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2012年9月30日 星期日

Saturday Fun Time

Everybody wants to have a break from work. Once in a while, they actually get it. So what's the first thing you do during these 4 days? Surely, to have a bit of fun. I'm sure everyone deserves it. But for those worrying types, work can never be far from their mind ! For such, here're some words which may be worth pondering over the long weekend. To prevent indigestion, I'll make them short.

1.     Robert Orben:

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of
the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work.  Robert Orben

2.    Edgar Bergen:

Hard work never killed anybody. But but why take a chance? 

2. Theodore Roosevelt:

Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, "Certainly, I can". Then get busy and find out how to do it.

3. Bertrand Russell:

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

4. Gustave Flaubert:

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be
violent and original in your work.

5. J Paul Getty

Going to work for a large company is like getting on a
train. Are you going sixty miles an hour or is the train going sixty miles
an hour and you're just sitting still? 

Whether or not you agree, have lots of fun, but just not too many moon cakes!

2012年9月27日 星期四

Off to Sian 11 (Kwong Yan Temple ) (廣仁寺)

Another highlight of the tour was our visit to the only Tibetan Buddhist Temple (popularly known as Lama Temple) in Xian, called "Kwong Yan Temple" (廣仁寺) at its northwest. It's a temple located next to the Martial Arts Training Ground in the Linhu District (蓮湖區習武園教場). Originally it formed part of an adjacent temple called 羅候寺. It was then a part reserved for receiving monks arriving from Tibet and Mongolia and the surrounding countries. However, when it was taken over by the Tibetan monks in the era of 道光, new structures were added thereto and it was altered into a formal lama temple and renamed 十方堂 to indicate that it welcomes monks from everywhere. It is controlled by the Gelug or Gelug-pa Sect (格魯派 or 格律派 or 新噶當派) of Tibetan Buddhism. The sect was founded by Je Tsongkhapa (宗喀巴)(1357-1419). Their  first monastery was built at Ganden (甘丹寺). Its  head the Ganden Tripa is the nominal head of the sect. They follow the teachings of Kadampa (噶當巴) who emphasized the universal compassion (大慈悲) in the Mahayana Buddhist (大乘) tradition, combined with an emphasis on the idea and practice of "emptiness/non-attachment) (空) as taught by Madhyamaka (中觀派) master Nagajuna ( 龍樹)  and his disciple Kandrakirti (600-650) (月稱), thus forming the sect called vajrayana buddhism (密宗). The vajrayana sect has become quite powerful since the 16th century because in 1577, its leaders formed an alliance with the then Mongol chief Altan Khan (俺答汗 )( meaning in Mongol the Golden Khan)(1507-1582) the head of the Tumet Mongols, part of the western Mongol tribes. Altan Khan was one of the descendants of Kublai Khan (1215-1294) (元世祖忽必烈) who had earlier united the Khalka Mongols of the north and the Chahars Mongols of the south, when Tibetan buddhism was made the national religion of the Mongols. Now its most influential leader is Dalai Lama. Tsongkhapa taught that two aspects of the spiritual path: compassion and insight into wisdom, must be rooted in a wholehearted wish for liberation impelled by a genuine sense of renunciation and emphasizes systematic book learning, debates and examinations as well as meditation practices. All lamas have to learn 5 compulsory sutras viz. abhisamaya-alankara 《現觀莊嚴論》, mulamadyamakarika《中觀論》, abhidharma-kosa《 俱舍論》,Pramãna-Vãrtika《釋量論》and Vinaya Sutra 《律經本論》. After passing the relevant exams, they may then be recommended to learn 事續,行續,瑜珈部 and 無上瑜珈部 and only after further examinations will they be declared fit to act as teachers or gurus. The Kwong Yan Temple's name plaque was handwritten by Emperor Kang Hsi. It occupies an area of about 3,00 square meters and has three parts, the front, the middle and the eastern parts. There are "screen walls" ( 照壁), plaques, bell tower, drum tower and sutra depository in the front part including the bell tower, the drum tower, and the  God of Heaven Hall (天王殿) . The main hall of the middle part is called Manjusri Hall (文殊殿) or Master Tsongkhapa Hall( 宗喀巴大師殿). The the innermost part houses the Big Buddha Hall (大佛殿) or Maitreya Hall (彌勒殿) whilst its eastern part consists of the halls for the head and assistant head lamas with meditation halls, temporary dormitories, recitation halls, canteen etc. and stables for horses and camels as the temple was intended for use by various tribes in the west of China.




The front of the temple



A closer view of the front of the temple. At the top of the roof, you'll find two deers, not something you'd normally find in a Han temple ! Through the door, we can see the "screen wall" (照壁) depicting a dragon.





