Sunday, May 5, 2013

Jade Buddha Temple -Jessica Turnlund

 The Jade Buddha Temple is a Buddhist temple in Shanghai, China. It was founded in 1882 with two jade Buddha statues imported to Shanghai from Burma by sea. The two statues are a sitting Buddha and also a smaller, reclining Buddha which represents Buddha's death. The temple now also contains a much larger reclining Buddha made of marble, donated from Singapore, and visitors may mistake this larger sculpture for the original, smaller piece. 

The lay out of the temple is as follows, there is the Chamber of Four Heavenly Kings, which contains the statues of Maitreya, Wei Tuo Bodhisattva and the Four Heavenly Kings, who represent favorable circumstance. The chamber is located on the southern-edge, or the front of the temple. There is also a Grand Hall, which is also known as the Great Hall. This also contains many statues, like the Three Golden Buddhas. The central sculpture is of Gautama Buddha, the left is Amitabha and the right is Bhaisajyaguru. There is also the Gods of the Twenty Heavens, which is covered in gold and it lines the eastern and western sides of the Grand Hall. The next part of the temple is the Jade Buddha Chamber which is in the northern section of the temple, on the second floor.   

This is one of the buildings inside of the temple. This is the one that a person would
see when they enter the temple

The Jade Buddha Temple was a very interesting experience. It was a privilege to be able to go and experience a new religion that we normally do not see in the United States. We were all able to go into the different rooms in the temple and experience this culture first hand. One thing that was pretty interesting was that we were able to see the people praying and giving their wishes to the different forms of Buddha. We were able to watch them and learn about their religion. After they prayed they would give their offering of coins to Buddha as a gift to give their wish more of a chance to come true.   

  This is a photo of a man praying with incense. They will pray in every direction, north, south, east and west.

We also were able to see both of the famous pieces of jade. Each Buddha was made out of white jade and both pieces are the originals. Because they were both originals, people are not allowed to take pictures of them. That would be disrespectful to the Buddha. This aspect of their religion is really important to them and as a visitor you could tell that the people cared greatly about both of these pieces. One thing that I found interesting about this temple was that it was open to the public. People congregated in the courtyard and a lot of talking occurred. It was not as private as I would have expected it to be and it was a lot different than a church that you would normally picture in your head. One thing that I really liked about this temple was that I was able to learn about a new culture and see how different my culture is from theirs.
-Jessica Turnlund

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jessica! Very fascinating information! Sounds like China was quite the experience!

    God bless,

    Angela Zook