The Dabei Buddhist Monastery
The Dabei Buddhist Monastery is made up of two parts: old monastery and new monastery. The old monastery refers to the three great halls in the west yard. The construction of the old monastery was start in the beginning of Qing Dynasty, and was renovated in the eighth ruling year of Kangxi Emperor in Qing Dynasty. The east yard features in the new monasterys. The statue of Sakyamuni oblated in the Daxiong Palace from the east yard was created in Ming Dynasty. The whole Sakyamuni Statue is 7 meters high, 6 tons weight, with 9,999 small Buddha carved on the lotus throne. Inside the Great Compassion hall, a 3.6-meters-high-mud-statue of Thousand-hand Kwan-yin is oblate.
The monastery was once famous for holding a skull relic of Xuanzang, however, the relic was presented to India in 1956 when it was taken to Nalanda - allegedly by the Dalai Lama - and presented to India. The relic is now in the Patna museum. And from then on, Great Compassion monastery takes the image of Xuanzang Master instead of the spirit bones for the worship of the Buddhist.
There are memorials for Xuanzang Master and Hongyi Master in the east yard, while the west yard becomes an office for Cultural Relic Palace, Abbot Palace and Chinese Buddhism Association Tianjin Branch. In the Cultural Relic Palace of the west yard, there many collections from every dynasties since Wei and Jin Period including hundreds of Buddha statues which are made of various materials from bronze, iron, stone to wood.
Dabei Great Monastery is the only monastery in Tianjin providing vegetarian food, so it's a good new for the vegetarian visitors. Food made by the famous Tianjin Dabei Buddhist Monastery Vegetarian Food Corporation are served in the monastery, which includes Longevity Perch present basket, soybean vegetarian, muti-vitamins-calcium noodles, deepfreeze eight precious vegetarian steamed-buns and vegetarian dumplings etc.
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I updated this article on December 18, 2012
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