A closer view of some of the lotus towers



There are various towers built in the Tsing dynasty




The front gate was decorcated with typical Tibetan ribbons in green yellow, blue and white.



The famous "screen mirror" ( (照壁) behind the main entrance. It's one of the 8 treasures of the temple




One of the fierce looking arhats




Another arhat.




A stone lion guarding one of the temple buildings. Does the lion have the eyes of the arhats or the other way round?




One of the smaller structures at the court yard





Two incense tings at the courtyard




The couplets on the two front pillars of the temple




A really old looking wooden plague, written by Emperor Kang Hsi




A close up of the round ting.




One of the bodhisattavas




The main temple building, the hall of a thousand buddhas.




Another view of the hall




A view of the entrance to another temple building



The rear of the temple is also full of buddhas



The Manjurisri Boddhisattva and some of the other 1000 buddhas all paved with gold leaves.




At the rear, there are also many gilt buddha statues



The roofs are decorated with typical Tanga Tibetan paintings.



So are the walls



At one of its sides there are many manis (prayer wheels).



The other side of the temple is also full of them




A young lama walking around the temple turning the manis (轉經輪) . The Tibetan monks believe that turning the mani is a shortcut way of saying a Buddhist prayer, each turn being equivalent to reciting one sutra.





A side door leading to the eastern section of the temple




The entrance to the courtyard





A famous double lily




A giant water lily decorating the front of the main temple




Another type of water lily found on a huge urn in the courtyard





The square incense ting is decorated with dragons.




A Buddha in one of the side temple buildings




A giant buddhisattava inside the side temple



Another buddha. Note the elaborate decorations behind him




The side of the temple is full of the manis (sutra wheels)







There is a special room for "giving life/light to the buddha statues"




The walls are also decorated with Tibetan tanga paintings.




This is the famous Kwong Yan Temple




The joss stick tings in front of the temple




The buddha inside the temple




All the pillars are covered with cloths with Tibetan patterns











Some of the decorations at the upper part of the temple walls




The courtyard



The screen wall guarding the entrance to the inner part of the temple.




There is a dragon on the screen wall, indicating that this is one of the royal temples.




One of the wall decorations



Another wall decoration in Tibetan





A stone plague in black chronicling the temple's history.




The words are carved over some picture, I really don't know how they could do so ! According to internet sources, this is what is recorded

朕存心天下,睹顾西睡,惟兹关陇之区,实切封疆之重。岁当癸禾,特举时巡省,方设教训支宁人,己责都除,行庆布德,引军赐帛,奖学兴贤,所过山川,圣哲祠域,进修祀事,用殚精徭。凡所以裨邦政厚民生者,靡弗致其勤焉。又以运际承平,无忘武备,简稽将士,整饬戎行,发内帑之钱,普军中之颁给,爱于演武场,躬亲校射之典以建威,销荫之叉有观德习礼之风。顾念久安长治,务在肇蔓    因俗宜民。若乾了庵及其弟子性福再次修葺。成化十一年(1475),住转僧性慧、觉成又增修一次。大约在清初,胜严寺改由喇嘛住持。至广仁寺建成,寺院不仅仍然存在,而且拥有地产,“托庇”于广仁寺之后,殿宇、法事当有新的起色,故又逾二百年而至光绪朝,寺院并地产(20亩)仍然存在,唯寺中原有之碑碣,因同治初之战乱而遗失.甚可痛惜。光绪二十年(1894)四月,僧王恩铭曾立碑(即《皇清胜严寺并人广仁寺管理记》)记述寺院沿革并变为广仁寺别院事,碑称:“夫白晋以来,千有余载,其间沧桑几变,丛林名刹,毁于兵燹,化而为墟者不知凡几,而兹寺岿然存在,得与城南兴善、慈恩、荐福诸寺并留古迹……”以是知,敦煌寺虽有兴衰之变化,但并未或时毁夷过。直至1949年以后1958年以前,寺院尚存大殿三问,内供释迦牟尼佛塑像一尊。中伽蓝殿一大问,内奉关公、韦陀塑像。山门三问,东向。正殿后有一塔,砖表土心,高七级,内供木刻菩萨像一尊,高约三尺,同治兵乱,头被毁,后泥塑补之,全寺占地约九亩。寺北有一偏院,约占地二亩,中有东西厦房各三间,院中有广仁寺达喇嘛王玺禅师塔一座,系西藏式塔,高一丈五尺,塔南有王玺达喇嘛碑,寂园居士康寄遥撰文,广仁寺住持关符清立,立碑时间为民國十四年十月二十五日。其它碑碣有:《明教宗弘治元年重修碑记》、《明弘治十六年重修碑记》。解放前,寺内已无僧人,由达喇嘛王玺之俗家外甥杜氏兄弟住寺看守门户。