Kamis, 25 Desember 2014

The History of the Shaolin Temple

The history of the Shaolin Temple is really as much the annals of an idea as it may be the history of a building and its own occupants. It's a concept that your current abbot, Shi Yong Xin, has recently been attempting to reclaim. In 1994 he authorized "Shaolin" and "Shaolin Temple" as trademarks and setup a company to manage the intellectual real estate rights. Indeed in contemporary days the temple has aggressively defended its copyright and its own image.

The Olympic chief, Jacques Rogge, and other VIP's are  just some of the foreign dignitaries who've made official visits to the monastery. However, it only in recent times that the Shaolin Temple, in Henan province in southern China, has liked this type of official status. In the 1980s the Chinese federal government restored the monastery and started to celebrate this symbol of its heritage. It is perhaps fair to say that the temple owed its revival to the impact of popular culture. Plane Li's 1982 film, known as the "Shaolin Temple", was shot on location and its great achievement helped to pass on the name. The Seventies experienced already noticed Bruce Lee and the television series "Kung Fu" stamp the legend of Shaolin into popular consciousness.

Story of Bodhidharma

The History of the Shaolin Temple

Bodhidharma, or Da Mo, is said to have already been an Indian prince who also became a Buddhist monk and travelled to the Shaolin Temple in 527 AD. Among the legends associated with this personality are that he crossed the Yangtze river on a reed (or small boat) and meditated in a cave for nine years before entering the monastery. The cave is certainly a venerated site close to the temple even today. He's reputed to have discovered the monks to become too poor to practise mediation and so, to keep them solid, taught them external exercises, known as Eighteen Lohan Hands, and trained them internal forms, referred to as the Common of Sinew Metamorphoses, to keep them healthy.

Shaolin monks and disciples follow a unique practice among Buddhists in that they greet one another only using their right hands. This greeting is a tradition which dates back to Da Mo and his disciple, Hui Ke.

In 495 AD, the Indian monk Ba Tuo, or Buddhabhadra, found China teaching a kind of Buddhism referred to as Xiao Sheng Buddhism. He was given land at the feet of Shaoshi mountain by Emperor Shao Wen and founded the Shaolin Temple upon this land.

Around enough time that Ba Tuo was founding the Shaolin Temple there was an Indian prince named Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma was very smart and was the favorite boy of the king of an area that is now component of southern India. Bodhidharma got two old brothers who feared that their father, the king, would move them over and bequeath the kingship to Bodhidharma. Within their jealousy, both older brothers often disparaged Bodhidharma while speaking with their father, hoping to turn him against their young brother. The old brothers also attempted to assassinate Bodhidharma but Bodhidharma acquired very good karma and so the tries were not effective. Despite getting the favorite child of the king, Bodhidharma recognized that he had not been interested in a lifestyle of politics. He chose rather to review with the famous Buddhist grasp Prajnatara and be a Buddhist monk.

Bodhidharma trained with his get better at for several years. 1 day he asked his grasp, “Expert, when you pass away, where must i go? What should I do?” His master replied that he is going to Zhen Dan, which was the name for China in those days. Years later on, Bodhidharma’s get better at passed away and Bodhidharma ready to keep for China.

During the a long time that Bodhidharma had studied as a monk, one of his older brothers experienced become king of India and that older brother’s son got become king after him. The king of India was very fond of his uncle and wished to make amends for the activities which Bodhidharma’s older brothers had taken against him. He asked Bodhidharma to stay near the capital, where he could safeguard and look after him, but Bodhidharma understood that he must go to China as his expert had said.

Since Bodhidharma would not stay, the king of India ordered that carrier pigeons end up being sent to China with messages requesting the people of China to look after Bodhidharma. These messages made Bodhidharma famous among many Chinese who wondered what was so special about this particular Buddhist monk that the king of India would make such a demand.

In 527 AD, 32 years after Ba Tuo’s founding of the Shaolin temple, Bodhidharma crossed through Guangdong province into China. In China, he was known as Da Mo. Da Mo arrived in China practicing Da Sheng (Mahayana) Buddhism. When Da Mo arrived, he was greeted by a big crowd of individuals who experienced heard of the popular Buddhist expert and wanted to hear him speak. Instead of speak, Da Mo sat down and started meditating. He meditated for many hours. Upon completing his meditation, Da Mo rose and walked away, saying nothing.

His activities had a profound effect upon his viewers. Some individuals laughed, some cried, some had been angry and some nodded their heads in understanding. Whatever the emotion, everyone in the audience had a reaction.

This incident made Da Mo even more famous, so famous that Emperor Wu heard about him. Emperor Wu, who ruled over the southern kingdom of China, invited Da Mo to come quickly to his palace. When Da Mo arrived, Emperor Wu talked with Da Mo about Buddhism. The emperor acquired erected many statues and temples devoted to Buddhism. He had given much prosperity to Buddhist temples. In talking of his accomplishments, Emperor Wu asked Da Mo if his actions were good. Da Mo replied that these were not. This response amazed Emperor Wu, but they continued talking and eventually Emperor Wu asked Da Mo if there is Buddha nowadays. Da Mo replied that there was not.

