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The Shaolin MonasteryHistory, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts$
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Meir Shahar

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831103

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831103.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 26 July 2017

Staff Legends

Staff Legends

Chapter:
(p.82) Chapter 4 Staff Legends
Source:
The Shaolin Monastery
Author(s):

Meir Shahar

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831103.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the Shaolin legend of Vajrapâÿi, the staff wielder. During the Ming period, Shaolin monks had changed the image of the tutelary deity by arming him with a staff. Visual representations of Vajrapâÿi, also known as Nârâyaÿa, show that throughout the twelfth century Shaolin monks had envisioned him holding the Vajra. According to the legend, Vajrapâÿi was incarnated at Shaolin as a lowly scullion. When the monastery was attacked by bandits, he emerged from the kitchen and, wielding a divine staff, repelled the aggressors. This legend has several versions: Cheng Zongyou's Shaolin Staff Method, Fu Mei's Song Mountain Book, and two seventeenth-century gazetteers.

Keywords:   Vajrapâÿi, Shaolin monks, Nârâyaÿa, Vajra, Shaolin Staff Method, Song Mountain Book, Cheng Zongyou, Fu Mei

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