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difference between shaolin monk and shaolin warrior monk

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  • difference between shaolin monk and shaolin warrior monk

    are there any difference between shaolin monk and shaolin warrior monk, I though no but Gene ching said they make different vow...
    what are they and why?
    martial way is mine, death one is yours
    call me last bodyguard of the lohan chuan, call me the one who will bring wu de to occident, call me, the one

  • #2
    wu seng/he shang

    this is the accepted divide, but the reality is not so black and white because there are series of vows, starting with in the door vows, discipleship vows, that sort of thing.

    he shang means harmony, and that is the title given to those monks who have taken the greatest set of vows. they concentrate on ch'an studies- which is misleading because many understand their gong fu practice to be Ch'an practice.

    most people consider the heshang to be the 'true' monks, or those are the monks that fit their preconceived notions about what monks are and are not the best, but many others understand that things in Shaolin are best taken on an individual basis. There are wu seng with superior knowledge of Ch'an, and there are wu seng who only know gong fu. There are he shang who may have taken all the right vows but don't grasp the meaning of Ch'an. Monasticism is a process that definitions can not adequately address.

    Such as Shi Wan Heng. Heshang but now an outcast or what are they calling them now, 'renegade.'

    So there are some differences and there are not. Much of it has to do with politics at the temple. Kow tow to YX and you are a monk noo matter what you do, cross him and you get expelled for doing less than some of his disciples, if he can get at you.
    "Arhat, I am your father..."
    -the Dark Lord Cod


    • #3
      ah I see, thx
      martial way is mine, death one is yours
      call me last bodyguard of the lohan chuan, call me the one who will bring wu de to occident, call me, the one


      • #4
        It depends upon who you talk to. Like everything else in life.

        Yes, there are different levels of vows. No, not everyone takes them all.

        The warrior monks, as do the other non warrior monks, all start with the Taking Refuge ceremony. Most don't go on. Some do. The non wuseng may or may not continue with more vows, but they do continue with more Buddhist studies in the temple.

        Whatever that is now.

        But, if you talk to someone like Xinghong, who claims to be very Buddhist, I don't think he got any further than the initial ceremony. I also believe that Deyang is in the same position. But, if you watch Deyang, and watch his value systems in action, they don't get any more Buddhist than that.

        On the other side of the coin, the very Buddhist trained Yongxin, in many people's opinions, don't exactly jive with what one would expect.

        Decheng has not gone far with the vow system, yet, with respect to the Buddhist way of life, he's it, in my opinion.

        So, I guess my point is, the whole difference thing is irrelevant.
        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)


        • #5
          now that I am remembering this stuff, there are 5 sets of vows. maybe Uwe knows the divisions peculiar to Shaolin.
          "Arhat, I am your father..."
          -the Dark Lord Cod


          • #6
            Monk Soldiers


            yes I do know more about these vows, but I think it is important to understand the background a bit better. Here is an excerpt in regards to Monk soldiers.

            Also, I am progressing nicely with my book, and I plan on uploading the first images this weekend.

            Additionally, I will post something else in the general section in a few minutes.

            Here we go.


            At Linshan Village of Xitianwei Township in Putian at the ruins of the Southern Shaolin Temple, there is a stone trough. It is engraved with Chinese calligraphy proclaiming that two Monk soldiers, Yongqi and Jinqi, of Linquanyuan Temple, the original name of the Southern Shaolin Temple, made this trough in September of the Year Jiayou of the Song Dynasty.

            The mere existence of this archeological evidence gives rise to three key questions:

            1. What is a Monk Soldier?

            2. Did “Monk Soldiers” exist throughout Shaolin history?

            3. How and why did monk soldiers come to Linshan in Fujian Province?

            I. What is a Monk Soldier?

            In answering the first question, we must begin by noting that the term ‘Monk’ refers specifically to a Shaolin Buddhist monk. There were Shaolin fighting monks who were treated as soldiers. Students often note the paradox between a monastic advocacy of standing aloof from worldly affairs and refusing to kill any life and a monastic development of a soldier that would take life without batting an eyelid. They wonder how the two can stand side by side.

