Monday, 18 May 2009
Nan Tien Temple: Main Shrine
Above: The main temple viewed from across the Lumbini Garden, which we will see more of tomorrow. "The stairs reminds us of our aim to gain enlightenment. One cannot be given enlightenment, we have to gain it ourselves. It might take many many lifetimes and we have to take each step at a time steadily, it will be a long way but we ought to make those steps ourselves. " (Source: Official website of Nan Tien temple)
Below: Detail of the main temple. Photography is prohibited inside, so this is as close as I can bring you. Inside are statues of 5 Buddhas, representing five aspects of Buddha's teachings, as well as a very large offering table, and places for prayer. The official website shows the 5 Buddhas.
Nan Tien means "Southern Heaven Temple". It is one of the branch temples of Fo Guang Shan, founded in 1967 in Taiwan. There are over 120 branches worldwide.
Fo Guang Shan Buddhism follows the Mahayana tradition which emphasises that Buddhahood is within everyone's potential reach. Fo Guang Shan followers strive to bring Buddhism into daily life and describe their philosophy as "Humanistic Buddhism."
It was completed in 1995. The land was donated by the Australian government.
Left: The huge gong hangs under the eaves of the main shrine.