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Hall of the Wheel of the Law

-of the Lama Temple

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Hall of the Wheel of the Law is the fourth main hall in the temples. This hall is extremely imposing; the overall arrangement of its plane diagram forms a cross sign and there are five petty garrets on the ceiling decorated with small lama pagodas, which are characterized by the style of lamaism.

In the centre of the hall is a huge hilded bronze statue of Tsong Kha-pa,founder of the yellow Sect. He was born in Qinghai Province over 600 years ago and became a lama in Tibet when he was only 14 years.

Lamaism was divided into five sects: Red, Flowery, Black, White and Yellow. When Tsong Kha-pa was yong, the Red Sect was popular, and the lama's hat was red outside and yellow inside. The Red Sect of Lamaism stipulated that the head lamas were allowed to get married and their posts hereditary. Seeing the defects of such a practice, he reformed it by turning the hat inside out, that is yellow outside and red inside, which was the symbol of the Yellow Sect. He put forward 253 commandments, including the prohibition of marriage and the hereditary system. Due to these strict commandments and prohibitions, not only did he win popular support from the lamas, but from the Ming rulers as well. He soon gained both the power of administration and religion in Tibet. With a shorter history, the yellow sect developed and became popular rapidly. Each sect has a head lama known as the Living Buddha to control its own sect. For the Yellow Sect, the two Living Buddhas are Dali and Bainqen Erdeni.

The statue of Great master Tsong Kpa-pa (1357-1419) is a six-metre high bronze Buddha sitting on a lotus stand. with a sword in his right nand and scriptures i his left hand, the statue symbolize wisdom and power. It cost 200,000 silver dollars to cast the statue in 1924. More than six decades later, a patina replaced its once bright shine.

In 1982, the statue was gilded. But very few people realize the gold leaf came from the trash can- rubbish tossed out from the room of an old lama who died in the spring of that year. He Nima, a sharp-eyed lama aged 70, spotted a small pillow of the deceased in the trash early one morning. and although it was dirty and seemed of no value, he took it back to his room to save it. Several days later, the lama's niece was visiting him and spied the dirty pillow on his bed. "Why do you keep this pillow?" she said. "I could buy you a new one." The Lama said that wasn't necessary. He had money. "I just felt it's pity to throw it away. It's still useful." the niece said in that case she'd take it home and clean it form him. When she emptied the pillow, a golden necklace and two pairs of golden bracelets tumbled out. Dumbfounded, she returned to tell he uncle what she had found. He offered them to the temple to restore the statue of Tsong Kpa-pa. The temple's committee of religious affairs exchanged the jewelry for gold leaf. That August, lamas and monks from across the country attended a ceremony at the temple where the statue was unveiled, adorned in its bright new skin of gold.

Dalai Lama and Bainqen Erdeni
When Tsong Kha-pa was alive, he had two famous disciples named Dalai and baiqen, who were later deemed the reincarnations of Tsong Kha-pa and succeeded to the throne of the Living Buddhas after Tsong Kha-pa's death with the titles of the First Dalai Lama and the First Bainqen Drdeni. After that, the succeeding Living Buddhas inherited the titles. Up till now already the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and the Eleventh Bainqen Erdeni exist. On either side of the statue of Tsong Kha-pa is a throne , the one on the left is for Dalai Lama when he came to preach; the one on the left is for Dalai Lama when he came to preach; the one on the right for Bainqen Erdeni. In 1954 Bainqen Erdeni held Buddhist ceremonies here. "Dalai" means vast sea in Mongolian, and Lama means teacher in Tibetan.

The Reincarnation System
The Fifth Dalai Lama declared that in the future when a Dalai Lama died his spirit would pass out of the corpse into an infant boy who had been born right at the moment of the Dalai Lama's death. The problem was to find the right child. In some cases the dying Dalai Lama would predict where his incarnation could be found. Quite often there were many babies born at the same moment and the investigation had to last for years. The child's body must confirm to the ideal shape, notably a large head and generous ears, which were considered indicative of wisdom. Objects belonging to the Dalai Lama were identified, which would help establish whether the child was the living incarnation of the Dalai Lama.

When the child was two to six years old, he was taken away from home by his Regents for training,. The parents of the chosen child, usually of humble origin, were also brought to Lhasa and given noble status. The Regents exercised full plower until the Buddha incarnate the age of eighteen.

As the old reincarnation system had many disadvantages, Emperor Qianlong introduced in 1692 a new method of "drawing lots from the gold urn". They new system stipulated that many child were to be selected from various places after the death of a Living Buddha, and each child had a lot with his name inscribed n it. All the lots were to be put into a gold urn; lamas were to recite Buddhist scriptures. Buddhists believed that recitation of Buddhist scriptures was a process to reincarnate the dead. While people were watching, the high commissioners sent by the emperor would pick up the lot dropped out of the shaking urn and show it to the people. So the child with his name on it would be considered the reincarnation of the Living Buddha.

The frescoes on the side walls tell us about the life of Sakyamuni, showing how he was born from the armpit of his mother, and how he finally created and preached Buddhism. They were retouched in 1953 according to the original design.

Scripture-Turning Wheel
The wheel is called the Scripture-Turning Wheel. It is said that each wheel, big or small, is stuffed with Buddhist scripture. If you turn it one revolution, it means you have already read all the Buddhist scripture once.

Buddhist Scriptures
Along the walls on both sides o the hall stand bookcases holding 108 volumes of the Buddhist Sutras in Tibetan language translated from ancient Indian language. It es titled The Great Tibetan Buddhist Sutra, with 207 volumes of the sequel of the Sutras. Now very few such Buddhist scriptures are preserved in perfect condition.

Mountain of Five Hundred Arhats
The mountain is carved out of black wood and the Arhats modelled out of gold, silver, bronze, iron and tin . Five hundred Arhats are worshipped in some Buddhist temples. When Sakyamuni preached, there was no written scripture. Later his 500 disciples wrote down the Great Tibetan Buddhist Sutra according to what he preached. For their contributions, they were upgraded from lamas to Arhats. here a vivid picture shows they were on the road to Buddhahood.

Fish-and-Dragon Evolving Basin
This Fish-and-dragon Evolving Basin is carved out of ebony wood. Buddhism has it that human beings evolved from fish, and those who have both ability and political integrity could continuously evolve to dragons. Emperor Qianlong had a bath in the basin when he was three days old. His mother hoped that he son would evolve to a dragon. So the basin is also called Three-day-old-emperor Washing Basin.

Beijing Tour Routes Covers Lama Temple
BH-1. 3 nights 4 days Beijing tour BH-2. 4 nights 5 days Beijing tour
BH-3. 5 nights 6 days Beijing tour BH-4. 6 nights 7 days Beijing tour
BK-2. 3 days Beijing tour BK-3. 4 days Beijing tour
BK-4. 5 days Beijing tour BK-5. 6 days Beijing tour
BK-6. 7 days Beijing tour BD-3. Tiananmen Square, Lama Temple, Beijing Zoo
BX-3. Xingang Beijing 4 days tour BST-3. Beijing Hutong and Zoo bus tour
BJXA-4. Beijing Xian 7 days tour BJXA-5. Beijing Xian 9 days tour
BJLH-1. Beijing Lhasa Tour  

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