on August 24, 2006
Vitasoka, the guardian of the temple, is clad in full armour and adorn with fierce weapons. He resides in a pavilion just outside the monastery. Another pavilion houses Kun Yam, Goddess of Mercy who is able to assume any shape to better aide those in need.The crowning glory, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple, has more than 13,000 identical gold-plated ceramic Buddhas filling the walls of the temple. Although the sizes are uniform, the poses differ. Courtesy of worshippers and made by an artisan from Shanghai, the number of Buddhas continues to increase. Temple of the Ner Tor, also called Amita Buddha Temple, contains the gold-plated 45’ high Amita Buddha who purportedly brings worshippers to his paradise after death. The preserved body of founder of the monastery, Reverend Yuet Kai, rests in a display case next to Amita.The ancestral worship halls contain the names and pictures of loved ones along with urns serve as reminders. Outside paper versions of money, food, homes etc… burn as offerings to the deities on behalf of deceased relatives.The upper level contains 4 temples, 2 of which, the Goddess of Mercy and God of Heavens are currently closed. In the Candi Buddha Temple resides Candi, mother of all Buddhas with 1000 eyes and arms to save her people from suffering and Kwan Tei, God of Righteousness who punishes bad behaviour and rewards good deeds. This pair is akin to earthly parents and therefore being housed in the same temple seems only appropriate.The upper level, while equally as fascinating as the lower, is nonetheless different. The characters along the stairs change from being only male and completely gold to being both sexes in very colorful costumes. Moreover the statues are mostly women, many with something reminding me of halos.So many interesting characters, it would be impossible to read descriptions on all of them, if there had been any available. Still, I would like to have read an overview on the differences.Take time to take it all in. It is marvelous.
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