Information

Articles and information about Shuang Lin Monastery.

Architecture

Areas of Shuang Lin

Main Entrance (Shan Men)

Mahavira Hall (Da Xiong Bao Dian)

Hall of Celestial Kings (Tian Wang Dian)

Main Entrance (Shan Men)

Literally the ‘Mountain Gate’, Shan Men is also known as the ‘three gates’. Walking through these gates symbolize liberation from the woes of the secular life.

Shan Men is the first entrance of the monastery and lies on the north-south line of symmetry. It has finely carved beams. The ends of the eaves curving up significantly and are called the“mouths” that blown by the wind (“feng chui zui”).

The doors are brightly painted with the Buddhist Guardians, including Skanda Bodhisattva and the Four Indestructible Warriors who look mighty and tall.

The centre door has a bronze knocker, holding in the mouth of a snail shaped being, with lion-liked heads, two widely opened eyes to guard the door. This snail shaped being is one of nine sons of dragons. Two drum shape stone carvings enhanced the charm of the magnificent wooden door. The wooden beams, finely carved, brightly colored, are classical Southern Chinese craftsmanship.

Mahavira Hall (Da Xiong Bao Dian)

Built on a higher platform, this ‘Double-tier hip roof’ building is the main hall of the Monastery. The main feature of this hall is the unique fusion of architectural styles, with Fuzhou-styled square beams in the upper tier and Quanzhou-styled round beams forming the lower tier.

The Mandarin translation for Mahavira Hall is ‘Da Xiong Bao Dian’. ‘Da Xiong’ refers to Sakyamuni Buddha, foremost, powerful and well respected by all. In this most important hall houses three Buddhas namely Sakyamuni, Batshaiyaguru and Amitabha. Standing beside Sakyamuni are his two disciples - Mahakasyapa and Ananda, and at the back of the Hall is Avalokitesvara bodhisattva.

Hall of Celestial Kings (Tian Wang Dian)

Be prepared to be mesmerized by the majestic and solemn ambience as you enter into the Hall. Based on the ‘Raised beam’ construction method, the Hall of Celestial Kings has a higher ceiling and bigger roof with intricate wood carving in Zhangzhou style.

Vividly painted on the main door panels, the mighty and fierce-looking Guhyapadavajra are the protectors of the Monastery. In the centre of the Hall houses the statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva with the four Celestial Kings on both sides and Skanda Bodhisattva behind him, facing the Mahavira Hall.