Shaolin Temple in Songshan Mountain of central China's Henan Province. The 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple in central China's Henan Province will not go public, its abbot Shi Yongxin said on Saturday. (File Photo)
The 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple in central China's Henan Province will not go public, its abbot Shi Yongxin said on Saturday.
"The risk of going public is too big, and it is against the Buddhist spirit," said Shi, also a deputy to the 11th National People's Congress, the top legislature.
Dubbed "Shaolin CEO," Shi Yongxin is a controversial monk who has shaken people's notions of Shaolin Temple and Buddhism with his business-oriented transformation.
In 1994, he played a leading role in the Chinese religious community to register "Shaolin" and "Shaolin Temple" as trademarks, and set up a company to manage relevant intellectual property rights.
Two years later, he established a website for the temple, which was believed to be the first website made for temples in China.
Tidings of Shi's leading Shaolin monk delegations for overseas performance of martial arts and setting up martial arts institutes in foreign countries frequently appear on newspapers.
"It is not wrong to develop traditional culture within the framework of Chinese laws," he said.
Believing that the development of Shaolin Temple epitomized China's advancements, Shi disclosed that he was mulling over a motion calling for the preservation of China's traditional culture.
The Shaolin Temple is famed for combining martial arts with Zen Buddhism and features long sessions of meditation to purify the mind. It has attracted many dignitaries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2008)