Monday, June 7, 2010

Royal Grand Hall of Buddhism - Lanters

A pair of guardian deities on either side of the Main Gate urge people to do good and refrain from evil, these lacquered statues are the largest of their kind in the world. The one on the right has its mouth open - symbolizing un (breathing in), while the other has its mouth closed -symbolizing ah (breathing out). The pair of huge stone lanterns (12m in height) in front of the Main Hall, made their way into the Guinness World Records as the largest stone lanterns. The temple also has the largest onigawara (ridge-end tile) stretching 9m in height and 8.8m wide, installed on the roof-top of the main temple building. Final image is of the very informative monk who guided our small group through the complex; he like many buddhist who carry o-juzu 御数珠, or counting beads, use this traditional tool to count time while meditating using mantras even while holding conversations or guiding tours. Most of the people who go to this complex are on a pilgrimage and entrance into the complex is kept rather official with forms and badges required. The presence of security is also felt throughout the complex and, aside from the monk, our group was also flanked by 4-5 other assistants/guides/guards - difficult to tell what purpose they ultimately served. The site being almost encased in the eight surrounding mountain ranges coupled with its imposing gates, security, wealth and quietly powerful presence give the complex an imposing if not holy atmosphere.

No comments:

Post a Comment