A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z




Chongsheng (崇圣)

Chinese. Name of a Vajrayana Buddhist temple located on a hilltop in Dali, in China's southern Yunnan Province. It has a huge 5-door paifang-like gate, i.e. a traditional Chinese-style architectural edifice in the form of a decorated archway. At his gate are giant statues of Ha Jiang (fig.), a muscular, fierce-looking door guardian, often found at Buddhist-Taoist temple entrances across Asia. He is typically paired with Heng Jiang (fig.), i.e. the ‘Snorting General’, who is usually placed to the opposite side of Ha Jiang, one facing the other. There is also a giant statue of the bodhisattva Vajrapani in one of his various tantric forms, as a fearsome protector deity, with a black complexion, multiple arms, and wearing a string of humans skulls. He is one of the Eight Great Bodhisattvas (fig.). His attributes consist of a vajra, a bell or ghanta, a trident, a rope, and a long green snake, as well as a golden snake that is coiling around his trident. Tough originally from the 9th century AD, this (in the past royal) monastery was destroyed by fire some time during the Qing Dynasty and rebuilt in 2005. The temple is sited up a hill at the same location as the Three Pagodas of Dali (fig.). On a platform in between Chongsheng Temple and the Three Pagodas, are two large pavilions, housing 500 life-sized gilded statues of the Five Hundred Arahats, akin to the Lingyin Temple (fig. near Hangzhou. They are believed to be either the 500 disciples that were present when the Buddha expounded the Flower Sutra on Vultures Peak or the 500 rich merchants (fig.), who became beggars after meeting the Buddha and accepting his teachings. One of the more outstanding is a giant statue of the luohan Changshou (fig.), the Long-armed Arahat, who is one of the Eighteen Arahats and also known as Panthaka. He has the magical property to grow his arms as long as he wants them to be (fig.), enabling him to help others. In Chinese, referred to as Chongsheng Si (崇圣寺), i.e. Chongsheng Temple.