Sichuan Emei Mountain Jinding Hua Zang Temple Reform
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Iconic Projects, Cultural & Academic
Renovation of the Hwa Zang Temple
Emei Mountain is a world heritage site and “conservation” is its most important mission. To realize the goal of turning the Nirvana on Emei Mountain into the “top mountain the of World” however, an act of “creation” is required. The principle behind the project was therefore “creative conservation.” Planning must account for both the protection of Emei Mountain’s ecology and Buddhist culture to preserve its natural beauty and cultural heritage.
The Nirvana on Ermei Mountain is sacred ground to Buddhism. Guided by the twin strategies of “criticism / inheritance” from Buddhism and “innovation / development” from the temples, a master plan based on “Buddha, Dharma, and the Sangha” was adopted to create a sacred site for international Buddhism. In the “Buddha, Dharma, and the Sangha” master plan, the “Buddha” is centered around the “Golden Samantabhadra Bodhisattva of the Ten Directions” on the Golden Summit. “Dharma” is represented by the sacred platform half way up the mountain while the “Sangha” is symbolized by the Shihfang Buddhist Temple’s Golden Tower in the city.
The Hall of the Samantabhadra Bodhisattva of the Ten Directions was the core building in the renovation of the Golden Summit’s Hwa Zang Temple. The Hall itself is composed of the golden Buddha and the sacred platform. The inside of the sacred platform forms the “Body of Buddha.” The Samantabhadra Bodhisattva of the Ten Directions represents the “application of Buddhism.” Entering the temple therefore implies entry to the “Body of Buddha” and stepping on to the platform means experiencing the “application of Buddhism.” Earthly Buddhism believes that “when a person is complete, they become one with Buddha.”
As the core theme of Buddhism is the enlightenment of the psyche, a complete person achieves enlightenment. When the human psyche achieves enlightenment, they are “at peace” and become part of the great order again. Standing upon the platform implies that everyone has the potential to achieve enlightenment. The Hall of the Samantabhadra Bodhisattva of the Ten Directions is therefore an earthly manifestation of the Buddhist concept that “A complete person becomes one with Buddha.” The combining of the cosmological view in the scenery at the Golden Summit with the wisdom of Buddhism’s Samantabhadra Bodhisattva of the Ten Directions completely expresses the world of perfection in nirvana. This is thus
the starting point for its journey to become the greatest mountain in China and the world.