            To explain the existence of Monk Soldiers, we need to go back to the earliest inhabitants of the Shaolin Temple. The official position of the Temple and Chinese Government historians today is that the original monks were retired military men and robber barons looking to live out the remainder of their lives in a tolerant setting with others of their kind. In other words, the original Shaolin Temple possessed martial arts experience from its inception. Shortly after the Temple’s creation, history pushed the Temple into the military limelight, as seen in the story of thirteen cudgel fighting monks saving the early Tang Dynasty Emperor’s life. During the transition from the Sui Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty (619 A.D.), Wang Shicong (a general from the previous dynasty who possessed Imperial aspirations of his own) occupied Luoyang City as a stronghold for its defile. In September of that year, Emperor Li Shimin deployed a large army to besiege Luoyang City. At this key point, Zhicao and Tangzong, two Shaolin monks, started an uprising against Wang Shicong. They captured Wang Renze, the nephew of the rogue general. Zhicao and Tangzong, along with other monks, joined Emperor Li Shimin’s army and helped convince Wang Renze to provide assistance key to overcoming Wang Shicong. Following subsequent victory, Li Shimin went on to unify China. He so appreciated the help from the Shaolin Monks that he granted them an imperial jade seal authorizing the Shaolin Temple to organize Monk Soldiers. Wherein other temples have monks that practice martial arts, this is the first, and only official government sanction in Chinese history for monastic creation of monk soldiers.

            From this historical anecdote, we know that Tang Emperor Li Shimin chartered the Shaolin Temple to organize a monk army, most likely because Shaolin monks had helped him to establish his power and might be needed for similar action in the future. It laid the groundwork for Shaolin monk soldiers to become China’s ‘special forces’ for meeting specific military needs. This explains the difference between the Shaolin Temples and other temples in China: Shaolin legally trained armed Monks who were proficient with Kung Fu, and only Shaolin could legally maintain an army of Monk Soldiers. Other Buddhist temples did not have this same privilege.

            II. Did “Monk Soldiers” exist throughout Shaolin history?

            As indicated above, the authorization for creating monk soldiers came directly from the first Tang Dynasty Emperor. The inscription of “Monk Soldiers” on the stone trough in Putian was done during the Song Dynasty 300 plus years later.

            Jiayou was the reign title of Song Emperor Zhao Zhen who assumed control 96 years after the Great Song Emperor Zhao Kungyin (960 A.D.). Zhao Kungyin unified China from the situation of separatist warlord regimes and established the great Song Dynasty. It was very beneficial to the prosperity and growth of the country and its cultures. The steady economy and political policy of the Song Dynasty promoted the development of Buddhism. Instead of oppressing Buddhists, the Dynasty protected and encouraged them. They ceased Confucian driven destruction of Buddhist temples and supported the study of 157 Buddhist monks in India. Zhao Congcin, the Emperor’s Secretary, went to Chengdu personally to carve “ The Great Buddhist Scriptures”. The dissemination and development of Buddhism was expanded. Many temples, including the Shaolin Temples, benefited from these new policies. The Manuscript of Shaolin Boxing said that the Great Song Emperor visited the Shaolin Temple and sent famous generals to Shaolin to teach monks about the art of war and at the same time learn Shaolin Martial Arts. In essence, the military and Shaolin were still learning from each other. The Great Song Emperor himself was very good at Kungfu (Boxing) too. He knew 32 moves of the Long Fist boxing. Shaolin Annals of Martial Arts Monks records “The Great Emperor of Song Dynasty, Zhao Kunyin, as a grandmaster of Kung Fu. He supported the head abbot of the Shaolin Temple and helped organize 3 National Competitions of Martial Arts for monks, his generals, and folk martial experts.” This represents the first time in history that a national level tournament combined the talents of Shaolin, the military, and civilian martial expertise. In total, 18 formal systems came together and competed.

