Vietnam Buddhism

Karuna Pai Nov 22, 2019 723 Views   0 Comments
VIETNAM is a country of captivating beauty from the French Colonial Hanoi to mystical Halong Bay to bustling Ho Chi Minh City and  the magical Mekong Delta- Vietnam's Rice Bowl.  While touring this serene country one can't help but notice the deep influence of religion.  Along with Taosim and Confucianism, Buddhism is the third of the great religions which have contributed to the molding of Vietnamese culture and character over the centuries. Buddha was a contemporary of Confucius, and the religion he founded entered Vietnam from both India, Buddha's home, and China. Today it is perhaps the most visible of Vietnamese religious beliefs. Buddhism presented to Vietnam a new look at the universe, the individual and life. Buddhism introduces the term of 'Karma' which is essential for the understanding of this religion. 

Sculptures, paintings and architecture often have been inspired by two key virtues of Buddhism; purity and compassion and one such place of mention is Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda.

Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda: Vietnam's Gorgeous Buddhist Gardens At the heart of Vietnam's Mekong Delta lies Vĩnh Tràng Chùa a Buddhist temple near the rural village of Mỹ Tho.  Vĩnh Tràng pagoda is one of the biggest pagoda in Mekong and most well-known in the Delta. It is a major provincial destination for tourists and pilgrims.

The sprawling pagoda rests on two acres of beautifully manicured gardens. The idea for the temple belonged to district chief Bùi Công Đạt in the early 19th century. The Vĩnh Tràng pagoda's style is an elegant blend of East and West; Renaissance-style patterns and Romanesque arches blend seamlessly with Japanese tile and traditional Vietnamese architectural styles.

The Vĩnh Tràng pagoda features three enormous Buddha statues. The standing Buddha represents Amitabha Buddha, who symbolizes ultimate bliss and compassion. The Laughing Buddha symbolizes happiness and good luck and has become a deity for good fortune around the world. The reclining Buddha represents Gautama Buddha before he enters parinirvana, the death of one who has attained nirvana during his lifetime and has been released from the painful cycle of samsara, or rebirth.
The pagoda is comprised of five separate buildings, two ornamental courtyards, and 178 intricately designed pillars. The temple is home to over 60 precious statues made of copper, wood, and terracotta. Among the most cherished relics are 18 arhats (Buddhist followers who have attained nirvana) carved in 1907 out of wood from a jack fruit tree. 

The main hall is adorned with multiple statues of different Buddhas as well as a statue of the Jade Emperor standing as tall as a human man. The side gates are decorated with colorful porcelain mosaics depicting episodes from the life and teachings of Buddha as well as the effects of good and evil deeds.

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