The Chinese Shaolin Temple History


At the vicinity of Song Shan Mountains is situated a temple that probably is the hub of Henan province's Dnegfeng City. The Shaolin Temple, a famous and synonymous name with the American marshall arts enthusiasts is found in the misdst of the mountains. These tall rocky thrones act as a protective layer for the temple. For this reason, it was crowned in 1983 as the national temple for all the Buddists by the state at that time. Established in 495AD, emperor Xiaowen created this monument, after the directive and following of an Indian monk. The influence of this monk carried by the the emperor was responsible for spreading Buddism in Luoyang. The monk's name was Batuo.

The story goes that this emperor gave command to the building of the temple, which was at the time to be made at the northern deep forests of the mountains.

The Sui Dynasty saw the principles, works and culture of Buddhism greatly established. The proponents were the first to name the Shaolin temple as it was named, and its economic and political value was felt among the people of the state. Actually, the temple and the leadership was granted huge tracks of land for cultivation and thus, the economic value of the temple greatly increased. However, at the later stages of this dynasty, the first conflict occurred where many of the palaces that were established were burnt down and the only establishment which remained standing was the pagados.

The inception of the Tang Dynasty saw the rise of a new set of monks. 13 of these monks were among the saviours of a prince called Li Shimin. This act was taken as one of kindness and honor by the state, which in turn granted the Temple resource and money to rebuild and restore what had been burnt down.

This made the economic standing of the Shaolin Temple increase more than it ever had done before. More pagodas and meeting halls were established and designs were but into place to have the halls looking exquisite. The royalities of the time would often visit the temple and thus became a landmark for society.

The beauty of the temple still resounds in what remains of it today. The temple bells are a vivid reminder of what was happening at the time. In the year 723, one emperor Xuanzong commissioned an astronomer Seng Yixing to have his works established in the temple courts.

Confucianism was established in the reigns of the Song dynasty, which later emerged after Tang. They were well versed in the philosophical teachings of Buddhism. This gave birth to three other religions, namely Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. The Chans were the influencers of Confucianism and their ideals were resounding amonsgst their people. However, they also build a Shaolin Temple among themselves. Later on, in te Yongxi times, the temple built 9500 volumes of scripture, and finally, the world would now talk of the Shaolin Temple as the world's first temple.

The new Chinese government, in an effort to reserve the glory of the Saolin Temple, granted that the temple be rebuilt as a national monument of temple history. Most of the halls including the Tianwang, Buddha worshipping hall, Daxiong and the bell tower were funded for rebuilding. The traditional appearance remains until today.

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