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Huacheng Temple is the oldest and most prominent temple in Mount Jiuhua. It has a history of more than 1,500 years.
Huacheng Temple is the first temple and also the leading temple in Mount Jiuhua. It is said in Long’an 5th year (401 BC), Jin Dynasty, Indian monk, Huaidu, built a small Buddhist temple here. During Kaiyuan years of Tang Dynasty, Tanhao monk was in charge and called it “Huacheng”. In Jianzhong 2nd year (781 BC), governor of Chizhou, Zhang Yan, got approval from central government, and moved the old board “Huacheng” to this temple. In Zhengyuan 10th year (794 BC), Jin Qiaojue died at 99, and fellow monks regarded him as the incarnation of Ksitigarbha or Dizang. Ever since Huacheng Temple was dedicated to Dizang.
The Big Bell Temple
The Big Bell Temple, or Da Zhong Temple, originally known as Jue Sheng Temple, is a Buddhist temple located on Beisanhuan Road in Beijing, China.
The Big Bell Temple was built in 1733 during the reign of Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 BC).The temple’s name came after the famous “Yongle” Big Bell that is housed inside the temple, which was cast during the reign of Emperor Yongle (1403-1424 BC) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). According to a test by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Yongle Big Bell’s sound could reaches up to 120 decibels and can be heard 50 kilometers away from the temple in the depth of night. Many music experts, including some from the Chinese Acoustics Institute have found its tone pure, deep and melodious with a sprightly rhythm. Its frequency ranges from 22 to 800 hertz.
The Fayuan Temple, situated in the southwest quarter of central Beijing, is one of the city’s most renowned Buddhist temples.
The temple was first built in 645 during the Tang Dynasty by Emperor Li Shimin, and later rebuilt in the Zhengtong Period (1436–1449 BC) of the Ming Dynasty. The temple occupies an area of 6,700 square meters. The temple also contains a large number of cultural relics, including sculptures of ancient bronzes, stone lions, as well as gilded figures of the three Buddhas-Vairochana. The temple also features large number of Buddhist texts from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Guanghua Temple is located on 31 Ya’er Hutong, north of Shichahai in the Xicheng District of Beijing. First found during the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368), it is one of Beijing’s most renowned Buddhist temples.
The Guangji Temple of Beijing, located at inner Fuchengmen Street, in the Xicheng District, is a renowned Buddhist temple. It is also the headquarters of the Buddhist Association of China.
Originally built in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), additions were made to the temple by successive dynasties. However, the present temple was completed during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). It covers an area of 5.766 acres (23,330 m2). The major structures in the temple divide between the main gate and four other large halls and many other temples.
The temple houses a wall of 18 Buddhist deities, many Ming Dynasty religious relics and a library of over 100,000 volumes of scriptures in 20 different languages, some of which date back to the time of the Song Dynasty.
Jietai Temple is a Buddhist temple in Mentougou District in western Beijing, China. It was constructed during the Tang dynasty, with major modifications made during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Like the older Tanzhe Temple nearby along China National Highway 108, Jietai Temple is now a tourist attraction of Beijing.
The temple is located on the mountainside of the Ma’an mountain approximately 25 kilometers from downtown Beijing. It was first built Kaihuang period of the Sui Dynasty (581-600) and was originally called the Huiju Temple (Wisdom Accumulation Temple).
The Tanzhe Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in the Western Hills, a mountainous area in western Beijing. It is one of the most well-known temples in Beijing. At one time, it was one of the most important temples in the nation. The temple is located near China National Highway 108 in the Mentougou District of Beijing.
Built in the Jin Dynasty (265–420), it has an age of around 1,700 years. The area of the entire temple is 100 mu (6.8 hectares), and its arrangement of halls is akin to that found in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Tanzhe Temple is one of the oldest temples in Beijing.
Most of the existing buildings in the temple are from the Ming and Qing dynasties, and there are pagodas from various historical periods such as the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The two “Emperor trees” by the Hall of Three Sages were planted during the Liao Dynasty about 1,000 years ago.
Temple Of Azure Clouds
The Temple of Azure Clouds, is a Buddhist temple located in the eastern part of the Western Hills, just outside the north gate of Fragrant Hills Park (Xiangshan Gongyuan), in the Haidian District, a northwestern suburb of Beijing, China, approximately 20 km from the city center. It was built in the 14th century (possibly in 1331), during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) and was expanded in 1748.
The temple, which is built on six different levels over an elevation of nearly 100 meters, is known for its fine scenery. The temple also includes the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, which is located at the center of the temple complex. Two other prominent features are the Arhats Hall and the Vajrasana Pagoda.
There are 512 statues, which include 500 wooden Arhats, 11 Bodhisattvas and one statue of Ji Gong (a famous Buddhist monk) inside the Hall of Arhats. All the Arhats are vivid, life-size statues with different poses and expressions. It has been said that two of these Arhats were the statues of the Kangxi Emperor and the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). In addition to these life-sized images, there is a miniature statue of Ji Gong perched on an overhead beam.
Tianning Temple (Beijing)
The Tianning Temple is located in the Guang’anmen district of Beijing, China. The temple contains the 12th-century Pagoda of Tianning Temple. The pagoda is a Liao Dynasty pagoda built from around 1100 to 1119 or 1120 CE, shortly before the Liao Dynasty was conquered by Song and Jin. This thirteen story, 57.8 m (189 ft) tall, octagonal-based Chinese pagoda is made of brick and stone, yet imitates the design of wooden-constructed pagodas from the era by featuring ornamental dougong (bracket supports). It rests on a large square platform, with the bottom portion of the pagoda taking on the shape of a sumeru pedestal.
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Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.