly appears in martial arts history and in fiction. However, accounts of the Qing Dynasty destroying the Shaolin temple may refer to a southern Shaolin temple, which Xu Ke, in the Qing bai lei chao (1917), located in Fujian Province. Additionally, some martial arts historians, such as Tang Hao and Stanley Henning, believe that the story is likely fictional, appearing only at the very end of the Qing period in novels and sensational literature. In 1928, the warlord Shi Yousan set fire to the monastery, destroying many priceless manuscripts of the temple library, some of its halls, and damaging the aforementioned Stele. The Cultural Revolution purged all monks and Buddhist materials from within its walls, leaving the temple barren for years. It was subsequently rebuilt, repopulated and designated an official tourist site by the Chinese government after the overwhelming success of the Jet Li movie Shaolin Temple in 1982. Martial arts groups from all over the world have made donations for the upkeep of the temple and grounds, and are subsequently honored with carved stones near the entrance of the temple. One of the few Westerners to have studied martial arts at the temple, as opposed to nearby privately-run schools, is American author Antonio Graceffo, who used his experiences there as the basis for his book The Monk From Brooklyn: An American at the Shaolin Temple.[2] In the past, many people have tried to capitalize on the Shaolin Monastery by building their own schools on Mount Song. However, the Chinese goverment eventually illegalized this, and so the schools all moved to the nearby towns. A Dharma gathering was held between August 19 and 20, 1999, in the Shaolin Monastery, Songshan, China, for Buddhist Master Shi Yong Xin to take office as abbot. He is the thirteenth successor after Buddhist abbot Xue Ting Fu Yu. In March 2006 President Putin of Russia became the first foreign leader to visit the monastery. [edit] Martial Arts The Shaolin monastery is the only temple in China that combines both martial arts and Chan Buddhism. As such, monks at the monastery may be martial monks, scholarly or clerical monks, or both. However, even the martial monks also practice Chan Buddhism. It is said that Chan Buddhism allows you to store and build up qi, while martial arts is the act of releasing qi; therefore, the two complement and complete each other. Because of this dual focus, there are two abbots at the Shaolin Temple. The current martial abbot is Shi De Li, the thirty-first direct successor after Bodhidharma, or Da Mo. As martial abbot, the primary job is to train monks in gongfu (kung fu). The monks have a very regimented schedule for training. For example, before even having breakfast, the trainees must wake up at 4 AM to run for an hour, to meditate for another hour, and train martial arts for a third hour. The monks do not get very much of a break; their only vacation is ten days near the Chinese New Year to see their parents. It must be noted, however, that this is reflective of the current schedule at Shaolin temple, and in no way reflects the historical focus or schedule of Shaolin prior to its most recent reconstruction. The current Shaolin temple is the subject of much controversy as many Chan Buddhist elements inherent in Shaolin training are no longer represented
1 response
@debjit (339)
• India
18 Oct 06
shaolin is one of the gr8 temples of india.thanks for sharing such gr8 information.shaolin marshal arts are awsome.