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#316984 - 01/22/07 12:59 PM Shao Lin Temple Fairy tale origin and real origin
RazorFoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 2064
Loc: Seated at the computer, DUH
This was sent to me by a Chinese friend of mine who collects tales and stories of Asian culture. She was kind enough to share it with me so I will now share it with you.

"Legend has it that there was once a big temple in Deng
Feng County named Zhu Lin Si (Bamboo Forest Temple) at
the base of Wu Ru Peak of Shao Shi Hills which are
part of the foothills of Mount Son gin central China.

There lived in the temple an old monk named Dao Ji,
who wanted very much to become an immortal. Only he
had failed again and again to find a magic medicine or
the elixir of life. There was in the temple a
ten-year-old boy monk called Dao Lan, who went every
day to gather firewood in the mountains. While there,
he made the acquaintance of a boy called Ginseng Baby,
who always helped him with wood-cutting. Soon they
became very good friends. This somehow had come to the
ear of the old monk how suspected that this Ginseng
Baby might be the elixir ginseng incarnate which he
was searching for. The plant was believed to blossom
only once every three thousand years and to take
another thousand years to fructify.

One morning, the old monk stealthily followed Dao Lan
into the mountains and hid himself behind a huge rock.
Just when Dao Lan and the Ginseng Baby were frolicking
he sprang out and grabbed hold of the Ginseng Baby. By
struggling desperately the Ginseng Baby managed to
free himself and vanish under the cliffs. But the old
monk refused to give up. Taking out a small pick, he
started digging. Before long, a plump white ginseng
rose was unearthed.

Very pleased and satisfied, the monk returned to the
temple, hugging the root in his arms. With the door
closed, he placed the ginseng root in a pot containing
water and started brewing it. In no time the whole
temple was permeated with the aroma of ginseng. It
happened that just then a visitor was asking to see
Monk Dao Ji. After meeting the guest and seeing him
off, Dao Ji came back, to that the ginseng had been
eaten up by other monks with only some decoction left
in the pot. Mad with fury, the old monk cursed and
swore away loudly and took up the pot to drink the
decoction. But before he could do that, Dao Lan, who
was grieved at the loss of the Ginseng Baby and hated
Dao Ji for it, snatched the pot and tried to make off.
With the old monk at his heels, Dao Lan suddenly
slipped and fell, the decoction splashing all over
him. At this very moment, a resounding bang was heard
and the temple, suffused with a golden glow, began to
rise slowly into the sky. The monks who had eaten the
ginseng, more than ten in number, all turned into
immortal celestial beings while the wicked old monk
fell plummeting down from the temple in midair. IN
commemoration of the vanish temple, people later built
a new one on its site. Since it was located in the
woods at the foot of Shao Shi Hills, it was given the
name Shao Lin Temple, Lin being the Chinese word for
woods.

This fairy tale has certainly added a mystic touch to
the history of the temple. In point of fact, Shao Lin
Temple was built in A.D. 495 by Emperor Xiao Wen of
the Northern Wei Dynasty for his revered monk Bhadra
who had come all the way from the Western Regions to
preach Buddhism in China. More than thirty years
later, Bodhidharma, an Indian monk, came to Shao Lin
Temple where he established and preached Zen Buddhism,
Zen meaning meditation. Bodhidharma held that one
could achieve sainthood or nirvana if only he could
spend long periods of time sitting and meditating
before the wall, free from all worldly thoughts. This
simple and easy way to cultivate mind and body was
quickly popularized among the people. And Shao Lin
Temple has since become known as a sacred place of Zen
Buddhism both at home and abroad.

When Bhadra was the abbot at Shao Lin Temple, the
monks there developed several new sets of Chinese
boxing for body-building and self-defence on the basis
of boxing arts popular among ordinary folks such as
Wuqinxi (Game of Fir kinds of Birds and Beasts). The
temple also admitted as disciples those who were adept
in martial arts. It was said that in the city of
Luoyang one day Bhadra saw a young man doing a risky
show with a shuttle-cock on top of the wooden fence
round a well. It was so difficult and risky a game
that even a single misstep would cause him to fall
woefully into the well. Yet this young man managed to
kick the shuttle cock at his back 500 times without a
break. Bhadra was greatly impressed so that he
accepted him as his disciple.

After the institution of Zen Buddhism by Bodhidharma,
monks devoted even more time to meditation. However,
they found it very hard to sustain for long the strain
of this kind of exercise, for meditation slowed down
the circulation of blood in the body. To counteract
this bad effect, the monks designed new ways to do
body-building boxing, which gradually evolved into the
unique Shao Lin Boxing. Monks good at martial arts
formed teams of temple guards. Their movements,
characterized by agility and suddenness, were like
those of a tiger pouncing upon its victim or of an
eagle swooping down on its prey. Whether they were
moving forward or backward, their footsteps were
perfectly aligned. They moved like a whirlwind in
defence as well as in offence, or sometimes in a
combination of both. And when they stood still, they
were like piles driven deep into the ground…nothing
whatsoever could budge them a bit. In the Hall of One
Thousand Gods in the temple, one can see even today on
the flagstone floor the pits worn by the monks of
olden days in the course of their training in martial
arts.

Towards the end of the Sui Dynasty, a group of 13
monks from Shao Lin Temple saved Li Shimin, Duke of
Qin, by Shao Lin martial arts when his life was at
stake. After Li Shimin ascended the throne, Shao Lin
Temple was granted a large tract of land and permitted
to retain a force consisting of 500 monk soldiers.
Consequently the reputation of Shao Lin martial arts
spread far and wide and, being constantly improved
upon, became in time an important school of marital
arts in China. This age-old Gongfu for body-building
and self-defence has gained widespread influence in
its history and now has fans both in China and in
other countries."
_________________________
"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."

Top
#316985 - 01/23/07 08:04 AM Re: Shao Lin Temple Fairy tale origin and real ori [Re: RazorFoot]
Fisherman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Quote:

After the institution of Zen Buddhism by Bodhidharma,
monks devoted even more time to meditation. However,
they found it very hard to sustain for long the strain
of this kind of exercise, for meditation slowed down
the circulation of blood in the body. To counteract
this bad effect, the monks designed new ways to do
body-building boxing, which gradually evolved into the
unique Shao Lin Boxing.




From what I have read, and the story that I am familiar with says that Bodhidharma or DaMo brought what as known as the I Chin Ching exercises to the Shaolin temple. As the story goes, Bodhidharma brought these exercises with him when he traveled from India to China. From what I have seen, these exercises bear a striking resemblance to the postures of Hatha Yoga, the difference lies in the application of dynamic tension. It is these exercises that made the monks incredibly strong and formidable fighters.
_________________________
Chris Haynes

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#316986 - 01/23/07 03:34 PM Re: Shao Lin Temple Fairy tale origin and real ori [Re: Fisherman]
RazorFoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 2064
Loc: Seated at the computer, DUH
Thanks for the clarification. She does a lot of study but I do not know how accurate her research is. In the past, it has been pretty dependable. This was an article that she got from her reference material but I have found your info to be most accurate in the past so if torn between the two, I would default to your info.
_________________________
"The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."

Top
#316987 - 01/25/07 11:31 PM Re: Shao Lin Temple Fairy tale origin and real ori [Re: RazorFoot]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
which part was the fairy tale?

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