Da Mo’s replies were a reflection of Emperor Wu. By requesting if his actions were good, Emperor Wu was looking for compliments and affirmation from Da Mo. Da Mo denied that Emperor Wu’s actions were good since it is the duty of the emperor to care for his people. Rather than seeking compliments, Emperor Wu should have been content to greatly help his people through Buddha. Likewise, if one asks if there is Buddha in the globe, then one has recently answered the issue: Buddha is a matter of faith, you either have confidence in your heart or you don't. In questioning the living of Buddha, Emperor Wu acquired demonstrated too little faith.

Da Mo’s answers enraged Emperor Wu and he ordered Da Mo to keep his palace and never return. Da Mo just smiled, switched and left.

Da Mo continued his trip, heading north, when he reached the city of Nanjing. In the town of Nanjing, there is a popular place called the Flower Rain Pavillion where many people gathered to speak and relax. There was a big crowd of people collected in the Flower Rain Pavillion around a Buddhist monk, who was simply lecturing. This Buddhist monk was called Shen Guang.

Shen Guang had at one time been a famous general. He previously killed many people in battle but 1 day understood that the people he had been killing experienced friends and family and that one day someone might come and eliminate him. This changed him and he made a decision to train as a Buddhist monk. Ultimately, Shen Guang became an excellent loudspeaker on Buddhism. As Da Mo neared the audience, he paid attention to Shen Guang’s speech. Occasionally Shen Guang would speak and Da Mo would nod his mind, as though in agreement. Occasionally Shen Guang would speak and Da Mo would shake his mind, as if in disagreement. As this continuing, Shen Guang became extremely angry at the unusual foreign monk who dared to disagree with him before this audience. In anger, Shen Guang required the Buddhist beads from around his throat and flicked them at Da Mo. The beads struck Da Mo in his encounter, knocking out two of his front tooth. Da Mo instantly began bleeding. Shen Guang anticipated a confrontation; rather, Da Mo smiled, turned and walked away.

This reaction astounded Shen Guang, who started following after Da Mo.

Da Mo continued north until he reached the Yangzi river. Seated by the river there was an old female with a big bundle of reeds next to her. Da Mo walked up to the previous woman and asked her if he could possess a reed. She replied that he could. Da Mo got an individual reed, positioned it upon the top of Yangzi river and stepped onto the reed. He was carried across the Yangzi river by the power of his chi. Viewing this, Shen Guang ran up to where in fact the old girl sat and grabbed a handful of reeds without asking. He threw the reeds onto the Yangzi river and stepped onto them. The reeds sank beneath him and Shen Guang began drowning. The older woman saw his plight and required pity on Shen Guang, pulling him from the river. As Shen Guang lay on the floor coughing up river drinking water, the old girl admonished him. She said that by not really asking for her reeds before acquiring them, he previously shown her disrespect and that by disrespecting her, Shen Guang experienced disrespected himself. The old woman also informed Shen Guang that he had been searching for a grasp and that Da Mo, the man he was following, was that master. As she stated this, the reeds which experienced sunk beneath Shen Guang rose once again to the top of river and Shen Guang found himself on the reeds being carried across the Yangzi river. He reached the additional aspect and continued following after Da Mo.

There are several people who think that the old woman by the river was a Boddhisatva who was simply helping Shen Guang to get rid of the cycle of his samsara.

At this point, Da Mo was nearing the location of the Shaolin Temple. The Shaolin monks had heard about his approach and were collected to meet up him. When Da Mo arrived, the Shaolin monks greeted him and invited him to come stay at the temple. Da Mo did not reply but he visited a cave on a mountain behind the Shaolin Temple, sat down, and started meditating. Before the Shaolin Temple, there are five mountains: Bell Mountain, Drum Mountain, Sword Mountain, Stamp Mountain and Flag Mountain. These mountains are called after the objects which their shape resembles. Behind the Shaolin Temple there are five “Breasts Mountains” which are formed like breasts. The cave where Da Mo chose to meditate was using one of the Breasts Mountains.

Damo in cave in Shaolin TempleDa Mo sat facing a wall in the cave and meditated for 9 years. During these nine years, Shen Guang stayed outside Da Mo’s cave and acted as a bodyguard for Da Mo, making certain no harm found Da Mo. Periodically Shen Guang would talk to Da Mo to instruct him, but Da Mo never responded to Shen Guang’s requests. During these nine years the Shaolin monks would also periodically invite Da Mo to drop to the Temple, where he would be more comfy, but Da Mo under no circumstances responded. Over time, Da Mo’s focus became so intense that his picture was engraved in to the stone of the wall before him.

