Author Topic: 'Golden Buddha' from India adds sheen to China town  (Read 9159 times)


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'Golden Buddha' from India adds sheen to China town
« on: August 18, 2012, 01:11:37 PM »
This is another sign that China is embracing Buddhism more and more, and it seems that Tibetan Buddhism is being absorbed and accepted by the han chinese more and more these days. Perhaps, soon, it will come a day where the Chinese will allow the Dalai Lama back into Tibet :)

'Golden Buddha' from India adds sheen to China town
by Anahita Mukherji, TNN Aug 15, 2012
NANGCHEN, CHINA -- A glittering golden statue of the Buddha, 35-metre tall, bang in the middle of the hillside bordering Tibet, promises to change the landscape of the region in more ways than one.
The statue is a gift from Gyalwang Drukpa - spiritual head of an 800-year-old Tibetan Buddhist called the Drukpa - to the people of Nangchen, a hilly, remote part of China with a large Buddhist following.

"The Golden Buddha gives people something solid which symbolizes their faith and makes it stronger," says Satrul Rimpoche, a Buddhist monk and spiritual leader in the province. He says land prices in the area have gone up ten-fold, thanks to the golden Buddha, with much construction coming up around the area. "There was nothing here before the statue arrived. It was just barren land," he says.

Gyalwang Drukpa inaugurated the statue in July, as locals, monks and pilgrims from across the world thronged the monastery nestled below the statue. That Gyalwang Drukpa is from India, his gift lies in China and the man who sponsored the $6 million statue - Felix Lim, is a businessman from Singapore, may well be a metaphor for Buddhism's belief in a borderless world.

Lim, the son-in-law of the entrepreneur behind Tiger Balm, says it was during a chance meeting with His Holiness a decade ago that the Gyalwang Drukpa expressed his desire to create a statue of the Buddha, a wish that Lim and his wife promised to sponsor. The statue, built in China's Nanjing province in 2002, was supposed to be a gift for a monastery in Nepal.

But the statue was not given clearance from the government of Nepal, due to objections from the country's aviation authority. And so it lay in a warehouse in Nanjing for nearly a decade. "I decided to gift the statue to Nangchen because of the large Drukpa Buddhist following in the region," says Gyalwang Drukpa, a smiling monk with a twinkle in his eye.

Just beside the golden Buddha, amidst the ruins of what was once an Ashokan stupa, a brand new stupa is taking shape, thanks to funds raised by a charity begun by local monks, with support from the Drukpa.

"People here are very poor. his region is so remote that nobody knows about it. Both the Buddha statue and the Ashokan stupa are very auspicious for us and will attract tourists who will take photos of the area and share them on the internet. People will then get to know about our land," says Ang Wang Shi Rab, a schoolteacher from Nangchen.

Tourism, he believes, will help the economy of the region, giving rise to restaurants, a new service sector and better transport.

"If you make a wish to the statue, all your dreams will be fulfilled. The statue will help you to be reborn in the 'Pure Land'," he adds. Gau Yuan Twe, an attractive young nurse from Nangchen, feels the Buddha will bring happiness and good-fortune to the region. The locals aren't the only ones looking to tourism. Researchers from John Hopkins University (USA) are working on a model for sustainable eco-tourism to uplift the area, for which they, too, are looking to the monasteries of Nangchen. While Nangchen may now be a forgotten land tucked away in the hills of China, it was once a bustling centre for trade and politics in eastern Tibet. The people of this region hope the Buddha statue will help Nangchen return to its glory days.


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Re: 'Golden Buddha' from India adds sheen to China town
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 04:26:47 AM »
Its a sign that Buddhism will be flourish again in China. At times i can't help but wondered what if Cultural Evolution did not happened, millions of people were persecuted in the violent factional struggles that ensued across the country, and suffered a wide range of abuses including public humiliation, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, sustained harassment, and seizure of property. Historical relics and artifacts were destroyed. Cultural and religious sites were ransacked. Just imagine how many important texts and teachings related to Buddhism had been destroyed. And now China is embracing religion all over again.

Sacred Historic Buddhist Site Restored in China by Drukpas
NEW DELHI, India, July 24, 2012

- World’s 20th Ashoka Stupa Found and Restored to its Former Glory

- His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa Installs World’s Largest Buddha Statue

Drukpa Buddhists, led by the spiritual Head, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa (HHGD) have completed the mammoth task of restoring the sacred historic Buddhist site at Nangchen, China. The restoration and beautification process had been on for the past 5 years under adverse climatic conditions. His Holiness oversaw this colossal work of restoration, done completely out of the efforts of the masters, disciples and sponsors of the Drukpa Lineage. The restored site was inaugurated by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa.

Also known as Gomde or the “Abode of meditators”, Nangchen has produced generations of Dharma Kings, exemplary scholars and amazingly qualified monks, yogis and practitioners, mostly belonging to the Drukpa Buddhist Order.

