Tourist Attraction in Shanghai: The Jade Buddha Temple
The Jade Buddha Temple is the most important Buddhist temple in Shanghai in the Putuo district of China, as for many modern Chinese Buddhist temples, it draws from both the Pure Land doctrine and from that Cháà, traditions of Mahayana Buddhism During the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1875-1908), Huigen, a monk of Mount Putuo, one of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism, went on a pilgrimage to Tibet through the two famous Chinese mountains of Mount Wutai and Mount Emei. After reaching Tibet, he entered Burma where he met Chen Jun-Pu, an overseas Chinese resident of Burma, who gave him five jade Buddha statues. their way by sea to Shanghai in 1882. These were a seated Buddha of 1.95 meters high, studded with precious stones, and a smaller one representing the reclining Buddha entering the Nirvana. Today it also contains a statue much larger than the reclining Buddha, in marble, donated by Singapore, often confused with the smaller piece of the original. Huigen, with the funds he received as a gift, built the temple there, and died shortly thereafter. However, the temple was occupied in 1911 during the Wuchang Uprising, and was razed to the ground. The statues were moved. A monk named Chen Ke later received a new land donated by Sheng Huaixuan, a senior Qing court official who belonged to a devoted family. It was located in the north-east of Shanghai, at the Yizhou pond, created by the Zhuanghuabang River. Here he built some houses with thatched roofs, the predecessor of today's monastery. The construction of the current temple was finally begun in 1918, to be finished only ten years later, in 1928, when Ke Chen invited the monk Tiāntái Di Xian to come from Mount Tiāntái for a lecture on Buddhism celebrated with a magnificent ceremony. In 1952 the buildings were restored and in 1956, the Buddhist Association of Shanghai, held a sumptuous ceremony in the temple to celebrate the 2500 anniversary of the illumination of Gautama Buddha. In 1966, during the Cultural Revolution, the monks survived by selling handicrafts, and an anecdote was told where the temple was saved from the attacks of the Red Guards thanks to the fact that the monks exhibited the photograph of President Mao. In 1983 the Shanghai Buddhist Institute was established in the temple by the Buddhist Association of Shanghai.