Towards the finish of the nine years, the Shaolin monks decided that they must take action more for Da Mo and so they made a particular area for him. They called this room the Da Mo Ting. When this space was completed by the end of the nine years, the Shaolin monks invited Da Mo to arrive stay in the room. Da Mo did not react but he stood up, walked down to the area, sat down, and instantly started meditating. Shen Guang implemented Da Mo to the Shaolin temple and stood guard outside Da Mo’s room. Da Mo meditated in his space for another four years. Shen Guang would sometimes request Da Mo to teach him, but Da Mo by no means responded.

By the end of the four-year period Shen Guang had been following Da Mo for thirteen years, but Da Mo had hardly ever stated anything to Shen Guang. It was winter when the four-calendar year period was ending and Shen Guang was standing up in the snow beyond your screen to Da Mo’s room. He was frosty and became very angry. He picked up a huge block of snow and ice and hurled it into Da Mo’s space. The snow and ice made a noisy noise as it broke inside Da Mo’s space. This noise awoke Da Mo from his meditation and he viewed Shen Guang. In anger and frustration Shen Guang demanded to know when Da Mo would train him.

Da Mo responded that he'd teach Shen Guang when crimson snow fell from the sky.
Hearing this, something inside Shen Guang’s center changed and he took the sword he carried from his belt and take off his still left arm. He kept the severed arm above his head and whirled it around. The blood from the arm froze in the frosty surroundings and fell like red snow. Seeing this, Da Mo agreed to teach Shen Guang.

Da Mo took a monk’s spade and went with Shen Guang to the Drum Mountain in front of Shaolin Temple. The Drum Mountain is indeed called because it is quite flat at the top. Da Mo’s unspoken message to Shen Guang was that Shen Guang should flatten his center, similar to the surface of the Drum Mountain. Upon this Drum Mountain Da Mo dug a well. The water of the well was bitter. Da Mo after that left Shen Guang on the Drum Mountain. For a whole calendar year, Shen Guang utilized the bitter water of the well to look after most of his requirements. He utilized it to cook, to clean, to bathe, to do everything. At the end of the first 12 months, Shen Guang transpired to Da Mo and once again asked Da Mo to instruct him. Da Mo came back with Shen Guang to the Drum Mountain and dug a second well. The drinking water of this well was spicy. For a whole year, Shen Guang utilized the spicy water for most of his requirements. At the end of the next yr, Shen Guang went back down to Da Mo and asked again to be trained. Da Mo dug a third well on the Drum Mountain. The drinking water of this third well was sour. For the third season, Shen Guang used the sour drinking water for all of his needs. By the end of the third 12 months, Shen Guang came back to Da Mo and agains asked to become taught. Da Mo returned to the Drum Mountain and dug a 4th and final well. The drinking water of the well was lovely. At this stage, Shen Guang understood that the four wells represented his lifestyle. Just like the wells, his life would occasionally be bitter, occasionally sour, sometimes spicy and occasionally sweet. Each one of these phases in his lifestyle was equally gorgeous and necessary, just as each of the four seasons of the year is gorgeous and required in its own way. Without really saying many phrases to Shen Guang, Da Mo got taught Shen Guang the most important of lessons in a mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart fashion. This mind-to- mind, heart-to-heart conversation is called “action language” and is the foundation of the Chan Buddhism which Da Mo started at the Shaolin Temple.

After his realization, Shen Guang was presented with the name Hui Ke and he became abbot of the Shaolin temple after Da Mo.

To pay respect for the sacrifice which Hui Ke produced, disciples and monks of the Shaolin Temple greet one another only using their right hands.

Until its modern renaissance, the golden age of the monastery has been thought to have been through the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). Thirteen warrior monks assisted the emperor and because of this Shaolin was designated as the "Supreme Temple". Much of the annals of the monastery is usually intertwined using its myth. The Shaolin Temple provides been hailed as the cradle of the martial arts, often by its teachers. This could just be a way of describing an excellent institution, rather than the more implausible declare that it originated kung fu or organised martial schools.

The Shaolin Temple is said to have already been founded earlier, in 495 AD, by another Buddhist monk, Ba Tuo, with the support of the Emperor of the Northern Wei Dynasty. Situated at the Track Mountain, the Central Sacred Mountain, the temple was frequented by generals and Emperors. Chances are that retired soldiers were among the monks in the temple. It really is probable that martial arts were known and also practised at the temple throughout its background. But the unique aspect of Shaolin culture is the combination of martial training with Chan (the Chinese equivalent of Zen) Buddhism. The art of fight was sublimated into the monks spiritual advancement. This violence is normally captured in a moral framework. The monks cannot kill or use particular forbidden methods. The skill is certainly refined and working out becomes section of the practitioner's progress into the Chan discipline.


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