to the "Three Saints" of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism
See the Glossary
of Temple Elements for a general description of these features
Click on linked features below to view photographs
||San Sheng Gong,
the "Three Saints Temple." in Meilin Park, Shenzhen
| Main figure/s:
Laozi, Shakyamuni Buddha, and Kongzi (Confucius)
Yin, Cai Shen, and "Man & Mo"
Outside: Tu Di (& his wife); various popular figures on a folk
||If my informant
is correct, I was in Shenzhen before this temple was! It
seems to have opened in Autumn of 2004. As it is in a public park,
and I know that several of the temples in Shenzhen were municipal
projects, I'm guessing this one was built by the city.
However, one notable feature is that
there is a pool or spring behind the main hall; local people come here
to fill water bottles. This leads me to believe that, as in so
many places in the world, there may have been a natural feature here
that drew reverence, and the temple was built to mark it.
||The temple is
approached on a footpath within Meilin Gong Yuan (Meilin Park). It
stands on a rise just to the east of the easy-to-spot Meilin Reservoir.
As you approach the temple precinct,
you notice a large, semi-circular screen wall to the south of a spacious
place. The Main Hall and its small
Tu Di Shrine stand at the north
side of the plaza; around the right side of the Main Hall, to the rear,
is a walled pool, and an associated folk
In the Main Hall are three
altars. The Main Altar contains three larger figures. These
are (according to the not-very- professional temple keeper):
- Laozi, founder of Taoism
- Shakyamuni Buddha, founder of
- Kongzi (Confucius), founder of
Reverence of these three together is not
unheard-of, and the "P.R." benefit of "covering all the
bases" is obvious.
(On a recent visit, conflicting
information was given as to the identitiy of the Three Saints. An
update will be posted soon!)
If that weren't enough:
The Main Altar also has two small
figured identified as "Man" and "Mo." These are Wen
Chang, who helps scholars pass the Imperial exams; and Wu Di, better
known as Guan Yu. When seen
together, they are known as Wen Wu (Cantonese Man Mo), and represent the
two keys to success: scholarly achievement and military might.
They are immensely popular in Cantonese-speaking areas.
Rounding out this group of the
"Top Seven Deities" are Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, on the
left Side Altar; and Cai Shen, the God of Wealth, on the
You could not find more popular figures for a temple; they're seen
everywhere, including on the private altars in homes and shops.
||The park is a
pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
run to the Meilin Yi Cun stop, or tell a taxi driver "May Lynn Ee Chun"
(sounds like "Fail in me soon"). Look toward the KFC and
Carrefour; beyond them, on the street that runs to the north, you will
see the reservoir. Walk toward the reservoir, find the entry to
the park on a side street to the right, and follow the left-hand path up the hill. The temple is
at the top of the path.
|Also in the area:
temple following the same path along to the east, there are some
(slightly) old graves on the hillside.
UPDATE: on a recent visit, the graves
had ben removed, and the area planted. Are graves unsuitable for a
||All photos on
this page are copyright 2005 by James
click photo to
The Main Hall
up of the Front Door
left Side Altar
note Man & Mo in Front
right Side Altar
Tu Di Shrine
(note Eight Immortals on hanging in front of table)
up on Mr. & Mrs. Tu Di
(note Fu Lu Shou on altar cloth)
The Tomb nearby
the temple, one walks by this not-so-old but dilapidated tomb
to the tomb is this platform dedicated to the ubiquitous Tu Di