replica; as far as I know, it is unnamed.
historic Buddha), flanked by Milefo (Maitreya) and Jiaye (Mahakasyapa)
representing the four main sects of Tibetan Buddhism (see Gallery)
and 16 Arhats. Also,
frescoes (as yet unidentified).
"Lamasery" is located in a theme park, the China Folk Culture
Villages, in Shenzhen, China. The park was opened in late 1991, and
features "villages" of some of 55 China's ethnic minorities,
in a Disney-esque setting. It is not an active temple, but
rather something like a museum display. Nevertheless, it is as
close as I've yet come to the "real thing," and I find it
"Lamasery" is a single, large, two-story
hall. As one enters,
the three main figures are straight ahead, flanked by four secondary
figures, two on the left and two
on the right (the so-called "founders," but see
below). In front of the main triad are three more figures.
Ranged along both sides of the room are the sixteen
arhats, eight to the
side. Frescoes decorate most of the walls, and even the pillars
are extremely ornate. All of this is for show; no authentic
worship is held here.
||The China Folk
Culture Villages park hosts frequent events and promotions year-round,
some of which are styled "Festivals" but are in fact only
"Lamasery" is located in the "Tibet" area of the
park; there are prayer cairns and pennants, and a Tibetan-style
"house" nearby. Don't miss the prayer wheels around the
front porch of the "Lamasery."
||The China Folk Culture
Villages and Splendid China Park are located on Shennan
Boulevard in Overseas Chinese Town in the center of Shenzhen. They
are well-served by bus and taxi.
|Also in the area:
(same 120RMB admission fee as China Folk Culture
Villages), Window of the
World, and Happy Valley theme parks.
||All photos on
this page are copyright 2005 by James
click photo to
nearby "Tibetan house"
front of the "Lamasery"
The Main Altar
White Dumu, Four-armed Goddess of Mercy, Green Dumu
of the figures began with signage in the "Lamasery," then
Internet research to figure out who they meant. THESE
IDENTIFICATIONS ARE EXTREMELY TENTATIVE.
gives the three central figures as Sakyamuni, "on the right Jiaye and
the left Mile..." I understand that the central figure would be
Shakyamuni, the Historic Buddha, a very popular figure in Tibetan
Buddhism. And "Mile" is clearly Mi-le-fo, the buddha-to-Come.
From what I can gather from the Net, "Jiaye" is Mahakasyapa, one
of the Buddha's key disciples. Why he is featured here is not clear
to me, as I can find nothing on the "typical" Tibetan altar
figure in front of the main triad is the "Four-armed Goddess of
Mercy"--Avalokiteshvara, or the Chinese Guan Yin; the dalai Lama is
considered to be a reincarnation of this key Bodhisattva. She is
flanked by the White and Green "Dumus," which the sign says
means in Tibetan "Savior, the Mother Buddha." presumably
these are the well-known White Tara and Green Tara, uniquely Tibetan
figures closely associated with Avalokiteshvara. Read more about the
figures on the side are identified by the signage as "founders"
oif the four sects. This is not strictly the case, but the four
figures represented are each in turn associated with one of the
sects. Wading through the bad transcriptions we get (left to right
founder of the Gelug-pa ("pa" means school). These are
called "The Yellow Hats," and the figure is shown wearing
a renowned poet of the Kagyu-pa. Several images on the net
depict Milarepa with his hand to his ear, as here.
THIS IS ONLY A GUESS, but "Sakya Pandita" is the great teacher
of the Sakya-pa. As the signage gives his school as "Sajia,"
I'm pretty sure I at least have the right school. And that the
opening B=P and the final -ida=ita feels right. Images of Sakya
Pandita on the net show him holding something that looks like a shell
in his left hand, as here.
Padmasambhava, regarded as the Nyingma-pa founder. I know that
both "Lianhua" and "Padma" mean "lotus,"
so I assume they have simply translated the Sanskrit name to
Chinese. He is wearing the Red Hat after which the Nyingma-pa
idea who they are, but they look very Tibet-y, don't they?