About Us

Budhism: -

A new Buddhist Sanctuary:

The Shaolin Temple was ordered built by Emperor Xizowen of the later Wei dynasty in the 19th year of reign of Taihe (A.D. 495) for the study of Buddhism. Although Buddhism ha been introduced into China as early as A.D. 100, several hundred years passed before Batuo, the first Buddhist monk, arrived there from India. Batuo sought out emperor Xiaowen in Hengan, converted him and convinced him to order the construction of the first school of Buddhism in china - the Shaolin Temple.

The first structure completed was the "Translation Platform," where Batuo and his tow Chinese disciples began translating the ancient Pali texts form Sanskrit to Chinese. The Shaolin temple soon became famous in china as the source for Buddhist knowledge, which drew hundreds of followers to the temple. Word of Batuo and his teachings eventually spread to India where it reached the ears of Prajnatara, the 27th Buddhist patriarch. Prajnatara observed that Batuo place too much emphasis on rituals which had nothing directly to do with the salvation of the soul - the essence of Buddhism. Near death, Prajnatara hinted to his successor to go to china and spread the true meaning of Buddhism.

The true meaning of Buddhism:

Buddhism is based on the belief that to leave in this world means to suffer. Suffering not only includes sickness and old age, but also emotions such as joy and sorrow. This concept is also found in Buddhism.

Buddhists deal with suffering in a different way (although they have sometimes been known to laugh). Contrary to the Judeo Christian belief, Buddhists believe death does not end the suffering, because the soul is reincarnated into another living being who also suffers, and the cycle repeats endlessly. This process can only be stopped by reaching a state of enlightenment before passing on to Nirvana or Salvation.

Enlightenment is interpreted as supreme wisdom, or simply, understanding (the cause of human suffering). Since desire is considered the cause of human suffering, it is believed enlightenment can be achieved by the renouncement of all worldly things and desires. The problem herein for the common laborer is that secular life is in direct conflict with the prescribed path toward enlightenment. For this reason, the concept of merit was introduced in some Buddhist sects to allow for the non-hermit monk also to attain enlightenment. Merit is essentially the accumulation of good deeds over several, if not thousands of cycles of rebirths until enlightenment is reached.

Bodhidharma's pilgrimage to Shaolin:

Prajnatara was succeeded by, Bodhidharma, who became the 28th Buddhist patriarch, succeeded Prajnatara. In accordance with his mentor's death wish, Bodhidharma left his mentor's death wish, Bodhidharma left his exalted position in India to spread the true meaning of Buddhism in China. After a remarkable journey through the treacherous Himalayan Mountains, Bodhidharma was summoned before the court of the sovereign Wudi of the Liang dynasty. There, the now famous conversation between Bodhidharma and Wudi took place regarding the concept of merit.

Emperor Wu, anxious for the sage to bless his self-proclaimed devout contributions to Buddhism, asked Bodhidharma, "We have constructed many temples, copied the Holy Scriptures, and supported many monks and nuns. What merit is there in our conduct, reverend sir?"

"No merit at all," he replied. "Those are inferior deeds containing vestiges of worldliness which are akin to shadows in the forest. They only appear to exist. In reality they have no substance. The only true work of merit is wisdom, pure, perfect and mysterious, which is not to be won through material acts."

Appalled at the response, which to him indicated that his presumed great efforts were being condemned, the Chinese ruler inquired again, "What, then, is the holy truth in its highest sense?"

"In vast emptiness there is nothing holy," said Bodhidharma.

Finally, in exasperation, the Emperor asked, "Who is it, then, confronting me now?"
"I know not, your majesty," was his baffling answer.

This again demonstrates that without the presence of merit in the Buddhist religion, even the most powerful man in the country cannot even attempt to practice Buddhism without becoming monastic or hermit monk.

When Bodhidharma finally arrived at the Shaolin Temple in the third year of the reign of Emperor Xiaoming (A.D.527), the abbot Batuo refused him entrance. This was the result of both jealousy of Bodhidharma's exalted position in the Buddhist hierarchy, and differences in their interpretations of Buddhism-including the concept of merit. Batuo emphasized ritual sized ritualistic practices such as reading and reciting sutras to attain enlightenment, whereas Bodhidharma emphasized meditation and self-discipline as the path to enlightenment. To convince Batuo of his oversight, Bodhidharma sat in the lotus position (cross-legged) facing a wall outside a cave near the Shaolin Temple, and meditated for nine years. After witnessing this feat of great self-discipline, Batuo finally conceded and accepted the great sage as his mentor.