Thirteen warrior monks fought valiantly with wooden staffs and defeated an entire army!
Such is the legendary history of the Shaolin Temple. The narrative states that to express his gratitude the emperor assigned the Shaolin Temple as the ‘Supreme Temple’ status. It is this history of the monastery that the current abbot Shi Yongxin has endeavored to re claim. After nearly twenty years of dedicated efforts this unusual young monk from modest background has made the Chinese government recognize the Shaolin Temple as a heritage sight. And keeping with his MBA degree he has registered the ‘Shaolin Temple’ as a trademark.
‘It is more than just a building, it the spirit that propels it forward.’
The spirit of Shaolin culture i.e Shi Ji (reality) with Awareness. It is this idea that captured the imagination of generations!
Much of the history of the monastery is intertwined with its myth. Shaolin Temple was the first established in the 19th year of the Taihe reign of the North Wei Dynasty (495 AD) to house the Indian monk bhadra. Thirty-two years later, another Indian monk Bodhidharma, who was known as the twenty-eight Buddhist patriarch, came to Shaolin to teach the Ch’an Meditation Technique of the Mahayana school. Shaolin has since then been recognized as the ancestral monastery of Ch’an Buddhism.