Biography of the Reverend Miao Xing

The Reverend Miao Xing, the second name Wen Hao, nick-name "Golden Arhat", was born in the town of Dengfeng, Henan province. In his childhood he indulged in WU SHU, writing and calligraphy, he especially liked the Buddhistic Teaching. When he was twenty years old, his level of mastership became quite high, but he continued to perfect himself. He started to travel regions close to the valley of Yangtse river, met many famous people. Together they discussed various problems, and those personal contacts gave Miao Xing a lot of useful things.

Later Miao Sing served in the army and rose to the rank of a regiment commander. However, he himself thought that his combat mastership had not reached a sufficient level. That's why he decided to leave the army and passed to peaceful occupations. After the retirement he returned to his native land where he was quietly engaged in agriculture, read sutras and improved his combat mastership.

In such a way several years passed. Miao Xing felt that the situation in the country was critical, the people had misfortunes, social morals were in decay. Full of shame and annoyance, he came to a Buddhistic temple in the mountains of Songshan and took monastic vows. Monks of the Shaolin Monastery mastered combat Gong Fu to perfection, it was known to the whole country. Although lately great losses were inflicted to that cause, but fortunately, thanks to efforts of great modern masters it did not disappear. After taking of monastic vows His Reverend Miao Xing continued to be engaged in the Martial Arts for health.

Soon the Head of the Monastery paid attention to a new monk. Sizing him up, he was greatly surprised: by that time Miao Xing's Mastership (Gong Fu) was next to perfection. Miao Xing was granted the highest privilege: the Head of the Monastery personally started to pass to Miao Xing the ancestral Martial Art of Shaolin and various kinds of Gong Fu, for example, «Pole for Defending Mountains», «Subconscious (Intuitive) Art of Luohan for Defending the Gate of the Temple», technique of pressing on acupoints with fingers, technique of joint dislocation, art of locks, methods of training the inner energy Qi and many others. When laymen challenged (Shaolin monks), each time Miao Xing was sent to engage in a trial of strength and each time he won, gaining the highest prestige among monks. He was nominated to the position of the Temple Keeper. Besides, he was responsible for training monks and laymen.

After the death of the Head of the Monastery according to his testament Miao Xing took this post. By general decision of all monks he was also nominated to the position of the Senior Tutor and was responsible for training, as he was a direct heir* of "the true tradition of the Shaolin School".

*Editor's note: Each Shaolin monk belongs to a certain generation (SHI). As a legend says, the first generation was represented by Bodhidharma (DA MO) himself, but the actual count starts from the Head of the Monastery Fu Yu who lived in the XIII-th century. A disciple of a monk belongs to a generation which follows the tutor's generation. If they said that Miao Xing was "a direct heir of the true tradition of the Shaolin school", it meant that his tutor was the Head of the Monastery himself and his "genealogy" was on the main trunk of multi-branched genealogical tree of Shaolin monks.

Miao Xing had a lot of disciples - over five thousand monks and over two hundred laymen. I was one of his disciples. He always thought that training other people was his duty and took an oath to eliminate the tradition held in the past "not to pass secrets" in order to develop the Martial Art for consolidation of the nation and the state. So, many secrets of the Shaolin Martial Art that was not revealed before became known to laymen at Miao Xing's time. It speaks about generous nature and warm heart of the Reverend. Besides, he wrote many books, in particular, "The

Genealogical Tree and Source of the Shaolin School", "Explanation of the Shaolin Pugilistic Art (Shaolin Quan)", "Explanations of the Shaolin Staff", "Sutra (Canon) of Five Damo Styles", "Diagram of Chan Zhang (Dhyana)", "Interpretation of the Shaolin Precepts", "A Few More Precious Words about Fist and Weapon" and some others. Those books were carefully kept in our temple; unfortunately, they were not published. In 1928 I, being a member of a military delegation, visited Shaolin and my tutor gave me hand-written copies of books "Luohan Quan", "Methods of Using the Sword of Bai Yuan", "72 Kinds of Martial Art" and "Secrets of Intuitive Gong Fu" Guided by directions of the Tutor, I compiled books which were published at different times.

I never forgot precepts of my Tutor. Recently I wrote to my tutor a letter and asked him to send his photo. Only then I knew that as soon as last year my Tutor reached Nirvana. He was only 58 years old... When I knew about it, I could not suppress my tears. My Tutor was not only in command of the Martial Art, his Humanities were also amazing. Being a highly educated man, he made a valuable contribution into the preservation and the development of the Shaolin School and his services were very great. This book was compiled on the base of manuscripts presented to me by him. I hope that it will meet expectations of the readers. In conclusion I attach mournful saying in honor of my Tutor.

Dedicated to His Reverend Miao Xing.

Oh majestic Golden Arhat,

Thou art in command of any weapon,

Of the sword Jian, the Spear and the sword of Dao.

Thou art also skilful in a pugilistic struggle,

Thou art like a soaring Dragon

And a Tiger ready to jump.

Thou hast the martial Spirit,

Thou art of extraordinary valor.

Oh, brave, courageous monk,

Thy endurance exceeds that one of stone and iron,

Thy will is incomparably hard.

Thou developed the national culture,

Saved our nation.

Thy heart is wide-opened,

Thy Spirit is ever-victorious!

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