Thursday, July 7, 2011

Shuang Lin Monastery - Buddhist Gods

My little niece praying to the Goddess of Mercy. She is very pious and can always explain to me buddhist quotes from the teachings of Buddha book. I am a free thinker but I love to read the teachings of Buddha. Although I am a free thinker, I will always donate to the temple. The donation helps to maintain the temple and also helps the poor.

During festive period and every 1st and 15th of every chinese lunar month, they have vegetarian meals.

This is a wooden fish in the temple and it is huge. It is used by the monks when they chant prayers.

There are many legends on why they named it wooden fish.

A monk went to India to acquire sutras. On his way to India, he found the way blocked by a wide, flooding river. There appeared neither bridge nor boat.

Suddenly, a big fish swam up. It offered to carry the monk across the river. The fish told the monk that it wanted to atone for a crime committed when it was a human. The fish made a simple request, that on the monk's way to obtain sutras, to ask the Buddha to guide the fish on a method to attain Bodhisattvahood.

The monk agreed to the fish's request and continued his quest for seventeen years. After getting the scriptures, he returned to China via the river, which was flooding again. As the monk worried about how to cross, the fish came back to help. It asked if the monk had made the request to the Buddha. To the monk's dismay, he had forgotten. The fish became furious and splashed the monk, washing him into the river. A passing fisherman saved him from drowning, but unfortunately the sutras had been ruined by the water.

The monk went home full of anger. Filled with anger at the fish, he made a wooden effigy of a fish head. When he recalled his adversity, he beat the fish head with a wooden hammer. To his surprise, each time he beat the wooden fish, the fish opened its mouth and vomited a character. He became so happy that, when he had time, he always beat the fish. A few years later, he had got back from the wooden fish's mouth what he had lost to the flood.(Source: wikipedia)

Reclining Buddha - am sure the stone used must be very precious cause the buddha look so beautiful.

Sharkyamuni Buddha

Buddhist Maitreya in Budai form

I hope the names I used to identify the buddha idols are correct. Please correct me if I am wrong.


Photo Cache said...

I enjoyed reading about the legend. Is this in S'pore too?

alicesg said...

Yes, this is in Singapore tucked away in a corner of a housing estate in Toa Payoh. Address in my first post of this series.