Guangxiao Temple (Guangzhou) and its Multi Roles in the Development of Asia-Pacific Buddhism


  •  Xican Li    

Abstract

Guangxiao Temple is located in Guangzhou (a coastal city in Southern China), and has a long history. The present study conducted an onsite investigation of Guangxiao’s precious Buddhist relics, and combined this with a textual analysis of Annals of Guangxiao Temple, to discuss its history and multi-roles in Asia-Pacific Buddhism. It is argued that Guangxiao’s 1,700-year history can be seen as a microcosm of Chinese Buddhist history. As the special geographical position, Guangxiao Temple often acted as a stopover point for Asian missionary monks in the past. It also played a central role in propagating various elements of Buddhism, including precepts school, Chan (Zen), esoteric (Shingon) Buddhism, and Pure Land. Particulary, Huineng, the sixth Chinese patriarch of Chan Buddhism, made his first public Chan lecture and was tonsured in Guangxiao Temple; Esoteric Buddhist master Amoghavajra’s first teaching of esoteric Buddhism is thought to have been in Guangxiao Temple. It was also a translation center in Southern China, where Buddhist scriptures were translated by Yijing and the Shurangama-sūtra was translated by Paramitiin ­– these texts served to promote the establishment of Mahāyāna Buddhism as the mainstream philosophy of Chinese (even Asia-Pacific) Buddhism. With the development of globalization, Guangxiao Temple is now exerting even more positive effects on the propagation of Buddhism via international communications and Buddhist tourism. Our onsite investigation also identificated the words in the mantra pillar (826 B.C). This significant finding suggests the popularity of esoteric Buddhism in Sourthern China, and will be helpful for Buddhist study in the future.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1916-9655
  • Issn(Onlne): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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