Author Topic: China is Protecting Kumbum Monastery Built in the Birthplace of Lama Tsongkhapa  (Read 6568 times)

icy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1484
China has already expended USD16 million toward the restoration and renovation of Kumbum Monastery, an important historical site of great religious significance where Lama Tsongkhapa was born. 

Kumbum Monastery is named after the 100,000 images of the Buddha Sinhanada on the leaves of the holy sandalwood tree.  A drop of blood fell from Tsongkhapa’s umbilical cord when it was cut after his birth. From this drop grew a wondrous white sandalwood tree. It has a very broad trunk and 100,000 leaves, which it never sheds. In Tibetan, the number 100,000 merely signifies a very large number, and is not meant literally. On each leaf is an image of the Buddha Sinhanada. 

Tsongkhapa’s mother, with the help of the local faithful, built a small temple with a stupa around this tree. It stands to this day. This was the first temple at Kumbum. 

Whatever spiritual practices one does at this site are said to bring rebirth in Maitreya’s Pure Land.
 



Xinhua, August 6, 2014
 
In the steamy mountainside region of Qinghai province, a key Tibetan temple is undergoing huge renovations as millions are being spent to help the holy site battle the elements.

The Kumbum Monastery, built in the birthplace of Lama Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism in northwest China, attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists each year.

But the hot and humid mountain climate surrounding Xining, capital of Qinghai province, where the temple rests is threatening the livelihood of the 700-year-old place of worship.

Centuries of erosion have split many of the temple's religious murals. Some of the site's temple halls have suffered groundwork subsidence that have led to deformed pillars and cracked walls.

With the help of experts and funding from the central government, the temple is fighting back against mother nature.

Since the 1990s, the central government has invested more than 100 million yuan (16 million U.S. dollars) towards renovating the famous monastery.

The latest round of renovations, worth 17 million yuan, will see the site's four main temple halls receive a full facelift and began in January of this year.

While 7 million of the most recent renovation fund was provided by the temple itself, the remainder was provided by the government.

Their efforts have gone a long way toward ensuring the temple will be around for years to come, said Losang Goenqog, deputy director of the monastery's management committee.

"Every year, the monastery undergoes certain repair projects on its halls and rooms. It's a huge cost and we can't afford it only with ticket sales and donations," he said.

With more than 10,000 halls and rooms, there is always work to be done, he said. X In addition to funding, experts from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage travel to the monastery to help plan the annual renovations, directing the repair work to make sure the temples are restored as close as possible to the original design.

The Kumbum monastery was built in 1379 in a narrow valley on the outskirts of Xining as a tribute to the famous Buddhist leader, Lama Tsongkhapa. Born in 1357, Tsongkhapa is credited with founding the Gelukpa school of Buddhism, also known as the Yellow Hat sect. The Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama are currently the high lamas of the school.

As one of six key Gelukpa monasteries, Kumbum is also a major tourism attraction in Qinghai known for its "three treasures of art" -- handmade sculptures with white yak butter, wall paintings and silk paintings depicting scenes from the Buddha's teachings.

Last year, it received more than 100 million pilgrims and tourists, said Goenqog.

Booming tourism has also brought increasing challenges to the preservation of the centuries-old heritage site. "We are considering a daily limit on visitor numbers for safety concerns," he said.


rossoneri

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • Email
Is wonderful to know that the Chinese is making an effort to protect this historical site, especially this monastery is consider the second most important monastery outside Tibet. Although the motivation behind it probably is to make some profit but by restoring back the monastery is bringing much merits to whoever paying the visit there. I've attached some more pictures of the monastery and i really hope to pay a visit there someday, and you all should too.

Tenzin K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 637
It’s so nice to see that China is contributing to the restore of Kumbum Monastery which is also the birth place of Lama Tsongkhapa. Be it for preservation of heritage building or for commercial tourism its benefits both parties. In a way it also a benefit to promote Lama Tsongkhapa teaching which is not new in China but with this holy historical monastery it added to the spiritual value. Imagine when people explaining about Lama Tsongkhapa teaching which will lead to the founder and able to visit his birth place, just like Buddha Shakyamuni and his 4 holy places. We have the Lord Buddha Shakymuni holy places in Nepal and India and we have the second Buddha Lama Tsongkhapa holy places in China. (This not for the sake of comparison between the 2 enlightened being but is to show how great we can have the enlightened being holy places around the world).   

China has been quite open on the religious matter and this will help the country to develop more spiritual benefits and indirectly form a strong and good community within their people to form a great harmonious country.

Rejoice of this news and also seeing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage being preserve for the growth of his practice.

eyesoftara

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
I rejoice that China is restoring Kumbum Monastery, a great Holy place of birth of Lama Tsongkhapa. Also, this place has its miracle of the 100,000 images of the Buddha Sinhanada on the leaves of the holy sandalwood tree.
China has been advocating the restoration of places of Buddhism is recent years as at heart most Chinese are Buddhist and for the Chinese government, the Buddhist religion at as a social-cultural stabilizing factor in contrast to its huge growth in its economy.
In other words, the Chinese government view Buddhism as an antidote to the negative impact our economic growth.

Tenzin Malgyur

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 551
This is rejoicing news that the China government is spending a hefty sum of money each time to restore Kumbum Monastery. It is truly a meaningful and meritorious deed to restore and fix any holy site of Buddha, especially the birth place of the founder of the Gelug lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
May Kumbum Monastery hold up strong against the harsh climate to receive many more faithful pilgrims to this holy site of Lama Tsongkhapa.

bambi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
Wonderful! Preserving such a holy and historical place. We and the future generations are so lucky that effort is being put in to restore such a holy place. Tsongkapa's teachings will flourish, bless and continue to reach so many especially those who visit the place and get the chance to see beautiful Tsongkapa statue.



