Ep. 117: Puji Temple, Putuoshan
"The Temple of Universal Aid"
BIG NEWS! In January I will be offering an online lecture/discussion about Buddhism via Zoom. Watch for a future announcement of time, date and topic.
Puji ("Universal Aid") Temple has a peculiar history. Do you remember the Bukenqu ("Refused to Leave") Guanyin Temple I mentioned in Episode 115? Well, in 1080, it was moved and enlarged, and given the new name. The Bukenqu Guanyin Temple I visited is in fact a reconstruction, built in 1998.
Puji Temple is fairly large. It has nine main halls, including a magnificent Yuantong ("Accommodation") Hall dedicated to Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, to whom this whole island is consecrated.
Outside of the gates is as interesting as inside (I had visited there the night of my arrival), with a truly gorgeous ancient pagoda (the Duobao or "Many Treasures" Pagoda, built between 1333 and 1335), a lotus pond, pavilions--all the usual stuff for a big, old-but-touristy temple. (It's the largest on the island.)
Nearby is a museum containing artifacts related to the island's history, and a small bookstore. A little further west is the entrance to the "Western Paradise," an area of footpaths and inscribed stones.
Also outside the gates of the temple is the Haiyin ("Sea Image") Pond, used for releasing fish and turtles as an act of compassion (a "free life pond"). Three bridges cross the pond; in the past, the western one was for commoners, the eastern for nobility, and the central one reserved for the emperor, leading directly to the main gate of the temple.
A legend says that an emperor once tried to enter the main gate dressed as a peasant, and a monk forced him to enter by the side. Angered, the emperor decreed that thereafter, only emperors could use the center gate, so today visitors have to detour to the east to enter.
That's that! Until next time, may you and your loved ones and all sentient beings be well and happy.
Find this and all past issues of the Newsletter online at Substack.
The Shenzhen Daily article at the core of this Episode
You may unsubscribe to Temple Tales at any time by using the button at the bottom of this email, or by simply replying to this Newsletter and writing "Unsubscribe." You will receive one more letter as confirmation.
If you have any problems reading the Newsletter , please write to me at TheTempleGuy@GMail.com, and I'll help you in any way I can!