Tuesday 14 October 2008

The way-too-many Buddhas Monastery

So we finally made it to 10K Buddhas. And there are a LOT of buddhas - more than ten thousand in fact.

You walk up the hill (this is possibly the first hill we've actually had to walk up - we were slightly outraged that there was no escalator) and the path is lined on both sides with lifesize golden buddhas, all in different poses. Several are reading, or showing off their lotus flowers, one is riding a crazed-looking deer, another one is surfing on a crab, a few have little kids crawling all over them.

Once you get to the top of the 400 or so steps, there's a large open space, or veranda. In fact, the complex is made up of 5 temples, 4 pavilions, and a pagoda. There was a serious landslip in 1997, so not all of these are open. Here is a choice excerpt from the leaflet for your delectation. All sic, by the way. The squeamish should probably look away now.
"Reverend Yuet Kai, the founder of the monastery, was a saga. He was not only a skilled player of Lyre, but also a talent poet. He was born in a welath family and then studied philosophy in a famous university in China. At his age of 19, he determined to embrace Buddha to consecrate his life to Buddhism, he flamed his small and the next fingers on left hand, and cut down a piece of flesh as big as a palm from his chest to light forty-eight oil lamps in front of Buddha for showing his aspirations [...] Reverend Yuet Kai passed away in 24th April 1965 at his age of 87. After eight months of burying, his disciples followed his will to take his body out from the coffin, unbelievable miraculously, just as he himself anticipation before death, the body did not change at all. [...] Up to now, the immortal body of the Reverend Yuet Kai has still been preserved perfectly and placed in front of the altar in the main temple for people to worship."
Which is nice.

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