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Ji Gong: The Master Hidden Beneath Rags

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Photo by Flickr user Anandajoti

All is never as it seems.

Chinese folklore has large tomes filled with proverbs and eight-character couplets to drive this point home. Many of those proverbs and couplets revolve around the character of Ji Gong, the ragged monk with the silly grin and a half-full wine gourd in his hand. We’ve taken a few looks at the wild monks of Shaolin, both at home and abroad, and we have also explored a great mystery surrounding Jar Jar Binks, a very silly Star Wars character who may turn out to be the greatest Sith Lord ever.

Now let’s spend some time with one of their spiritual forefathers, the Song Dynasty prodigy-turned-hobo Daoji, known as Ji Gong, and a few of the legends he spawned.

Ji Gong was once known as Liu Xiuyuan, a real person born to a real official more than one thousand years ago during the glorious Chinese dynasty that would eventually fall to Kublai Khan after decades of protracted warfare. Xiuyuan was born in the years just before the invasion, when the Song just passed the height of their power and the cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou were without a doubt the greatest ….View original article

Source:: fightland.vice.com