The Extraordinary Final Test to Become a Shaolin Master (Video)
The Shaolin Temple, renowned worldwide as the home of Kung Fu, is a place of rigorous training and spiritual devotion for the 400 monks who reside there. Of these, 100 are warrior monks, students who do not view Kung Fu merely as a martial art but as an integral part of their spiritual practice. One such student, Shu Yandian, is preparing for an examination to become a full warrior monk, a test that demands both physical skill and philosophical knowledge. In order to pass, Yandian must impress a panel of senior monks with his prowess in Kung Fu and his understanding of Buddhist teachings, a feat requiring years of unwavering dedication and commitment.
Kung Fu, originally developed by early Chinese monks to maintain the physical fitness required for prolonged meditation, has evolved into a form of spiritual expression for the warrior monks of the Shaolin Temple. Each monk specializes in a particular aspect of the martial art, and for Yandian, it is the monkey stick, a skill that he has been honing for 11 years. His proficiency will be judged on executing one of the most challenging moves, the 'monkey going up the tree', requiring strength, balance, and utmost concentration. Yet, Kung Fu is only part of the examination; Yandian must also successfully recite a passage from the book of mantras, any passage, by memory. After impressing the panel with his Kung Fu, Yandian faces the scripture test. Success means achieving the coveted status of a full warrior monk, a lifelong commitment to further training, study, and meditation in pursuit of enlightenment.
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Top image: Shaolin Master training. Source: Whitezgraphy / Adobe Stock.