Mahavira Hall

2020-01-22 00:51 | Hits: 12

From: Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple Author: Office

The light and spacious Mahavira Hall was constructed imitating Taihe Palace of the Imperial Palace of Beijing. It is made up of 9 bays with Qing-style double-eave roof and has three-layer stylobate. The hall, as the biggest mass one among the halls in the Temple, is 51.7m in width and 26m in height. Zheng Shengwen Hand Scroll of Pictures was carved to a wood-carving long scroll of 1.8m in height and 117m in length and was enshrined in the 2.03m high and 119m long huge niche embedded in the inner walls of the hall with ingenuity, which made it the only wood scroll home and abroad. The stories of the Buddha (including the birth, the conversion, the enlightenment, the creation of Buddhism, the teaching of the disciples, the spreading of the Buddhism, the reputation as the Buddha and the nirvana) were carved into 18 pictures as the pattern on the 18-blade lattice door of the hall.

The Mahavira Hall, as the hall of the highest level which is located in the middle of the temple, generally attracts the attention of most of the visitors. The name came because of the bravery of the Buddha. (Mahavira means “bravery”)

Figure of Sakyamuni: the 12.6m high figure illustrates the Buddha when he was preaching.

Sakamuni, was originally name as Gautama Siddhartha because his mother’s surname was Gautama. After he became famous, he was called by his followers as the Buddha which means the Enlightened or “the person who knows the truth”. He was born in Kapilavastu in the ancient India was said to be the son of the king of Suddhodana. He converted to the Buddhism when he was 29 and cultivated himself for the next 6 years in the jungle beside the Anoma River until he was enlightened when he was 35. He then spent the rest of 45 years preaching the Buddhism until nirvana when he was 80 years old in Kushinaga. His exact date of birth was about 565 BC and the date of death was 486BC, which means he was the peer of Confucius in China. He was a real figure in the history as a philosopher of the ancient India, thinker and the creator of the Buddhism. As the deific founder of a religion, he was said to be enlightened with eight phases (waiting, reincarnation, conversion, conquering the devils, enlightenment, dharmakakra and nirvana).

Manjusri Buddhisattva: Buddhisattva, is the second highest level next to Buddha in Mahayana. Manjusri is the abbreviation of “manjusri buddhisattva” which means “virtue and blessing”. He was responsible for “wisdom” so was also called “majusri with supreme wisdom”. He was one of the “three saints of avatamsa” and the other two were the Buddha and samantabhadra. With five topknots on his head and sword in his hand, he was the embodiment of wisdom. Riding on a lion, he was also the embodiment of bravery. His rites are conducted on Wutaishan Mountain.

Samantabhadra (Pu Xian) Buddhisattva is generally tanslated as Spreading. According to the Buddhist texts, Pu means spreading everywhere and Xian means the righteous. He was responsible for the virtues so he was also called “Samantabhadra of virtues”. He was generally created as a buddhisattva wearing a crown and mantle and riding a six-tooth elephant with a jade Ruyi in his hand, meaning he was spreading his virtues everywhere. His rites are generally on Emeishan Mountain.

Mahasthamaprapta: called translated as “attaining the great strength”. According to the Buddhist texts, he could “shine with his light of wisdom on everything, making the three devils (the hell, the hungry ghosts and the domestic animals) lose their power.” He was responsible for wisdom and therefore was called together with Avalokitesvara and Amitabha as “three saints in the west.”

Yapa and Ananda:

They were the most famous among all the Arhats and the direct disciples of the Buddha. People generally call them “old Mahakasyapa” and “young Ananda”.

The full name of Mahakasyapa is Mahakasyapa. Because Mahaka means big, so he was called “old Mahakasyapa”. He was born in Magadha Empire in the ancient India, belonging to Brahmen nationality. Among the disciples of the Buddha, he was famous for the ascetic practices and was therefore called the first Dhuta. After the nirvana of the Buddha, he became the leader. It was said that it was he who gathered 500 Buddhist monks to compile the earliest Buddhist scripture. He, as the creator of the Zen, was honored as the “Original Buddha of the West.” And in the legend, it was he who figured out the secret of “the Buddha’s smile with a flower.”

Ananda: the full name was “ananda monk” which means joy and celebration. He was the son of the uncle of the Buddha. When the Buddha returned to the hometown, he started to follow him. He followed the Buddha for 25 years and was good at memorizing, so he was called “the best memory”. At the first gathering of the monks, it was he who recited the entire scripture. The first sense was known to be “This is to what I heard.”

Zantuoquduo: the first ancestor of the Acarya in Yunnan Province. According to Dianshiji, he was also named as Sridatta, born in the western region. And since he came from the Malika Empire, he was also called Milika Monk. He spread Acarya scriptures everywhere from Hengqing to Baofengshan Mountain and Changdongshan Mountain.

Mokeluocuo: meaning “the king”. It was said that he was the 12th king of the Kingdom of Nanzhao. He loved Buddhism and set up many temples. He thus made a great contribution to the spread of the Buddhism in Dali by setting up “800 big temples and 3000 small temples.”He was then honored as one of the eight eminent monks in Dali.

The other figures are the Dharma protectors of the Buddha.

The white elephant, and white horse which mean the good luck, the dharma-cakra which means safety and the pearls which mean satisfaction are all the “Buddha treasures”.

On the ceiling of the Mahavira Hall, there is a carved flood dragon flying and rolling. It was called “the dragon of the heaven”.

The streamer is also called “victory streamer”, the generic term for the banners and flags. They represent the power of the Buddha to conquer all the devils and were used as the ornaments in the halls.

Category: Travel Guide
Tags: Hall
Editor: Apple 2020-01-22 00:55