Saturday, September 11, 2010

Da Ming Temple - Yangzhou Province China

Name : Da Ming Temple

Location :

Da Ming Temple is located on a hillslope in the northwestern suburb of Yangzhou on Shugang Hill in China.

Description :

Daming Temple is one of tbe oldest temples in the City, having a history of over 1,500 years. The original temple was built by a monk called Jian Zhen about 1,500 years ago. The temple was seriously damaged during the Taiping Rebellion at the beginning of the 20th century. The present structure is a reconstruction dating from the 1930s. Da Ming Temple sits on a hill and features various precious cultural relics, memorial archways and a nine-storey pagoda.

Once Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty toured Yangzhou and was unhappy to see the name of the temple "Daming", which means "great Ming" (Ming dynasty was ruled by the Manchus,a minority Qing succeeded Ming) For fear that it might remind people of the Ming dynasty he renamed the temple “Fajing Temple” and put it down in his own handwriting.(Emperor Qianlong was a good calligrapher). In the spring Of 1980 in reparation for the exhibition of the statue of MonkJian Zhen the Yangzhou Municipal Government hanged it back to "Daming Temple" Thus, Qian long's inscription“Fajing Temple” became a mere historical relic.

The Temple :

In the main hall (Mahavira Hall) sit three Buddhist images. In the centre is yamuni,to his east Master of the Medicine to his west is Amitabha. On each side Of Sakyamuni stands one Of his ten disciples. The 0lder one on his 1eft represents experience and prestige, the younger one on his right represents wisdom and knowledge. On the eastern and western sides are 18 Arhats.

On the northern side six Buddhist images represent six founders Of the Chan Sect Of Buddhism., At the back is an island on sea with Guanyin(God or Goddess of Mercy)Standing on the head Of a huge turtle. According to Buddhist Sutra he can deliver all living creatures from any suffering. Those in misery need only call him and he will come to their rescue. He is sometimes portraited as a man and some time as a woman. Actually he has a man's body but a woman's appearance,representing kindness.

In front Of Daming Temple there is an ancient decorated archway in the midst Of ancient trees. It bears the inscription “Ruins of Xiling”. In AD 601(Sui dynasty)a nine-storey, Xiling(Soul Living) Tower was built in the compound of Daming Temple. Many famous poets of the Tang dynasty visited and mounted the tower and wrote moving poems. Later Xiling Tower was burnt down leaving only its ruins. In the latter years of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279), a nine-story pagoda, the Qiling, was built on the temple grounds.

Five big Chinese characters are inscribed on the eastern wall Of the Temple" the First in "Huaidong" which mean that the scenery of Daming Temple was the best and most worth visiting in Yangzhou. These are the words of praise taken from a famous poet of the Northern Song dynasty Qin Shaoyou,who once toured this place and was fascinated by its beautiful scenery a famous poet of the Northern Song dynasty Qin Shaoyou, who once toured this place and was fascinated by its beautiful scenery.

A recent addition to the temple complex is the Jian Zhen Memorial Hall, built according to Tang Dynasty methods and financed with contributions raised by Buddhist groups in Japan.

Festivals :

Before the New Year's Day each year, a lot of people come here to burn joss sticks and worship Buddha; also some Japanese tourists come here to ring the bell for the purpose of praying for happiness and safety.

Websites :

Wikipedia about Da Ming Temple


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