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Great Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian

 2015-01-15    sonrisabai    Activities    Xian    865  

The Great Wild Goose Pagoda is located inside the Da Ci’en Temple of Xi’an, Shanxi province. Firstly built in 652 B.C, it has become the most well-preserved, the largest and earliest quadrate pagoda of Tang dynasty. Around in 645 B.C, Monk Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty returned to Xi’an city from his in order to true Buddhism sutra obtaining trip through the silk road, in a few years later, Great Wild Goose Pagoda was built to commemorate his great effort. It is about 64.5 meters high, with 7 floors now. It is also among the world heritage list.

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There is an interesting legend behind its name. Once upon a time, in a temple of Mojie kingdom(Now somewhere in southern India), the monks inside were all believing in Hinayana Buddhism very faithfully. He only ate the Three Clean Food for meals, which were wild goose, deer and calf. One day, a flock of wild geese flew over the temple.

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One monk saw those birds and said, “It’s been for so long since the last time we had a nice meal, Buddha must have known we got an empty stomach all day!” The moment he stopped saying, a wild goose fell right in front of him, dead. He was surprised yet happy, then everyone in the temple thought this was Buddha indoctrinating them. Later they buried the wild goose very solemnly and name the temple as the Great Wild Goose Pagoda.

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Stepping inside the pagoda from the southern gate, there are some calligraphy works praising for the building, as well as some about the glorious life of the monk Xuanzang. On the first floor, they have some nice pictures that can give tourists a general idea of the origin and development of the tower. It is worth mentioning there is an interesting stone called Stepping stone of Monk Xuanzang, with vivid pictures carved on it, showing the people how he traveled so far away and overcome so many obstacles to fulfill his faith.

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On the second floor there displays a bronze statue of the  Shakyamuni Buddha, this is also the Treasure of the Pagoda. Everyone that comes here would worship the statue and wish for good luck. If you want to see the model of Great Wild Goose Pagoda, go to the third floor. It looks exactly like the real one, only smaller. On the sixth floor, there are some great poems from renowned poets in Tang dynasty. When you get to the seventh floor, you would be totally amazed by the beautiful views under. Here you can see all the nice scenery of this ancient city.

 

Unlike other Buddhism towers, there are the relics of Buddha-Sarira on every floor. It refers to pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped objects that are purportedly found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist spiritual masters. In one chemical analysis, sariras were discovered to be composed of the constituent elements of both bones and stones.

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