            Zhao Kunyin’s son, Zhen Zong, continued to protect Buddhism and built 72 worship stations along the roads to the Capital and in the Capital. He increased the quota of monks and nuns. In 1021 A.D., the number of monks and nuns increased dramatically. This policy remained unchanged for at least 34 years. Therefore, Buddhists at this time were not only fully protected, but also the Monk Soldiers of Shaolin were given great responsibility and privileges. “Song History” records that the Emperor called the Monk Soldiers a “Victory Army”. These historical facts prove that in Jiayou Year of Song Dynasty, Monk Soldiers not only existed, but also occupied important positions in the dynasty.

            The words “Monk Soldier” were also used in the Ming Dynasty in an article entitled “Daily Knowledge Annals,” written by Gu Yanwu, a famous scholar of that period. During that same period, Fumei, the famous poet of the Ming Dynasty, wrote a poem entitled Passing By Shaolin Temple, that describes Shaolin monks as well known for their martial arts skills and highlights their receipt of many honors from past Emperors. Likewise, a famous calligrapher of the Ming Dynasty inscribed a well-known work that reflects Observing Martial Arts in Shaolin.

            The Grand Master of “Shaolin Cudgel Arts” during the Ming Dynasty wrote in his diary, “ There have been no Monk Soldiers in China’s temples except the Shaolin Temples, whose the most important task is to protect their temples.” Later, during the Qing Dynasty, Mr. Yang Zao also said that if monk soldiers have ever been mentioned, they refer to the Shaolin Temples. From these historical references, we can deduce that only the Shaolin Temples had Monk Soldiers, or Monk Soldiers could only come from Shaolin Temples.

            III. How and why did Monk Soldiers come to Linshan Village?

            Linquan Yuan Temple in Putian was considered to be a big temple. According to the stone inscription, it had more than 20 buildings with more than 500 monks living there. How and why did Monk Soldiers from Songsan Shaolin Temple come to Linquan Yuan (later called the Southern Shaolin Temple) in Putian? The answer is simple: Shaolin Monks traveled extensively throughout their history. To understand this practice, we must determine why there were traveling monks. Three key reasons for traveling monks have been confirmed by Chinese historians: 1) Direct orders from the Emperor for military assistance from monk soldiers; 2) Movements between the Northern and Southern Temples for political reasons; and 3) Chan Buddhism’s requirement for experience that could only be gained via travel outside the temple.

            1. Direct orders of the Emperor for Military Assistance from Monk Soldiers

            The Southern Shaolin Temple was ultimately the result of Northern Temple monk warriors responding to an Imperial order for martial assistance from Tang Emperor, Li Shimin. Pirate incursions in Fujian Province threatened stability and prosperity in Southern China and the monk soldiers were needed for special operations. Three of the legendary Shaolin Thirteen Cudgel fighting monks, Dao Guang, Seng Man and Seng Feng, led approximately 500 warrior monks south in the early 7th Century A.D. to engage in battle against the pirates. Their special talents helped the Tang soldiers defeat the pirates.

            Many warrior monks fell during the coastal battles. To commemorate their fallen comrades, Dao Guang was tasked by Tan Zong, Northern Temple grandmaster, to select a site resembling the Songsan “Jiu Lian” Mountain and then establish a Southern Shaolin Branch to commemorate their fallen brothers. Dao Guang selected the temple in Putian to fulfill this tasking. Tan Zong further tasked him to remember their ancestors and to spread the Chan Buddhist philosophy native to the Songsan Temple.

            This type of deployment of monk soldiers throughout China is seen throughout Dynastic history. For example, in 1114 A.D., the Mongolians invaded China. The Chinese Emperor ordered the Shaolin Temples to dispatch Monk Soldiers to fight back. Over 500 monks intercepted the Mongolian army at the bank of the Yellow River. They were not successful, but history records that they were there at the order of the Emperor.

            2. Movements between the North and South for political reasons

            During the Tang Dynasty, a struggle erupted over the selection of the 6th Patriarch of Chan Buddhism. Sheng Hui declared himself the 6th Patriarch and emphasized orthodox Buddhism with a strong dash of Confucian orientation in Northern China. The 5th Patriarch’s choice for successor, Hui Neng, fled to the South where his more Taoist influenced form of Budhhism flourished. Ultimately, a subsequent Tang emperor declaring the Southern lineage as the rightful Patriarchy later served political purposes. With this declaration, Chan Buddhism’s roots had left Northern China. Journeys from North to South were to be expected. The nature of Chan Buddhism seen today is fundamentally a fusion of Taoist and Buddhist thought and culture.

