Shaolin Grand Masters celebrate life of their teacher - Two Shaolin Grand Masters living half a world apart each held three-day ceremonies in memory of the Great Grand Master Shi SuXi, the Zen spiritual leader and the Most Venerated Great Grand Master of the Shaolin Temple.
The memorial began at 7 p.m. on June 15 at the Shaolin Temple China and was hosted by Grand Master De Yang. In the United States, Grand Master De Ru held a coordinate ceremony. For three days, the Shaolin brothers led their students in setting altars, lighting incense and candles, displaying arrangements of flowers and chanting “Na Muo A Mi Tuo Fu,” a verbal affirmation of compassion and respect.
Great Grand Master Shi SuXi passed away March 8, 2006 (2550 on the Buddhist calendar). He was 82.
“The Great Grand Master Shi Suxi’s presence is felt by millions worldwide,” said De Ru, a direct disciple of Shi Suxi. “His body has perished, his Qi went back to the universe, his holy spirit reached the nirvana and echoed back to Earth leading us and carrying us over and above.”
Known as the “Bodhisattva” or “enlightened one” of the modern era, the Great Grand Master Shi SuXi is credited for saving the Shaolin Temple’s Chan Buddhist cultural heritage and Kungfu martial art from obliteration during the Cultural Revolution of the Communist government in the mid-20th century. The temple was founded more than 1,500 years ago, and has survived foreign invasions, numerous dynasties, and the rise of Communism.
The Great Grand Master upper Su lower Xi, as he was honorably known, was born into a life of extreme poverty in Dengfeng county in 1924. An orphan by the age of 10, he was found begging in the streets by a Shaolin master who brought him to the temple to be raised. He worked diligently and soon became the most respected Kungfu warrior monk of his generation and later the most renowned Shaolin Great Master in modern-day China.
Great Grand Master’s devotion to Chan Buddhism never wavered since the day he entered the Shaolin Temple. The last words he expressed were: “Monk of Zen Buddhism” to indicate that Shaolin monks are monks of Zen Buddhism, not the martial arts alone.
“He wanted to remind others of his wish that people from all over the world should come together to save the Shaolin Temple and its heritage for the benefit of humanity and the freedom of all sentient beings,” said De Ru.