Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Monastery of Ten Thousand Buddhas, China

Crystal Quintero, CC Liu (trans.), Wisdom Quarterly; photog Michael Ducloux (
The Monastery of Ten Thousand Buddhas, China (Michael Ducloux/
Int'l Finance Ctr, HK, China
The Monastery of Ten Thousand Buddhas is a Buddhist temple in Sha Tin in the New Territories, China.

The monastery was founded in 1951 by Ven. Yuet Kai. The construction was completed in 1957.

The monastery of "Ten Thousand Buddhas" takes its name from the countless statues that populate the scene inside, each with unique features.
Those seen during the ascent to the monastery are among the most extravagant: Buddhas, bodhisattvas, arhats who are portly, thin, bald, or hairy; with dogs, dragons, and toads; joyful, mysterious, severe, or sad.

More than 400 steps later, under branches where sometimes are heard the echoing cries of monkeys, one reaches the monastery.

First one sees a large courtyard, where various altars and incense roasters, with other statues.

In the middle of the court, there is a large nine-story pagoda.

Inside, a spiral staircase leads to the top, and niches in the walls house other effigies. One can admire the beautiful landscape around the haven of Sha Tin and the surrounding wooded hills.

In the courtyard, surrounded by trees, there are also pavilions that house the statues of important figures from the local Buddhist pantheon:

One of them is dedicated to Kwan Yin, the "Goddess" (Bodhisattva) of Mercy, facing the sea. (She was traditionally the protector of sailors and fishermen).

Another is Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Bravery, riding a lion; still farther along one sees Samantabhadra, a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha, on his white elephant with six teeth. Farther still is Vitasoka, Guardian of the Great Temple, which stands in front of him. More

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