Shuxiang Temple, Wutaishan, Shanxi
(August 28, 2012)

(1) At last, I visited Shuxiang Temple just across the road from my hotel. (Actually, I went the same morning as my second visit to Tayuan.) Shuxiang's name refers to a statue (xiang) of Wenshu (Shu), or Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, housed in its main hall. I passed this very old (looking) gate as I approached the Heavenly Kings' Hall.

(2) Across the courtyard--which doubles as a parking lot--is this nice-looking stele pavilion. Most of these just bear the names of donors.

(3) The Heavenly Kings' Hall serves as a gate, and sees a lot of traffic. The scaffolding is for the "umbrellas," which are being overhauled.

(4) The left side hall is dedicated to Bodhidharma. Monks were chanting here when I arrived; the offerings make it look like Bodhidharma drinks. A lot.

(5) This side hall should have been cool-looking inside. It has an unusual set of the "Three Saints of the West." Unfortunately, there were tables inside with incense for sale, piled so high I could barely see the small statues.

(6) This is the main hall, the "Great Manjushri Hall," with the huge statue inside.

(7) The Great Manjushri Bodhisattva statue sits in the center of the hall. There are several legends about this; one says it was made by "the gods."

(8) This is the "usual" Guanyin behind the Manjushri statue, but I found this one to be unusually beautiful.

(9) Of course you see the Buddha sitting here. But notice anything else?

(10) The walls are filled with 500 arhats!

(11) The top hall (for now) is the Sutra Repository.

(12) Here's some of the old woodwork around the door.

(13) Inside the Sutra Repository is a nice triad of Shakyamuni Buddha with his usual attendants, Ananda and Kasyapa. But...

(14) ...who's that in front of them? An arhat? Or is it Manjushri, with the "wisdom bump" on his forehead?

(15) I said the Sutra Repository was the topmost "for now" because behind it is this mammoth new hall, dwarfing anything else on the property. It's not ready yet, but the (blank) steles in front already look old.

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