Monk Lineage

The second part of a Shaolin monk's name is a lineage descriptor, that is, it describes his "generation" Generation descriptors arise from a Caodong sect rhyme. A disciple takes the next character after his master; his disciple then takes the next character after him.

The Grand Monk Zhen Dao, i.e. the Master of the Yonghua Court or the Southern Court by the nickname of Xueju, from Yuzhang, Jiangxi Province, was originally a monk at the Xhanling Temple and belonged to the Lingji School. In the 15th year of the reign of the Wanli Emporer of the Ming Dynasty (1587) he led nine of his disciples to join the genuine Cao Dong School.

The Caodong Sect rhyme is as follows (translated, thanks to Richard "Arhat" Sloan and gang):

A Seventy-character Rhyme of Genealogy for the Orthodox Caodong Sect of the Shaolin Buddhist Temple at Mt. Song

Blessed and talented, an intelligent young man will grow into awareness;

you are originally in a state of completion and thus apt to understand.

All around in the universe the Buddhist doctrine spreads,

we celebrate that our principle comes from the same ancestry.

The Buddhist state is pure and quiet, vast as the sea;

in the profound silence our chastity and nativeness are enhanced.

Our moral conduct will endure forever;

and our bodies are constantly firm.

The mind is a crystal clear that can light up the depth of the mountains;

and the innate character can make one bright enough

to distinguish nobility from treachery.

Faithfulness, decency and virtuousness will bring happiness and auspiciousness;

We cautiously keep in mind our original course in the crossing.

The snowy courtyard is like a teacher,

that will guide you to return to a bright road.