Friday, 22 May 2009
Nan Tien Temple: the Pagoda (Skywatch Friday)
On a recent visit to Nan Tien temple in the Wollongong suburb of Berkeley, the sun was shining and autumn colour was abundant.
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. To see more of the temple, look back over the past few days' blogs.
The temples's website tells us: "Pagoda has its origin from the Indian stupa, an ancient type of building used to store sutras and sacred relics of the Buddha. With the spread of Buddhism to China, Chinese architectural elements from gate towers and various wooden structures were gradually incorporated into pagoda design. The seven-tiered style of Nan Tien's Pagoda reflects a similar convention of the T'ang Dynasty (A.D. 618-906). Its tapering design reaching to the sky is synonymous with the idea of practicing Buddhism step-by-step which eventually led to supreme enlightenment.
Nan Tien's Pagoda is a resting place for the cremated ashes of devotees and their relatives; it can accommodate the remains of over 7,000 people. Inside the Pagoda is a wishing bell, visitors may make a wish and sound the bell."
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