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Luxury Cassock Cloaks Luster of Shaolin Temple

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  • Luxury Cassock Cloaks Luster of Shaolin Temple
    The abbot of China's famed Shaolin Temple has caused another stir by accepting the gift of a luxury cassock on Monday -- after the monastery was criticized for its installation of lavish restrooms worth 430,000 dollars and the acceptance of an extravagant four-wheel-drive vehicle from the local government.
    The cassock, with traditional Buddhist patterns such as lotus and sacred vases woven in gold thread, was given to Shi Yongxin, the country's most controversial monk, by a private brocade company in the eastern Nanjing City, where the "dragon robes", garments for ancient China's emperors, were usually manufactured.
    Although the company did not reveal how much is the cassock worth, Zhang Hongbao, the cassock's designer, said the gold thread alone had cost 50,000 yuan (US$7,300).
    "I started designing it in 2005, four years after Shi asked me to make such a cassock for him," Zhang was quoted as saying by the local Yangtze Evening News newspaper.
    But Shi said the cassock was only a gift and he never asked for it.
    "It's not specially tailored for the abbot," he told Xinhua on Monday." It's just a gift and Shaolin did not spend a nickle on it."
    Shi said the cassock would be housed in the temple museum to be built.
    The move has exposed Shaolin to harsh criticism, which the 1,500-year kungfu shrine is no stranger to.
    Almost 90 percent of the 5,000 respondents to an online survey launched by, a website affiliated to the Hong Kong Phoenix TV, said they disapproved of the temple accepting such a gift.
    "Why should an ascetic temple accept a luxurious gift like this? Shi is not a monk but a businessman," said an anonymous commenter from central Henan Province, where the temple is located.
    "The temple should not accept the 'Trojan horse,' which the company gave to put its product into spotlight," he said.
    Shi has earned the nickname of the "CEO monk", since many people have accused him of running Shaolin like a business.
    Under his leadership, Shaolin has developed business ventures such as kungfu shows, film production and online sales.
    Shi has managed the temple's affairs since 1987 and officially took over as abbot in 1999.
    In 2006, Shi received a vehicle from Henan officials in recognition of his services to local tourism. Chinese Internet commentators accused him of greed after the 44-year-old monk suggested he hoped for a bigger present the next year.
    Last year, Shaolin came into limelight again after it built "five-star restrooms" in its compounds for tourists. The most lavish of the toilets measures more than 150 square meters (1,614 square feet) and is equipped with a diaper changing station for infants, uniformed cleaners and a foyer with an LCD television.
    An official resume of Shi said he was sent to Shaolin by his parents as a teenager because they found he was clever and committed to Buddhism.
    But different versions of Shi's resume circulating on the Internet can easily be found. One of them suggests he was a vender of mouse poisons and questions the methods he employed to become abbot.
    (Xinhua News Agency June 9, 2009)

  • #2
    Weren't the Shoulin boys all wiped out by the Japs anyway.

    And the Manchurian persecution....

    5 masters got away, one was a nun....

    Shoulin my ass


    • #3
      Shaolin Abbot's "purchase" of 160,000-yuan robe receives netizens' criticism

      On June 7, a report titled "Shi Yongxin ordered a custom-made brocade robe; the gold thread used alone standing at 50,000 yuan" was "a great hit" on various major web portals.

      The report by Yangtze Evening Post claims that the "brocade robe" specially made for Shi, the Abbot of Shaolin Temple, was successfully fabricated recently, after years of hard work by craftsmen.

      The report says that this robe is extremely luxurious, "as two types of gold thread, round thread and flat thread were used, and the cost for the gold thread used alone was as high as 50,000 yuan, not to take into account the costs for other material and labor."Click image for larger version

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      Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

      "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

      (more comments in my User Profile)


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