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The Shaolin Temple - 少林寺


The Shaolin temple (chin.: shaolinsi 少林寺) is a Chinese Buddhist monastery famed for its Chan Buddhism (禅) and its martial arts (chin.: wugong 武功). According to the Continued Biographies of Eminent Monks (chin.:xu gaoseng chuan 续高僧传 645) by Daoxuan (道 宣 596-667), an eminent Indian monk came to China in the fifth century right through India and China, crossing the huge barrier of the Himalaya (喜马拉雅) mountain range, teaching Xiao Sheng Buddhism (小乘). Emperor Tuoba Hong 拓跋宏 (later Yuan Hong 元宏, posthumous Beiwei Xiaowendi 北魏孝文帝 - 471AD to 499AD) enacted an edict to establish the Shaolin Si (Young --New Planted-- Forest Temple the famous Shaolin Monastery) for this Unknown Great Buddhist Monk of the west, called Ba Tuo Luo (跋陀羅); on the north side of the Shao Shi Shan (少室山 of Mount Song (嵩山), northwest of Deng Feng city (登封市), at Henan province.

Yang Xuanzhi, (楊衒之) in the Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang (chin.: Luoyang Qielanji 洛陽伽藍記; 547), and Li Xian (李賢), in the Ming Yitongzhi (明一統志; 1461), concur with Daxuan’s location and attribution of the Shaolin Temple.

The Jiaqing Chongxiu Yitongzhi (嘉慶重修一統志; 1843) specifies that the Shaolin monastery, located in the province of Henan (河南), was build, in the 20th year of the Tai He era (北魏太和十九年)) --the “Era of Supreme Harmony” (477-499)—of northern Wei (386-534), namely 496 AD.

Since the Shaolin temple was deep in the woods (translated as Lin - forest in Chinese) of Shao Shi Shan (少室山), it is known as Young Forest Temple (chin.: Shaolinsi 少林寺). Jing Rizhen of the early Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), explained this in his book Mount Song (嵩山): Shaolin means woods in Shao Shi Shan.

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Posted by Venerable Master Shi Yan Long on 03/24 at 07:10 PM


Taking fish and meat by itself does not make a man become impure. A man makes himself impure by bigotry, deceit, envy, self-exaltation, disparagement and other evil intentions. Through his own evil thoughts and actions, man makes himself impure. There is no strict rule in Buddhism (according to the Pali scriptures) that the followers of the Buddha should not take fish and meat. The only advice given by the Buddha is that they should not be involved in killing intentionally or they should not ask others to kill any living being for them. However, those who take vegetable food and abstain from animal flesh are praiseworthy. On the other hand, in Mahayana scriptures Buddha categorically prohibited consumption of the flesh of any animal that was "seen, heard or suspected" to have been killed specifically for the benefit of monks.
(Jivaka Sutra, Majjhima Nikaya 55).

It should be noted that there are two main classes of scriptures in Buddhism, those of the Pali Cannon, which form the foundation of Theravada Buddhism and the Mahayana, which represents the Buddhism of China, Japan, Korea, etc. The Pali Cannon was written around 80 BC and the Mahayana in approximately 100 to 400 AD.

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Posted by Venerable Master Shi Yan Kong on 12/17 at 05:10 PM

Venerable Fuyu

Venerable Fuyu

During twelve century a very special child was born to the Zhang (chin.: zhāng 张) family in Wen Shui County (chin.: Wénshuǐ 文水) in Shanxi province (chin.: Shānxī 山西). His nickname was “little kid saint” (chin.: shèng xiǎo’ér 圣小兒) because he could read a book just once and has a complete understanding of it. He renounced the world for monk hood (chin.: chūjiā 出家), took the name Fu Yu (chin.: 福裕 fúyù 1203-1275) and began training under monk Xiu Lin Wei (chin.: xiūlínwèi 休林为). Master Fu Yu played a significant role in rebuilding Buddhism during the early Mongol period.

With the gradual weakening of the northern Song Dynasty, the Jurchens (chin.: 女真nǚzhēn), the ancestors of the Manchus who established the Qing Dynasty some 500 years later, conquered and ruled over the northern parts and established the Jin Dynasty (chin.: Jin Chao; 金朝 1115-1234). By 1200, Changan, Kaifeng, and Luoyang, the area where Shaolin Si stood, were under Jin control. Kaifeng had fallen into Jurchen hands in 1127.

The Mongols then swept from the north pushing the Jin out of the region. These conquests created great havoc not only in the population at large but in the monastic world as well. A large number of monasteries in the north were either destroyed or abandoned. It was a time of great tribulation and disruption, as entire cities being abandoned in anticipation of the Mongol invasion, roving bandits became endemic. Some Mongol leaders even proposed a plan to turn northern China into a great pasture land by killing every single Chinese person in the region. It would have been one of the greatest slaughters in human history, if it was not for a Chan monk by the name of Hai Yun (Chin.: 海雲), who among other Chinese religious leaders influenced the Mongol court to abandon their plans.

Suggested Keywords for further search:  Fuyu | Fu Yu | Monk Fuyu

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Posted by Venerable Master Shi Yan Zhuo & Yaojin on 12/09 at 12:36 AM

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