HHGD established the Buddha Amitabha Statue at this historical site during this apolitical, purely cultural visit to Nangchen. The statue is world’s largest, and made entirely with a mixture of gold and bronze. The visit to China will help in connecting and bringing the two worlds of India and China closer. He was accompanied by a large delegation comprising Buddhist dignitaries and cultural champions from India and abroad, including Dr. BK Modi, Mr. Arjun Pandey and Michelle Yeoh.
The visit embodies the spirit of Live to Love: building bridges and working together to create a better world, while carrying the message of “World Peace, Harmony and Prosperity.”

The restored site also houses the Ashoka Stupa, one of the 84,000 built by Ashoka the Great more than 2000 years ago. The Ashoka Stupas have tremendous historical significance – the Indian Emblem is an adaptation of the lion capital derived from the Ashoka Stupa at Sarnath (India), and the ‘chakra’ in the Indian flag too has been derived from the Ashoka Stupa. Historically, the Stupas are symbolic of the expanse and influence of the empire of King Ashoka, who is credited with the propagation of Buddhism across Asia.

His Holiness also took this opportunity to visit the refugees of the earthquake that hit the region in April 2010, providing relief and encouragement

About Drukpa Buddhists

The Drukpa Buddhists follow the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of “getting enlightened for the benefit of others”. “Druk” in Tibetan means “Dragon” and it also refers to the sound of thunder.

Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: 'Golden Buddha' from India adds sheen to China town
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 10:11:07 AM »
Wow. This is fantastic news. Such a huge holy statue of Buddha will definitely bless the surrounding areas and its people. Now this remote and little known region have earned a placed on the tourist map. This is already a sure sign of the blessings bestowed by the holy Buddha. With the many tourists and pilgrims coming to visit the Buddha statue and monastery, the economy of this region which was a barren land is set to improve. Rejoice for the locals and also to the generosity of the sponsors of this statue.


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Re: 'Golden Buddha' from India adds sheen to China town
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 11:27:38 AM »
A glittering golden statue of the Buddha,35 metre tall is a gift from Gyalwang Drukpa-spiritual head of an 800 yrs old Tibetan Buddhist called the Drukpa-to the people of Nangchen,a hilly remote part of China with a large Buddhist following.
Satrul Rinpoche who is the Buddhist monk and spiritual leader in the provinces  says land prices in the area have gone up ten fold,thanks to the Golden Buddha which symbolizes their faith and make it stronger.Before the statue arrived,it was just barren land.
Gyalwang Drukpa from India inaugurated the statue in July while the sponsor of the statue,Felix Lim a businessman from Singapore and his wife.The statue,built in China,Nanjing Province in 2002,was supposed to be a gift for a monastery in Nepal.
Due to objection from Nepal's aviation authority it lay in a warehouse  for a decade, The statue was given to Nangchen instead because of the large Drukpa Buddhist  following in the region.
Beside the golden Buddha ,amidst the ruins of what was once an Asokan stupa, a brand new stupa is taking shape,thanks to funds raised by a charity begun by local monks.
The Buddha statue and Asokan stupa are very auspicious for the people of Nangchen as the people here are very poor and this attraction will bring tourist s who will take photo and share them on the internet.
Nangchen was once a bustling center for trade and politics in Eastern Tibet.The people of this region hope the Buddha Statue will help Nangchen return to it's glory days.

Tenzin K

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Re: 'Golden Buddha' from India adds sheen to China town
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 12:27:11 PM »
Buddhism was introduced into China during the Eastern Han period (25-220 AD). Together with it came statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, flying apsaras and viras. This prompted the development of religious art in China. In the period from the Northern Wei (386-534 AD) to the Tang and the Song (618-1279 AD) Dynasties, Buddhist arts flourished and reached great heights. During this period, large grotto temples were built and statues sculpted in the Dunhuang, Maijishan, Yungang, Longmen, and Gongxian, as well as in Fowan and Baoding Shan in Daizu county of Sichuan province. The tradition of Buddhist sculptural art was kept up through the ages ever since. Many of the sculptures have been destroyed and damaged by natural disasters or wars over the years, but today when we look at the huge sculptures in Longmen in Luoyang, or Leshan in Sichuan, we can still appreciate and would indeed be overwhelmed by the splendor and magnificence of the religious art of the old times.

Buddhist sculptural art was on the decline since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Large outdoor Buddhist statues have been rare. A fine tradition of over one thousand years is now almost gone.

In 1973, the Venerable Chi Wai, Venerable Yuen Wai and other monks of Po Lin Monastery were invited for a visit to the Caodong School of Japan. They were greatly impressed by the grandeur and stately Buddha statue of Kamakura. Later, when they visited Taiwan and saw the majestic grand Buddha statue in Zhanghua, they called to mind that at the times when Buddhism flourished, Buddhist statues were always built to symbolize Buddha's image. They also considered adopting the Buddha's image in spreading Buddhist teachings a well worth preserved tradition. They therefore vowed to build a big Buddha statue in Hong Kong; they believed the spirit of tranquility and peace exuded by the Buddha's image a source of spiritual comfort for people: their mind could be purified, their worries allayed and they could reach the state of inner peace.