White Horse Temple


White Horse Temple

White Horse Temple (zh-stp|s=白马寺|t=白馬寺|p=Báimǎ Sì; also "White Horse Ministry") was the first Buddhist temple in China, established under the patronage of Emperor Ming in the Eastern Han capital Luoyang in the year 68. ["Houhanshu"]

Founding

According to the Book of Later Han history, Emperor Ming was said to have dreamed one night in the year 64 of a golden person standing 20 metres tall and with a radiating white aureola flying from the West. The next day he told his ministers, and the minister Zhong Hu explained to him that he had probably dreamed of the Buddha from India. The emperor then sent a delegation of 18 headed by Cai Yin, Qin Jing and Wang Zun to seek out Buddhism. They returned from Afghanistan with an image of Gautama Buddha, the "Sutra of Forty-two Chapters" and two eminent monks.

The monks names have been variously romanized as Kasyapamatanga and Dharmavanya, Moton and Chufarlan.

The next year, the emperor ordered the construction of the White Horse Temple three li east of the capital Luoyang, to remember the horse that carried back the sutras. It was China's first Buddhist temple.

Naming

Notably, the emperor ordered the suffix 寺 (pinyin "si") to be used in the temple's name, as a display of respect. Previously, this character had been used to denote ministries of government. In later periods, all temples came to use this character in their name and it was dropped from the names of government ministries. As a result, the temple's name is sometimes translated as White Horse Ministry, a translation true to the time. However, White Horse Temple is the correct, literal reading to modern Chinese people.

ignificance

The first version of the Chinese "Sutra of Forty-two Sections" (四十二章經) was produced within the temple. The temple then increased in importance as Buddhism grew within China, and spread to Korea, Japan and Vietnam. The introduction of Buddhism in China was also a significant influence on Chinese morals, thought and ethics.

Location

The temple is located within Han and Wei Dynasty Luoyang, which lies approximately 12km east of modern Luoyang, in Henan province.

History

In 258. a royal Kuchean monk, Po-Yen, translated six Buddhist text in to Chinese at the temple, including the important "Infinite Life Sutra".

In 1175, an inscription on a stone tablet next to Qilun Pagoda—a 35 m (115 ft) tall, multi-eaved square-based tower located to the southeast of the White Horse Temple—stated that a previous fire occurred five decades previously and destroyed the temple and the Sakya Tathagata sarira stupa, a predecessor to the pagoda. The same inscription of 1175 stated that a Jin Dynasty official had the stone Qilun Pagoda erected soon after. The pagoda is built with the design style imitating the square-based pagodas of the Tang Dynasty.

In 1992, with the assistance of Thai and Chinese donors, the Hall of the Thai Buddha was constructed slightly west of the old temple.

Description

The temple compound covers an area of 200 mu (13 hectares), and faces south. A stone paifang (archway) has been recently built 150 metres in front of the original gate. Between the archway and gate lies a pool with fountains, spanned by three stone bridges.

Entering the temple today, one sees the Hall of Heavenly Kings, Hall of the Great Buddha, Hall of Mahavira, Hall of Greeting, the Cool and Clear Terrace and the pavilion. On each side of the pavilion are the Sutra House and the Magic Weapon House.

Visiting today

The temple is open to the public, and can be reached by public bus number 56 from Luoyang Train Station. Standard tickets cost 35元 and discounts are available to students at half price (17.5元).

References

ee also

*Buddhism in China


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • White Horse (disambiguation) — White Horse generally refers to horses with a white coat, pink skin and blue eyes. The term may also refer to:Villages, towns, and cities* City of Whitehorse, Victoria, Australia * Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, named after the White Horse Rapids on… …   Wikipedia

  • Horse worship — is a pagan practice that may be demonstrated in Europe in the Iron Age, and perhaps in the Bronze Age. The horse may be seen as divine, or may be seen as a sacred animal associated with a particular deity, or a totem animal impersonating the king …   Wikipedia

  • Temple Newsam — is also the name of an electoral ward for Leeds City Council, which includes the areas of Halton Moor, Halton, Whitkirk, Colton and Austhorpe.HistoryIn the Domesday Book the property is known as Neuhusam and was owned by Ilbert de Lacy. Before… …   Wikipedia

  • TEMPLE — The article is arranged according to the following outline: first temple history structure the ground plan of the temple the detailed plan of the temple general description the porch THE MAIN ROOM (HEKHAL) OR HOLY PLACE …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Temple Hills, Maryland — Infobox Settlement official name = Temple Hills, Maryland settlement type = CDP nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = image imagesize = image caption = image mapsize = 250x200px map caption = Location of Temple Hills, Maryland mapsize1 …   Wikipedia

  • White Monastery — The White Monastery is a Coptic Orthodox monastery named after Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite. It is located near the Upper Egyptian city of Sohag, and about four kilometers south east of the Red Monastery. The name of the monastery is derived… …   Wikipedia

  • Nanputuo Temple — Wulao Peak …   Wikipedia

  • Nanhua Temple — This article is about the Temple in Shaoguan; for the Fo Guang Shan based temple in South Africa, see Nan Hua Temple. Main gate Nanhua Temple (南华寺) is a Buddhist monastery of the Chan School, one of Five Great Schools of Buddhism where Hui Neng,… …   Wikipedia

  • Mimi Temple — (Chinese: 秘密寺) is located on Mimi Hill (秘密岩), Weiping Mountain, 38 kilometers southwest of Taihuai County in Mount Wutai, Shanxi, China. It is named after the hill. Another name for the hill is Mimo (秘魔岩). So an alternative name for the temple is …   Wikipedia

  • Dabeilou Temple — (also Dabei Lou) is part of the Zhantanlin Temple found on Mount Jiuhua. This ornate temple, although styled after traditional temples, was built around 2001[1]. The temple sits just below the Baisuigong Temple. Tourist and worshipers can walk up …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.