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嵩山少林 Shaolin Temple in SongShan Mountain

wh  10-10-19 23:05
 

        小时候看李连杰主演的电影《少林寺》,被传奇的故事和精彩的武术深深吸引,久久不能忘怀。长大后,每当听到有关少林寺的新闻,依然能想起电影中《牧羊曲》悠扬的曲调“日出蒿山坳,晨钟惊飞鸟,林间小溪水潺潺,坡上青青草……”
        五一黄金周,终于得以和家人一起游览少林寺。五一出游,处处人满为患,少林寺当然不会例外。还没到山门,就看见前方人头攒动,正赶上人多的时侯。不过,这丝毫也没影响我的兴致。
      一进少林寺大门,眼前豁然开朗。道路两边绿树成荫,芳草连天,远远看不到尽头。远处的空地上,很多孩子在练武,一招一式颇有摸样,他们都是少林寺武术学校的学生。他们练武时嘿嘿哈哈的呐喊透出了虎虎的气势,惹来很多人站在路边围观。

In my childhood when I watched the film Shaolin Temple starred by Jet Li, I was so attracted by the fascinating story and the wonderful martial arts. It was so unforgettable. When I grew up, every time when I heard about Shaolin Temple, I was always reminded of the beautiful Shepherd Song in the movie, “The sun rises behind Songshan. The morning bell frightens away the flying birds. The creek in the woods murmurs and the green grass on the slope ….”
During the holiday week in May, I finally had the opportunity to visit Shaolin Temple with my family. During this period of time each year, everywhere is jammed with people. Shaolin Temple is also no exception. When we arrived at the gate of the mountain, we had already seen the crowd. It happened to be the rush hour. However, it did not affect my mood at all.
When I entered the gate of Shaolin Temple, the view suddenly became broad. The green trees on both sides made cool shades. The endless fragrant grassland caught my eyes. In the empty fields far away, many kids were practicing martial arts. Their movements looked really professional. They were all students from Shaolin Martial Arts School. Their yells during the practice carried an air of power which attracted many tourists to watch on.

 


        顺着山路一路往前,大约二十分钟后,少林古刹便矗立眼前了。慕名而来的游人、香客将这里挤得水泄不通。山门上方匾额上“少林寺”三字是康熙皇帝的御笔,刚劲有力,隐隐透着些古风。

It took us 20 minutes to walk up to the mountain along the path when we saw the main temple standing in front. The gateway was blocked by crowds of tourists and pilgrims. The Three characters of “少林寺(Shaolin Temple)” on the board above the gate were written by Emperor Kangxi. The strokes of these characters were powerful and with a hint of antiquity.


        走进少林寺山门,甬道两边碑石成林,见证着寺庙的千年历史。一路行至大雄宝殿,但见香火缭绕,一两米长的香火比比皆是,这便是民间所谓的“烧高香”了。走进殿内,里面的摆设倒是与别的寺庙无二,供奉着释迦摩尼、阿弥陀佛、药师佛,两侧有十八罗汉。

After I passed the entrance, I saw a group of stone steles standing one by one along both sides of the main path, which witnessed the thousands years history of the Temple. When we stepped into the Grand Hall, it was full of smoke of burning incense. Incenses of one meter or even two meters long were everywhere. It was the folk tradition of “burning high incense sticks” to show one's gratitude for the heavenly immortals. We found the setout of the hall was no different from the other temples elsewhere and Sakyamuni Amitabha, Medicine Buddha and 18 Arhats were worshipped here.

