Huiguang (487-536), surname Yang, was born in Dingzhou (the present Ding county of Hebei province). He, aged 13, moved to Luoyang and then was accepted as a disciple by Buddhabhadra, becoming a monastic of Shaolin Temple before long. Buddhabhadra was not only great at dharma of Hinayana but also quite had research to the Vanaya school, the Huayan school and so on, being a great master of the Vinaya school. Huiguang died in the Ye town (the present Anyang city), aged 70.
Bodhidharma (?-536), also named Dharma, was an eminent Brahman monk of ancient India. He mounted Guangzhou to preach Buddhism in China during the first year of Datong in Liang Dynasty (527). Afterwards he reached Shaolin Temple from Luoyang and peacefully practiced in a cave of Wuru Mount around 9 years. He originally established the theory of sitting quietly with self-cultivation, following doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism and integrated it into Chinese spirit, which is called “Biguan” or Chan Buddhism of Mahayana Buddhism. Afterwards Dharma left Shaolin Temple and died in the third year of the Taiping period in Eastern Wei Dynasty (536), buried in Xiong’ er Mount. Emperor Daizong of Tang awarded him the title master Yuanjue later on. Dharma was respected as the primary ancestor and the 28th patriarch of Chan Buddhism after its thriving.
Buddhabhadra (359-429), also known as Buddha, was an eminent monk of India. He preached Buddhism in China during the reign of emperor Xiaowen in Northern Wei Dynasty, deeply respected. The Northern Wei Dynasty moved the capital to Luoyang where emperor Xiaowen built a temple for him. Afterwards emperor Xiaowen built another temple for Buddhabhadra under Shaoshi Mountain among Songshan Mountains. It is the present Shaolin Temple whose first abbot and founder was Buddhabhadra. He translated scriptures including The Avatamsaka Sutra, The Nirvana Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra and so on.
Faru (638-689), born in Shangdang, his surname Wang, was a leader of Chan in North of the early Tang Dynasty. Faru was known as another the sixth master of Chan inherited from Hongren. Faru preached dharma in Shaolin Temple, playing a role in establishing the position of the ancestral monastery of Chan for Shaolin Temple. Faru passed away in Shaolin Temple in Yongchang one year of the Tang Dynasty (689), aged 52. Disciples built his pagoda in the west of the temple.
Huiyuan, a long hair monk of Shaolin Temple during the Daxiang two years (580) of the Northern Zhou Dynasty, was one disciple of Dumentong Fashang, top management of the sangha at that time. Huiyuan chanted The Lotus Sutra and The Vimalakirti Sutra one thousand times respectively, sit in meditation for breath-counting and also had learned Chan Buddhism from master Sengchou. Huiyuan lectured on theories of scriptures and widely preached dharma in Shaolin Temple. Most of time the number of audience could reach one thousand.
Shaolin kitchen (the monastic kitchen), or the present Dining Hall of Shaolin Temple, is located on the east of the Mahaviro Hall. The former hall was destroyed in fire in 1928 and rebuilt on the site in 1995. It is the dinning hall of Shaolin monks now.
During Xingding period of the Jin Dynasty, master Zhilong presided over Shaolin Temple. He always took some remaining money of temple’ s payments to reliever the poor every year.
There is a fantastic stone at the Manjuist Hall which is the Bodhidharma Shadow Stone that has always been admired by generals and ministers, celebrities, scholars, monks and other people in all ages.
Bodhidharma, the founder of Chan Buddhism in China, was the disciple of Prajnadhara, the 27th patriarch of Chan Buddhism in ancient India.