Free Life Pond

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Free Life Pond
Free Life Pond, Guangxiao Temple, picture2.jpg
The Free Life Pond at Guangxiao Temple in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
Chinese放生池
Literal meaningFree Life Pond

The Free Life Pond is an annex pond of the Han Chinese Buddhist temples. It is usually located in front of the Shanmen or the Hall of Four Heavenly Kings. The Free Life Pond embodies Buddhist thoughts of compassion and understanding of all living beings.[1]

History[edit]

The Free Life Pond was firstly mentioned in the Great Treatise on the Perfection of Wisdom (Chinese: 大智度論), which read: "建德六年,齐地佛门遭劫。闻率僧众四十余循海路奔建康。辄遇大风波,楫折船沉。忽现巨龟,负众僧出水,须臾抵健康。闻口称南无阿弥陀佛。龟对曰:师父曾记否,吾乃海曲放生池之老龟也。闻恍然大悟。奏闻宣帝,帝大悦,敕建报恩寺,香火祀之。".

The Free Life Pond was originate erected by Zhiyi, founder of Tiantai school, in the Sui dynasty (589–618). In 759, Emperor Suzong of the Tang dynasty (618–907) ordered all Buddhist temples to set up Free Life Pond. According to Duo Po Ming Jing (Chinese: 多寶名經), at that time, 81 Buddhist temples set up free life ponds under the emperor's command.[1]

Function[edit]

The Free Life Pond can regulate the air, inhibit dust, but also has the role of fire prevention. Once the Buddhist temple is on fire, the water in the pond can be used to fight the fire.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Zhang Yuhuan (2014), pp. 115–116.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Zhang Yuhuan (2014-06-01). 《图解中国佛教建筑、寺院系列》 (in Chinese). Beijing: Contemporary China Publishing House. ISBN 9787515401188.

Further reading[edit]

  • Zi Yan (2012). Famous Temples in China (in English and Chinese). Hefei, Anhui: Huangshan Publishing House. ISBN 978-7-5461-3146-7.
  • Wang Jia (2012). Famous Mountains in China (in English and Chinese). Hefei, Anhui: Huangshan Publishing House. ISBN 978-7-5461-2704-0.
  • Wang Guixiang (2016-06-17). 《中国汉传佛教建筑史——佛寺的建造、分布与寺院格局、建筑类型及其变迁》 [The History of Chinese Buddhist Temples] (in Chinese). Beijing: Tsinghua University Press. ISBN 9787302427056.