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The Hall of Harmony


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The second main hall of Lama Temple is the Hall of Harmony, formerly a meeting place for Emperor Yongzheng. Buddhism has it that the second main hall is usually called Mahavira Hall, or Daxiongbaodian (the Great Temple of Powerful Treasure) in Chinese, Mahavira is an honorable title for Sakyamuni.

On the central altar are placed Buddha of the Three Ages:

  • Sakyamuni, Buddha of the Present in the middle, who created Buddhism about 2,500 years ago;
  • Buddha of the past Yeja, on the left;
  • Buddha of the Future Maitreya on the right.

In front of Sakyamuni are his two disciples, Ananda on the left, Mahakasyapa on the right. In the hands of some Buddha are ribbons known as Hada, a most precious gift to the Honorable.

Placed on the altar in front of the Buddha of the Three Ages are the

  • seven treasures: gold, silver, jade, pearl, sea shell, diamond, jadeites; and the
  • eight magic weapons: the wheel of the law, the conch shell, the state umbrella, the canopy, the lotus flower, the covered vase, the pair of fish and the endless knot. The top lamas are divided into three ranks; Buddha, Boddhisattva and Arhat.

On both sides of the hall stand eighteen Arhats. It is said that they were disciples of Sakyamuni and instructed by Sakyamuni to stay on earth to diffuse Buddhism if they wished to attain Buddhahoo.

Here is a painting of Thousand-hand-eye Bodhisattva. It is said that he could see all the human bitterness and difficulties and help people to overcome them. That's why he has a thousand hands and eyes.

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