Buddhist research value of world cultural heritage Shaolin Temple Pagoda Forest (1)

The historical research value of Shaolin Temple Pagoda Forest in the existing Pagoda Forest in China, such as Buddhist history, architectural history, art history and so on, is second to none.It has a very important material value in the history of Buddhism, the rise and fall of Shaolin Temple, the Buddhist attainments of Zen monks, the burial system of monk Yuanji, and the study of four directions of temple in Tang Dynasty.

First, in the Pagoda Forest of Shaolin Temple, the brick and stone tombs built for different times and different monks have different heights and shapes, which are determined by the master’s Buddhist attainments, the level of monks, the number of disciples, the economic strength and the architectural skills at that time. That is to say, for those who are high-ranking monks, many disciples and strong in economic strength, the tombs built are gorgeous and beautiful in height and standard in shape; on the contrary, they are simple and low. For example, Fuyu, the famous Zen master and the abbot of Shaolin Temple in the Yuan Dynasty, was once granted the post of president of the capital of monk Province, the highest monk official of the Yuan Dynasty, and was also granted the titles of “Guangzong Zhengfa great Zen master”, “dashicong Kaifu Yitong Sansi Division”, “Duke of Jin”, etc. He has made great contributions to the rejuvenation of Shaolin Temple, and is known as the “founder” comparable to Dharma. After the death of the pagoda, his ancestors were buried in the Pagoda Forest of Shaolin Temple. The pagoda is 10.484 meters high. It is a seven level hexagonal brick Pagoda with dense eaves. The whole body of the pagoda is made of bricks with very fine butt joint technology. Under the eaves of the first floor of the body of the pagoda, brick arches are built, and four plastered lattice doors are built. At the base of the pagoda, there are many colorful patterns, such as waist bound brick sculptors, peonies, lotus lotus, Huasheng children and sea pomegranates. Around the pagoda, there are brick “jade walls”, In addition, it is the only one among the 243 ancient pagodas inside and outside the Shaolin Temple Pagoda to build a “Yuyuan” pagoda [2]. Shi Rufeng, the abbot of Shaolin Temple and a famous Zen master in the Late Jin Dynasty and early Yuan Dynasty, made great efforts to repair the temples that had been seriously damaged by the long-term war during his nine years in charge of Shaolin Temple, and to resume the development of production, so that Shaolin Temple “returned to the old view for several years”. Therefore, after the end of the three years to the Yuan Dynasty, the number of mourners reached million, and the disciples built four pagodas in Yanjing, Shaolin, Nangong and Shanyang of Huizhou with their spiritual bones. Among them, the “pagoda of Rufeng monk” built in the Pagoda Forest of Shaolin Temple, with a height of 9.462 meters, is a flat hexagonal seven level brick Pagoda with dense eaves. The whole body is made of polished bricks. The walls are smooth and smooth, the masonry carving is exquisite, the base is solemn and beautiful, and the body of the pagoda is magnificent. Inheriting the architectural features of the Song Dynasty and opening up the new architectural style of the Yuan Dynasty, it is not only one of the representative buildings in the Shaolin Temple Pagoda Forest, but also the leader of the Yuan Dynasty brick pagoda. Xiaoshan Zen master is one of the most influential Zen masters of Shaolin Temple in the Ming Dynasty. During his ten years as abbot, he made great contributions to the prosperity of Shaolin Temple. In particular, he sent Shaolin monks several times to the southeast coast to fight against Japanese invaders, repeatedly built combat skills and became famous everywhere. After the death of the first year of Longqing in the Ming Dynasty, Linggu was buried in Shaolin Temple, Zongjing temple and the ancestral tombs of Shunde mansion. In the Pagoda Forest of Shaolin Temple, up to now, the “Lingta of Buddhist master Xiaoshan dazhangshugong” is well preserved, as high as 10.85 meters. It is a representative building of the Lama tower in the middle and late Ming Dynasty, with beautiful shape and exquisite carving. It has important research value. After the entry threshold of the pagodas built in the forest of Shaolin Temple in the Ming Dynasty was lowered, and after the low monks and ordinary monks died, their disciples built the pagodas to bury the spiritual bones. However, the pagodas were short, simple in shape, rough in workmanship, and even had no pagodas at the top. For example, the pagoda of “Lord Qin and monk Ling” in the Ming Dynasty was only 2.434 meters high, with a single floor base, 2-3 layers of stacked acerbic bricks, and only two floors of the tower body and no pagodas at the top. It was a typical small brick tower. Through the analysis of the four tombs mentioned above, it reflects the differences of the tombs made by different monks, and provides material materials for the study of the burial system of Zen temples.

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