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Inauguration Miracle on Mount Putuo PDF Print E-mail
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Chinauncensored Staff   

Mt. Putuo is one of the four mountains in China famous for their Buddhist connection, tracing back over 1100 years.

 

In 863 AD, during the Tang dynasty, a Japanese monk tried to ferry a statue of Guanying back to Japan but encountered a severe storm lasting several days when trying to depart. He had to leave the statue on Mt Putuo. A local resident, Mr. Zhang, took the statue home and named it "Guanyin who does not want to leave". In 916 AD, after Mr. Zhang passed away, a temple was built by the locals, which they called "The temple of Guanyin who does not want to leave".

 

For over a thousand years the temples on Mt Putuo have endured tornadoes and fire and had to be re-build at times. In addition they did not fare well during the infamous 'cultural revolution' when 17000 Buddhist statues and ornaments in the temples of Mt. Putuo were destroyed. The temples itself on Mt. Putuo were also destroyed and over two hundred monks were chased out of the temples.

 

In 1979, after the death of Mao in 1976, monks were allowed to return to their ruined temples. Abbot Miao-Shan also started to collect funds from supporters to rebuild various temples. Incidents happened during the "Light Opening" of different Buddha statues, but the one of 1979 was the most significant.

 

A "Light Opening" ceremony is performed to invite the spirit of a Buddha to reside on the statue. In the long history of Buddhism, there were hundreds of stories recorded about mysterious phenomena happening during Buddhist ceremonies.

 

A very significant event happened when the main statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara(aka. Goddess of Mercy, Guanshiyin) on Mt Putuo was inaugurated in1979. On October 30 abbot Miao-Shan and over 5000 people were gathered in front of the temple, waiting for the Ceremony of Light to open. A miracle occurred whereby a sudden heavenly beam of "Light" was shone onto the statue. (Link to Chinese site, video)

 

Located in the eastern part of the Zhoushan Archipelago, which is full of mystic caves, tranquil vales, overhanging cliffs and golden beaches, the mountain is also known for its rough terrain and exquisite landscapes apart from its religious significance.

 

The temples were permitted to be rebuilt in 1979 after the death of Mao in 1976 and went through large scale re-construction during 1980s and 1990s, to meet the demands of tourism. Now the mountain is described in Chinese tourism literature as "The Mountain is not only a sacred place of Buddhism, but also an ideal summer resort. It has a mild climate, intriguing surroundings and unique scenery. It is cocooned in verdant trees and looks like a place of great wilderness. "The mountain features many caves of which the Chaoyin and Fanyin (Cave of Buddhist Sound), caves are the most renowned. The Fanyin Cave is sandwiched between two steep cliffs of some 100 meters high. When the sea level rises the waters pour into both these caves with a thunderous roar.

 

Most visitors to the mountain come to see its three famous temples - Puji, Fayu and Huiji, but are unacquainted with the sacred teaching of true Buddhism, due to the suppression by the Communist regime.  Many Chinese people believe that praying to the Buddha statues in these sacred temples brings good fortune. The mountain is particularly crowded on the three days sacred to Guanyin Bodhisattva - her birthday (February 29 on the Chinese lunar calendar), the day on which she began studying Buddhism (June 19 on the Chinese lunar calendar), and the day she became a nun (September 19 on the Chinese lunar calendar). On these dates, there are all-night ceremonies and chanting and the temples are packed with people.

 

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