Blueupali

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 464
    • Email
That is so awesome that China is protecting Lama Tsonkhapa's birthplace like that.  I think the Chinese will go buddhist again:).  They have so much karma with Buddha, and it really is a very practical religion, which can be applied by everyone; I always think secretly that the communist government is coming around to Buddhism:).

vajrastorm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 705
Perhaps the most significant point about Kumbum is that here in this very place, a Buddha predicted by Buddha Shakyamuni was born. Furthermore, a tree grew up from the spot where a drop of blood from new-born baby Tsongkhapa's umbilical cord had dropped. To top it all, the leaves of the sandalwood tree bore images of Buddha Sinhada. The religious significance cannot be lost on anyone, least of all the Chinese government. Of course the potential for pilgrimage and tourism is overwhelming.Hence all effort will not be spared to restore and maintain the Kumbum monastery. 

It must be the dream of every practitioner of the Gelugpa lineage to visit this spot, where our most precious Je Tsongkhapa was born.



 

Galen

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 420
    • Email
Wow, another great deed by the Chinese Government. Not only will this benefit the Chinese people but also the world world as the monastery attracts many tourist. Preservation of China's own history and the chinese culture has always been on the top of their list.

I have been to other parts of China where old temples are being restored to it's former glory. An example is the Shaolin Temple where Kung Fu all started. We can see that the Chinese Government is not biased in the restoration. They restore for all schools of Buddhism. They protect their heritage and the history which made them a nation.

No doubt the Kumbum Monastery have a lustrous history which should be preserved so that many generations to come can learn and know where their roots come from. Long live Lama Tsongkhapa's teachings. I wish to visit this monastery one day!

cookie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
    • Email
Lama Tsongkhapa is one of the greatest Guru in Tibetan Buddhism. It has been said before that one may be able to attain a noble human rebirth of leisure and fortune and meet numerous teachings of the Buddha. But in order to have the affinity to meet the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa, one needs to have a large amount of merits! Hence, it is extremely meritorious too for China to continue to maintain and invest in the future of their spiritual growth by preserving this lineage. Kumbum Monastery is the very beginning of this great lineage. It must be preserved for generations to come.

dondrup

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 816
It is commendable for the Chinese government through its State Administration of cultural Heritage to have spent more than 100 million yuans in renovating the Kumbum Monastery.  The fact that Kumbum Monastery was able to draw in over 100 million pilgrims and tourists shows its popularity and potential as a top tourist destination for China.  This helps to develop the economy of the capital city of Xining in Qinghai Province.

Kumbum Monastery is a repository of Tibetan culture and art including the various scultures, statues and religious artifacts. It is a very important holy site particularly for followers of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Its significance cannot be expressed enough as Kumbum Monastery is located in the birth place of Lama Tsongkhapa.  Furthermore Kumbum Monastery is built around a tree said to grew up where drops of blood from Tsongkhapa's umbilical cord had fallen on the ground. This tree is known as the Tree of Great Merit.  The leaves and the bark of this tree were reputed to bear impressions of the Buddha's face and various mystic syllables and its blossoms were said to give off a peculiarly pleasing scent.  These extraordinary occurences have turned Kumbum Monastery into an important and holy pilgrimage site.

It is hope that the Chinese government continues its effort to preserve this important heritage for the benefit of the future generations.

Midakpa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Kumbum Monastery was built by the Third Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso. It is situated near the village of Lusar in Amdo. When the he went to Lake Kokonor to meet Altan Khan in 1576, Sonam Gyatso stopped by the holy tree that marked the spot where Lama Tsongkhapa was born. There was a small monastery there with several monks looking after it. Sonam Gyatso gave instructions for a bigger monastery to be built. It was completed in 1583 and the Monlam festival was celebrated there for the first time. Kumbum Monastery had a glorious history with a long line of illustrious abbots. During its heyday, it had more than 3600 monks. It is good that the Chinese Government is now protecting it although one of the reasons could be that  it is a tourist attraction.

fruven

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 658
Very glad the Chinese is taking the initiative to maintain the monastery. I believe China is moving away from the thought that the monastery that is threat to its ideology to a monastery that is beneficial to the people and to the country. Perhaps they are coming from the view of long term investment but it is better investment than no investment at all. I think generally the Chinese have much merit for the opportunity to restore the monastery therefore we should rejoice in their effort. It is rare to have much financial means and together with willingness to put money, time and effort into spiritual work, in this case, the Chinese have both of them.

WisdomBeing

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
    • Add me to your facebook!
Thanks for sharing this great news. This commitment by the Chinese government to renovate this illustrious monastery will create much good karma for the Chinese authorities who have sincerely spent so much resources on preserving Tibet's Buddhist heritage. Let us hope that the Chinese authorities will continue to invest time and money to preserve Buddhist monuments within its great lands and perhaps in time, China will become a powerful Buddhist nation again..
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

maricisun

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
    • Email
Such great news. China being a large population and the government is also contributing to the renovation of the Kumbum Monastery which is the birthplace of Lama Tsongkhapa.
This way the Gelugpa lineage will be preserve and millions will be able to follow this lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa and will be pass on to many generations to come.
China is becoming a powerful Buddhist nation and it also helps to attract more tourist here.