Thursday June 20, 2019

India’s Connection to Shaolin Temple in China : Here is Why it is the base of Buddhism!

Despite being crowded with tourists for the most part of the year, this world heritage site is filled with serenity and reflects discipline and efficiency in its becalming environment

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Shaolin temple-a buddhist temple in China. Pixabay
  • Shaolin temple in China has become a brand, especially after the Hollywood blockbuster Shaolin Temple was released in 1982
  • The temple was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2010
  • The temple exhibits connections to home base of Buddhism, India

China, June 6, 2017: The home of Kung fu and Zen Buddhism- Shaolin temple is one of the most visited tourist sites in China with busloads of tourists visiting the place, every year.
Despite being crowded with tourists for the most part of the year, this world heritage site is filled with serenity and reflects discipline and efficiency in its becalming environment.

The green abundance of the Songshan Mountains and the red and black buildings around the temple arena blend beautifully to give a pleasing site to the visitors.

Based in Central China’s Henan Province, the temple provides stunning natural views along with a wonderful display of one of the most disciplined sports, Kung fu. No wonder, the tourists are ready to spend a few extra bucks to visit this place and be an audience to the harmonious combination of Mahayana Buddhism and China’s Taoism.

History

The temple has a 1500-year-old rich history in which it has been destroyed and resurrected many times. The origin of this temple can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Xiaowen, who had set up the monastery as an abode for Buddhabhadra, a wandering Indian Buddhist monk. Buddhabhadra is credited with laying the foundations for Kung Fu besides spreading Nikaya Buddhism, mentioned The Hindu report.

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Shaolin temple’s Indian Connection –
It is not known to many but Shaloin temple has an age old connection with India, the home base of Buddhism.

• It is believed that prominent Indian figure, Bodhidharma, arguably, steered the temple’s spiritual direction towards Zen Buddhism. Legends say that the monk belonged to present day Tamil Nadu or Kerala and landed up in China on the urgings of Prajnatara, his ageing guru.

• History of both the nations suggests that Zen Buddhism and Kung Fu are takeaways of a Sino-Indian spiritual fusion.

• China’s famous Buddhist grottoes also exhibit trans- Himalayan relations in their art and architecture.

• The Mogao grottoes, housed in hundreds of intricately painted caves, in dry Gobi desert, show the epic journey of Buddhism from India to China.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

Next Story

Claiming Bias, U.S.A. And Israel Pull Out Of UNESCO

The U.S. could potentially seek that status during UNESCO Executive Board meetings in April.

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The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is seen druing a conference at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, Nov. 4, 2017. VOA

The United States and Israel officially quit of the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias.

The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the U.S. after World War II to foster peace.

The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit.

The Paris-based organization has been denounced by its critics as a crucible for anti-Israel bias: blasted for criticizing Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.

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UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Image Source: www.mid-day.com

The U.S. has demanded “fundamental reform” in the agency that is best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions. UNESCO also works to improve education for girls, promote understanding of the Holocaust’s horrors, and to defend media freedom.

The withdrawals will not greatly impact UNESCO financially, since it has been dealing with a funding slash ever since 2011 when both Israel and the U.S. stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a member state. Since then officials estimate that the U.S. — which accounted for around 22 percent of the total budget — has accrued $600 million in unpaid dues, which was one of the reasons for President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw. Israel owes an estimated $10 million.

UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay took up her post just after Trump announced the pullout. Azoulay, who has Jewish and Moroccan heritage, has presided over the launch of a Holocaust education website and the U.N.’s first educational guidelines on fighting anti-Semitism — initiatives that might be seen as responding to U.S. and Israeli concerns.

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Migrants wait in line for food at a camp housing hundreds of people who arrived at the U.S. border from Central America with the intention of applying for asylum in the U.S., in Tijuana, Mexico, Dec. 12, 2018. VOA

Officials say that many of the reasons the U.S. cited for withdrawal do not apply anymore, noting that since then, all 12 texts on the Middle East passed at UNESCO have been consensual among Israel and Arab member states.

In April of this year, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO said the mood was “like a wedding” after member nations signed off on a rare compromise resolution on “Occupied Palestine,” and UNESCO diplomats hailed a possible breakthrough on longstanding Israeli-Arab tensions.

The document was still quite critical of Israel, however, and the efforts weren’t enough to encourage the U.S. and Israel to reconsider their decision to quit.

In recent years, Israel has been infuriated by repeated resolutions that ignore and diminish its historical connection to the Holy Land and that have named ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites.

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Israel Flag, Pixabay

The State Department couldn’t comment because of the U.S. government shutdown. Earlier, the department told UNESCO officials the U.S. intends to stay engaged at UNESCO as a non-member “observer state” on “non-politicized” issues, including the protection of World Heritage sites, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

Also Read: Israel Unanimously Approves Medical Marijuana Exports

The U.S. could potentially seek that status during UNESCO Executive Board meetings in April.

The United States has pulled out of UNESCO before. The Reagan administration did so in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt and used to advance Soviet interests. The U.S. rejoined in 2003. (VOA)