Wednesday, November 7, 2012

China Adventure: The Jade Buddha Temple

Next on our tour was the Jade Buddha Temple. Shanghai has grown around this temple, which is so amazing. We drove down a really crowded street, hopped out of the van on that same busy street and then suddenly stepped over the threshold in to this beautiful temple. Such a contrast.

The entrance wall. I love the contrast of the skyscrapers in the hazy distance.

These two were right over the entrance door.

 There were a number of different temples that made up the whole complex. In this one in which the directional kings are depicted. There are four (North, South, East and West) and each represents a part of our character.

A view of the inner courtyard.

This is one of the worshipers.  They have prayer sticks, which they light using the fire you see above or the lotus candle you see below. The sticks smoke a lot and the worshiper holds them in front and then prays to each of the four directions.

 Inside another of the temples (the largest one). There were 3 resting buddhas in this temple representing the past, present and future.

Above is a female Buddha. The wall behind her (see photo below) is an incredibly elaborate carving of the 99 teachers. Buddhist monks are required to learn 99 skills that are taught to them by 99 different teachers.

These kings are positioned along both side walls of this template and represent all the different virtues or needs of the worshipers (e.g. wealth, health, long life, patience ...) The worshiper can choose which to pray to depending on what they are asking for that particular day.

Another temple, the area to the left housed the jade buddha for which the temple is named. It was beautiful white jade and really intricately carved. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take photos.

This is reclining buddha, which is to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously and take time to enjoy life and relax. Sounds good to me!

Our guide didn't specifically describe this area, but it was one of my favorite of the temple. Really quiet and peaceful. The pictures on the walls are carved stone.

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