            Another documented example of political movements to the south can be gleaned from a well-documented Song Dynasty incident. A young man named Haizhou escaped from the imperial slaughter of his entire family by hiding in the Northern Shaolin Temple. He became a monk and learned extensive Shaolin Kungfu over the next decade. The Emperor later learned of his hiding place, thus forcing him to flee overnight for the safety of Southern Shaolin Temple where he remained.

            Other examples of politically driven movements to the south stem from the struggles between Ming and Qing Dynasties. As the Qing cemented control of Northern China 30 years before Southern China fell, many monks from the North traveled to the Southern Temple to continue rebellion against the Qing conquest.

            3. Chan Buddhism’s requirement for experience that could only be gained via travel outside the temple.

            For practicing Buddhism, monks had to travel outside the temple. Yongqi and Jinqi, whose names are reflected today in the reconstructed Southern Shaolin Temple’s records as the creators of the stone trough referenced in the opening paragraph might have traveled to Putian for any of the above reasons and decided to stay in Linquan Yuan.

            Chan Buddhist history clearly explains that after the development of Buddhism, monks began to lead a wondering life in order to prove and expand their belief. “Fujian History” says that by the end of the Tang Dynasty, Buddhism has been evolved into 5 groups: Yang Zong, Caodong Zong, Yunmen Zong, Linji Zong, Fayan Zong. Most of them were founded by Fujianese. In other words, Chan Buddhism’s roots had moved to Southern China.

            Therefore, the practice of Shaolin Monks taking Fujian as their destination for visiting would appear natural. Among the five groups referenced above, Caodong Zong’s founder was specifically from Putian, the location of the Southern Shaolin Temple. “Putian County Annals” records “DanZhang Huang went to Lingshi Mountain and became a monk. Later he moved to Cao mountain with a monk name Ben Ji.” Therefore, assertions that Shaolin monks of the Caodong group visited Putian are reasonable.

            From above examples, we can conclude that as far as back as the Tang Dynasty, many famous monks of the Shaolin Temple visited Linshan, Putian and some of them stayed in what became the Southern Shaolin Temple.

            From the above information we may conclude that Linquan Yuan was not just a common temple. It was a temple of Shaolin Martial Arts directly passed on by Shaolin Monk Soldiers. It became a branch of the Songsan Shaolin temple. In order to differentiate them, we call Songsan Shaolin Temple Northern Shaolin and Linquan Yuan as Southern Shaolin. After a while, people only remember the South Shaolin and forget about Linquan Yuan, the birthplace of South Shaolin. The Qing Government destroyed Linquan Yuan. The finding of its ruins and subsequent reconstruction is being described by the Government of China as the most significant archeological discovery in China’s extensive history of martial arts and philosophy. It is especially significant to the marital arts of the most popular systems in the West who find their roots in the Southern Shaolin Temple such as Wing Chun, White Crane, Southern Preying Mantis, Five Ancestor Fist, Southern Dragon and White Eyebrow.


            Source: Ving Tsun museum


            • #7
              Great history stuff Uwe. As usual.

              But the existance of the so called Southern Shaolin temple has never been proved. Even by recent Chinese scholars. And the abbot, Shi Yongxin, has outrightly claimed that this "southern Shaolin temple" never existed. The story of the Shaolin monks fighting the invading Japanese army has been documented, and is depicted in a clay statue mock up in the Shaolin temple (insinuating that it was the monks of the Henan temple who fought them).

              Smoke and mirrors. It never ends.
              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)


              • #8
                waoouw UWE very interesting info, really !!!
                martial way is mine, death one is yours
                call me last bodyguard of the lohan chuan, call me the one who will bring wu de to occident, call me, the one


                • #9
                  Warrior Monks & Southern Temples

                  "Myth is not necessarily falsehood or fantasy. It is a way of folding interpretations inside one another to create a coherent and if possible persuasive narrative of the origins of cultural authority or political power." -Pamela Kyle Crossley.