 

        穿过大雄宝殿,便到了少林方丈室,著名的“立雪亭”就在这里,“断臂立雪”的典故即出于此地。传说达摩曾在此亭中修行,弟子惠可为求其真传,立亭外数日不去。时逢天降大雪,达摩谓其曰:欲得真传,除非天雨红血。惠可即引刀自断一臂,血沥雪上,一片鲜红。达摩感其诚,即授其衣钵。

After visiting the grand hall, we arrived at Shaolin Abbot's Room. The famous Snow Pavilion was here and it was the very site where the well-known story of “shedding blood on the snow” happened. It was said that once Dharma was cultivating himself on Buddhism at this place. Dharma's disciple Huike wanted to be instructed by him and he stood outside of the pavilion for several days. It happened to snow one day when Dharma told him, “I will teach you only if the red rain appeared.” Huike then cut one of his arms. His blood dropped on the snow. It was completely red. Dharma was touched by his determination and sincerity and made him the inheritor of his teaching.


        作为寺庙,少林寺无疑是特殊的。“天下功夫出少林”,少林寺作为“中国功夫的发源地”,有很多武僧练功遗迹:千佛殿内20 多个直径约4.5厘米的脚坑,古银杏树上“一指禅”的窟窿,庭院里倒挂金钟的那口大锅无不诉说着当年少林弟子的艰辛。遥想当年,暮鼓晨钟之下,武僧们不论冬寒夏暑,打坐参禅,习武练功,拳禅合一,功意一如,该是何等境界。

As a temple, Shaolin is undoubtedly special. All the martial arts come from Shaolin. As the birth place of martial arts, Shaolin Temple has many historical sites where the ancient monks practiced martial arts. In the Thousand Buddha Hall, there were more than 20 holes with the diameter of 4.5 cm on the ground created by those monks who practiced their feet strength. The holes on the ancient maidenhair trees were relics of their practicing the famous “one finger Zen” (a kind of martial arts using one finger's strength). The big pan hung above in the courtyard is full of the memories about the hardships undergone by the Shaolin disciples. At the sight of these relics, I could imagine that every morning and every evening, the monks either meditated here by sitting cross-legged or practiced martial arts. It was a combination of mental cultivation with physical building up. How great it was to reach this state of mind!


        少林塔林不在寺庙之内,但到了少林寺不能不游塔林。寺僧们圆寂后,骨灰埋在地下,上面立碑建塔,“塔”多了便成了“林”,这便是塔林的由来。塔林历经唐、宋、元、明、清,共有250多座,从一层到七层不等,因为建造年代不一,塔的大小、形态也各不相同,中国有一句古话,“救人一命,胜造七级浮屠。”“浮屠”即是佛塔,七级浮屠即七层的塔。在众多影视作品中,武林高手们在塔林中搏命厮杀,正义与邪恶一决高下,在此上演着一幕幕惊心动魄的打斗。和尚出家原本是为了修身养性,远离世俗,可今日的少林寺已不再是那个隐没在山坳中的清净之地,商业化成为各地佛门难逃的命运。即使是早已圆寂的各位师傅,在塔林中也难免受人打扰,不能安宁度日,不知心里做何感想?

The Forest of Pagodas was not located within the boundary of Shaolin Temple. It is a must-seen place when you visited Shaolin Temple. After a monk passed away, his ashes will be buried under the ground and a pagoda will be built on the site. When the number of pagodas increased, they formed a forest. The Forest of Pagodas was developed to the current size in Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty with a total number of more than 250. The numbers of floors in these pagodas ranged from 1 to 7. According to the different time when the pagoda was built, the size and form are also quite different. In China, there was an ancient saying, “Save one person's life is more meaningful than to build a pagoda of seven floors.” In many films and TV series, martial arts experts were fighting in the Forest of Pagodas representing justice against evil. Many breathtaking scenes are also set in there.
The original purpose of being a monk was to cultivate oneself and get away from the secular life. However, nowadays Shaolin Temple is no longer a quite and reclusive place hidden in the mountain. Being commercialized has become an inescapable destiny for every temple. Even for the great monks who have passed way, people still kept on disturbing them in the Forest of Pagodas. I cannot imagine what they would feel if they have the chance to experience all of this?

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Edit on10-10-19 23:05