Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Shaolin Temple’s Shi Yongxin: Buddhism believe aliens exist

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In the rapidly changing technology age, space has become a topic for monks to think about. On June 11th, Shi Yongxin, the current abbot of the Shaolin Temple, answered the question about whether monks can practice Buddhism in space.

Shi Yongxin surprisingly remarked: "Buddhism believes that there are many worlds, it is possible that Buddhists' destination are in other planets.""It is a space age now, many people volunteer to travel to Mars. Can monks practice Buddhism in space?" A journalist asked.

Shi Yongxin, who has disciples throughout the world, flashed a smile on his face, seemed not surprised by the question at all.  In his view, Buddhism has its own Buddhist cosmology; it is the description of the shape and evolution of the universe according to the Buddhist scriptures and commentaries. There are many other worlds besides this world. "Buddhism believes there are many aliens out of the world." Shi Yongxin said.

"If a monk didn't practice Buddhism well enough, the monk will go back to the six domains of the desire realm, so he can practice Buddhism again. If a monk practice Buddhism well, he will go to Buddha realm, maybe he will go to other planets in the space." Shi Yongxin said. According to Buddhism, the inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate.

"Do other planets also have the six domains of the desire realm?" A journalist asked.

"I have not been there yet, I don't know." Shi Yongxin smiled, "however, according to Buddhism, everyone will go through the wheel of life, It is a kind of diagram which portrays the desire realms and the mechanism that causes these rebirths. It has been described in Buddhism there exist some other worlds, with no pain, no annoyance. Human beings are equally treated, Life is eternal."

Founded in the fifth century, the Shaolin Temple has a long history of 1500 years. It is famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu, and it is the best-known Mahayana Buddhist monastery to the Western world. Shi Yongxin emphasized the soul of Shaolin Temple is practicing Buddhism. 

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