                  During the time of Perestroika in Russia, when so much revolutionary history was being written, men who were heroes became villains, and deeds that had been great became shameful. No one knew who or what would be rewritten next. It became a common joke to say, "In Russia, nobody can predict the past."

                  "In the Yuan Dynasty, it was Fuyu, the Grand Monk who chaired the Temple, taking charge of all the monasteries in Songshan Mountains, during which period many branch temples were established throughout China, as recorded in The Tablet Inscriptions for The Venerable Shaolin Chan Master Sir Fuyu found in: Helin, Yanji, Chang'an, Taiyuan, and Luoyang. There had been exactly ten Shaolin temples if we count the additional ones in Quanzhou, Putian, Shandong, Taiwan (the historic records for this is unknown) respectively and the Shaolin Temple in Songshan, from which we can see the magnitude of the scale," abbot Yongxin.

                  The 5 main temples noted at this time are all in the north.

                  LUOYANG: Henan Prov. Auspicious as it is the scene of China's first Buddhist temple, White Horse Temple.
                  CHANG'AN: Capital city of Shaanxi Prov. Today it is called Xian & is known for the terracotta warriors buried there to protect first Emperor Qin in death.
                  TAIYUAN: Capital city of Shanxi Prov. It was a second capital of the Eastern Wei Dynasty; Buddhism prospered for the first time during this period.
                  YANJI: Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in eastern Jilin Province.
                  HELIN: Is actually Helin Ge'er or Helinge'er County, near Huhehaote a.k.a. Hohhot the capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

                  According to Shi De Qian, one of China's ten Grandmasters, and Shaolin's present historian:
                  There is some controversy over the second destruction of the northern temple. There are those that believe it was in the Yuan Dynasty that the temple suffered its second destruction, and that it was a myth created by the secret societies that the temple had actually been destroyed during the Qing Dynasty. There are reports of the temple being overrun at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, that the monks repulsed a group of armed marauders, but in the process the temple suffered considerable damage.
                  "Shaolin Temple was destroyed by wars in the Yuan Dynasty, and had been under repair and rework in both Ming and Qing Dynasties," abbot Yongxin.
                  It is also believed that it was at this time the monastery decided to train a group of monks specificlly to defend the temple from future raids. This new group of warrior monks successfully fought off a number of peasant troops following the initial attack. Sui Dynasty Emperor gave them 1 648 acres of land to cultivate.

                  Today what little Shaolin will acknowledge of a southern Shaolin temple is that the legend developed as the result of a battle fought between the Chinese and Japanese in the seventh or eight century in the region of Fujian province. Japanese pirates had invaded China in this region and the emperor needed help repelling the invaders. To this end he requested that the Shaolin temple send some of its warrior monks to assist. The warrior monks helped turn back the tide and the battle was won. However many warrior monks had fallen in combat, to commemorate their fallen comrades some of the Shaolin monks stayed behind and built a temple in Fuzhou.
                  Supposedly one of the monk leaders who remained had been wounded in the leg. Unable to practice his wushu normally, he adapted and converted his practice to a more upper body oriented style, relying more on arms than legs.

                  1553 Ming Dynasty 40 monks armed with staffs routed a band of Japanese pirates.
                  The alternative story of the second destruction (of the northern temple) is not confirmed by Shaolin. In 1674, one year into the Three Feudatories War far to the south, the central government felt there was a hint of rebellion brewing much closer to home and moved on it before it got out of control. The monk's reputation preceded them, they could be as politically motivated as any one, and if they felt the Qing should be ousted as an unfit government, possibly even due to the war in the south, the monks could train and motivate troops against Beijing itself. Again there are no records as to why, or if, the Qing moved against the northern temple. They were also busy fighting in the south in the Three Feudatories War.
                  Popular legend asserts that the Qing destroyed the southern Shaolin Temple, burning it to the ground for insurrection. Although sources differ about when this happened exactly, recent archaeological digs in the southern province of Fujian seem to point to the latter 1600's, soon after the Qing came to power.
                  A probable period for the burning might have been during the reign of the first Qing emperor, Shunzhi (1644-1661.) In 1646, Shunzhi subjugated Fujian, Zhejiang and Sichuan. A year later Guangzhou (Canton) fell to him as well. While conquering the south, he was more likely to have destroyed the temple than his successor. The second Qing Emperor Kangxi (1661-1722) was a great supporter of Shaolin Temple. He even wrote the famous characters for Shaolinsi ("si" means temple) for Shaolin's famous placard in Henan, so it is unlikely he would have burned the place he venerated.

