Sanzu Temple, Anqing, Anhui
(June 26, 2012)

(1) "Sanzu" means "Third Ancestor." This is the place where Sengcan, the Third Patriarch of Chan (Zen), wrote his classic On Faith in Mind. The temple climbs this hillside, and there's a river behind me (perfect fengshui); you can just make out the pagoda with Sengcan's remains at the top, my final goal for today.

(2) A closer view of the front of the temple. Somewhere in the foreground there used to be a fine old brick gate (I've seen it in pictures); there is now just a platform. Based on plans posted in the courtyard, I fear this temple is about to lose its funky old feeling.

(3) Because of the construction, I had to enter by a back gate; the path took me past this cemetery. See the large "pots"? I wonder if they're like the ones the various Jiuhua Shan masters were put in before they became gilded mummies?

(4) This courtyard gives you a feel for the temple's lack of pizazz--just the way I like 'em. That gateway leads to the path to the pagoda.

(5) Just off the previous courtyard is a small hall with this nice Guanyin.

(6) See the Santa-Claus-looking guy next to the abbot? That's Bill Porter, also known as the translator Red Pine. Though we've never met, I consider him something of a mentor: His books have helped me find some of the places I've been (including this one). A picture (through glass) posted on a bulletin board in the same courtyard.

(7) This is unusual: a six-sided Heavenly Kings Hall with a domed ceiling (as you'll see). The plans I saw indicate this is slated for demolition. "Progress."

(8) Inside the six-sided Heavenly Kings Hall, the usual Milefo (with Weituo behind him) sit under a domed ceiling.

(9) The Four Kings' names (two shown here) are written on the wall above them.

(10) An unusual Shakyamuni in the main hall. There may be an interesting story here, but I need to do some checking before I share it.

(11) A very pleasing arrangement of the Eighteen Arhats (nine here). I really liked the dragon squiggles underneath.

(12) The Puxian (and the Wenshu in the other corner) look so relaxed on their vehicles! This one is reading, the other meditating (though it seems to me they should be reversed).

(13) Just out the back door of the main hall is this small cave, where it's said that Sengcan meditated.

(14) Inside the cave is this nicely-done relief.

(15) I'm not sure what's going on here; but in Japan, this would be done to assist children in hell who are forced to pile up stones on a riverbank. Maybe?

(16) An odd, old, bricked-up pagoda on the trail up.

(17) A second cave on the property, this one halfway up to the pagoda, and allegedly used by a monk named Baozhi, whose pagoda is at Linggu Temple in Nanjing.

(18) I usually straighten my crooked shots, but I left this one so you could see what happens when a man panting for breath attempts a shot while holding an umbrella. Anyway, this is the gateway to the pagoda compound.

(19) Looking up at the front hall for the compound, with the Third Patriarch's pagoda peeking up over the top.

(20) Inside the front hall is a central Buddha with many more in niches and lining the point where the domed roof meets the walls.

(21) The Third Patriarch's pagoda.

(22) The Third Patriarch's pagoda, closer up. It's a good one, built around the year 750, in the Tang Dynasty.

(23) In the hall behind the pagoda, the Third Patriarch of Chan (Zen) is flanked by the Second, Huike (on our left) and the First, Bodhidharma (on our right).

+ + + + + + + +

It's pouring in Anqing, and I've decided to stay in and catch up on work. I'll visit the Second Patriarch's Temple from the Wuhan direction later this summer (I hope).

End of this trip; thanks for coming along!

EDIT: WRONG! The weather cleared, and I pushed on to Second Patriarch Temple the following day.

    ← Previous Site Back to Trip 16 Introduction Next Site →    

Last Updated August 15, 2019

No comments:

Post a Comment