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Built in Putong Year 1 (520 A.D.) in the Reign of Liang Emperor in Southern Dynasty, PutongShuanglin Temple lies on the foot of Mount Yunhuang in Fotang Town of Yiwu City. It gains its fame because of its several founders including the Buddha Dharma, Emperor Wu of Liang, and the Great Monk Fu.
Because of the significant position of Monk Fu in the Chinese Buddhism history, Shuanglin Temple has often been the center of Buddhist activities and is now the sacred Buddha temple. During the past 1,500 years, though the Temple suffered from several disasters such as wars and lootings, it has never ceased the operation as a temple.
Since its origin, the Shuanglin Temple has been known as the “third largest temple in the world and the largest in Zhejiang”. In the North Song Dynasty, there were still 1,200 dormitory rooms for the resident monks. In Zhiping Year 3 in the Reign of Emperor Yingzong of Song Dynasty, the Emperor gave the Temple a tablet with the Temple name inscribed on it. In Daguan Year 2 in the Reign of Emperor Huizong of Song Dynasty, the Emperor allocated 10 hectares of land to the Temple. At that time, the Temple had several thousand of monks. In the Zhiguan Buddhist Nunnery within the Temple, there were over 1,000 Buddhist nuns. In South Song Dynasty, it was listed among Top 10 Temples.
Many great monks were originated from Shuanglin Temple and most of them went to Japan to spread Buddhism. Ji Chujun in Ming Dynasty was one of them, whose work brought great influence on the Japanese culture. And many Japanese monks came to Shuanglin Temple to learn Buddhism. The Tang Dynasty monk called Wu Yantong, who also came from the Shuanglin Temple, went to Viet Nam to spread Buddhism and later became the founder a Zen branch in that country. He was listed among the 140 most famous Buddhist figures in the Encyclopedia of China. The Shuanglin Temple has made great contributions to the cultural exchanges between China and the other part of the world, in particular Japan.
The Shuanglin Temple with over 1,000 years of history was destroyed during the Great Leap Forward Movement. In the 1990s, it was regenerated. In September 2002, the famous international scholar Mr. Nan Huaijin came to visit the Temple and wrote a calligraphy works “the home to Buddha Maitreya”. Mr. Zhao Puchu also wrote many inscriptions for the Temple.