                  The Three Feudatories War came about from greed. To squash Ming loyalists in the south the Qing sent in Ming deserters Wu Sangui, Shang Kexi, & Geng Jimao. The were named princes by the Qing court and given considerable power to police, administer civil service exams, and tax the regions of Yunnan & Guizhou (under Wu Sangui), Guangdong & Guangxi (under Shang Kexi) & Fujian (under Geng Jimao & later by his son Geng Jingzhong). The three began demanding subsidies from the central government, and assumed their positions were hereditary. Wu Sangui who, after defeating Ming resistance in Yunnan & Burma in 1661, comfortably set himself up in the commodities rich area. While Wu had been made a prince his greed was beginning to concern the imperial court, it was decided Wu Sangui had to be dealt with. In 1673 Wu rebelled drawing in the other two feudatories, but by 1679 the Qing army had brought them down, Wu Sangui had declared himself emperor but died that same year in Yunnan. His grandson Wu Shifan succeeded Wu; the civil war ended when Wu Shifan, trapped in his capitol committed suicide in 1681. Qing emperor Kangxi, who had acceded the throne at 13, came down hard on the instigators of the rebellion but was lenient on the peasants who were forced to fight, as a result of this he was looked upon favourably by the people.
                  History has no mention of Shaolin's involvement nor is there any good reason for any one to either lay siege to the temple & starve them out (as was a popular method) nor destroy in a great bloody battle as described in legend.

                  You decide ???

                  Further training of warrior monks:
                  Song Dynasty, abbot Fu Yu promoted training by inviting experts to exchange skills. Another retired soldier was Zhue Yuen (Jue Yuan) who lived in the declining years of the Ming dynasty (c.1500-1700). Already an (a skilled swordsman) expert in armed, and empty handed combat, (codified its fist sets into 72 exercises) Zhue Yuen believed the monks wushu were too external, relying too much on strength. He took it upon himself to find ways of changing the martial systems of the temple so as not to require the use of force to battle against force. Zhue Yuen traveled through out China to gather more and unique skills for his project. He met several martial artist on his quest, two who impressed him most were Li Sou and Bai Yu Feng, who Zhue Yuen was able to persuade to come back to Shaolin with him. Eventually (72 routines increased to 170) the three created a new system of fighting they called Wu Quan or Five Fists, these Fists were based on the fighting behaviour of animals, soon to be known as Wu Xing Quan or Five Animal Fists.


                  • #10
                    Uwe, you come up with some good stuff, I must say.


                    • #11
                      this was a great thread.

                      where is uwe anyway?
                      "Arhat, I am your father..."
                      -the Dark Lord Cod


                      • #12
                        whos knows where uwe bad he isnt around more

                        hes the one ive always wanted to meet the most out of all of you.

                        and whats so good about this thread? all old news posted by uwe. same rejection of the southern siu lum temple by doc lolo

                        i always wanted to discuss southern shaolin but no one here seems to have any idea about shaolin outside of the monks wushu
                        "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus


                        • #13
                          don't you have a mortal to instigate or a dunkin donuts expose to write, lol...
                          "Arhat, I am your father..."
                          -the Dark Lord Cod


                          • #14
                            dont you have a corrupt wannabe shaolin monk to defend.

                            or an expose to write about fighting a paper bag
                            "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus


                            • #15
                              mmmm....chocolate or sprinkles....krueller with iced mocha or nestle quick....
                              "Arhat, I am your father..."
                              -the Dark Lord Cod


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