Shaolin Temple resumes
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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 26, 2007
Shaolin Temple resumes a ritual after 300 years
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Shaolin Temple resumes a ritual after 300 years

For the first time in 300 years, Chinas renowned Shaolin Temple held a ritual on Thursday to initiate 600 believers into monkhood.

New Delhi, May 26 : For the first time in 300 years, China's renowned Shaolin Temple held a ritual on Thursday to initiate 600 believers into monkhood.

On that same day, millions of monks and believers nationwide observed the Buddha bath festival which usually includes the washing of all statues of the Buddha.

The ceremony used to be considered an official ritual to recognize a believer into true monkhood.

Shi Yongxin, leader of Shaolin Temple and vice- president of the Buddhist Association of China, was quoted by The China Daily as saying that Buddhism in China has embarked on a "golden era" of development with a rapidly increasing number of believers.

According to Shi, China has about 100 million registered religious believers, most of whom are Buddhists and Taoists. "They form an indispensable force to construct a harmonious society," he said.

Shi said the ritual was suspended for 300 years because the altar where the ritual was held was destroyed. The 26-meter-high three-storey alter was restored last year at the temple, located in Dengfeng, Central China's Henan Province.

The 600 Buddhists were selected out of 1,000 pious Buddhists nationwide.

The ritual will last 28 days during which time the 600 monks will listen to doctrines, learn Buddhism rituals and manners in the temple.

ANI

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