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Shaolin abbot: Underground funeral palace not for sale



The abbot of Temple in central China’s Henan Province said the newly built underground funeral parlor is for monks’ ashes only and not for sale, after suspicions arose online claiming the parlor would be used for profit.

Shi Yongxin, the abbot, said it is Buddhist tradition to store monks’ ashes underground under a tower.

“The parlor was built to store the ashes of our temple’s more than 200 monks. We will not sell it for money,” Shi said.

Dengfeng Municipal Cultural Heritage Bureau approved the construction of the parlor in 2008.

But the tower, Haihui Tower, has yet to be built as Shi is still trying to get approval from the bureau.

According to Buddhist tradition, upon death, only accomplished monks may have their own tower and parlor while common monks share one, Shi explained.


Located in the western part of Shaolin Temple, the parlor consists of five caves and has an area of about 100 square meters.

Shi has been criticized for commercializing Shaolin Temple by running it for profit. Recently, netizens posted online comments accusing Shi of building the parlor to sell.

The Shaolin Temple, built in 495 during Northern Wei (386-534) of Northern and Souther Dynasties( 386-589), is famous for Buddhist teaching and Chinese martial arts, particularly Shaolin kungfu.

The temple, which has become a household name around the world, has developed business operations such as kungfu shows, film production and online sales under the leadership of Shi Yongxin.

Source : http://www.chinadaily.com.cn

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