Great Buddha Land
Fo Guang Shan was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun in 1967. Since then it has evolved from a mountain top bamboo forest to the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan.
It is built on a hilly site. We took a slow, long climb to the various buildings. A map showing the routes to the various sites in the monastery.
The great Buddha statue (40m high) is surrounded by 480 small Buddha statues. The right hand is raised as a gesture of guidance while the left hand is lowered as a gesture of receiving.
There is a tea pavilon before entering Great Buddha Land. We stopped for a rest and have a sip of the refreshing tea. No cups, we drunk from tiny paper bags. :)
The grounds are very picturesque, and the monastery has a number of museums, shrines, and monuments to see.
It's an amazing place ....... so tranquil, so beautiful and the cheerful nuns and volunteers I met were ever so ready to help.
The Four Verses of Fo Guang Shan
- May palms in every world be joined in kindness, compassion, joy and generosity.
- May all beings find security in friendship, peace and loving care.
- May calm and mindful practice give rise to deep patience and equanimity.
- May we give rise to spacious hearts and humble thoughts of gratitude.
I was very excited when I saw Fo Guang Shan Monastery on my tour itinerary, I had seen the advertisement of its newly built majestic Buddha Memorial Center which opened on 25th December 2011. I wanted so much to see it for myself. Alas, the tour guide did not include the new building in our itinerary. *sob.....sob*