|Traditional Chinese||大雄 寶 殿|
|Simplified Chinese||大雄 宝 殿|
|Literal meaning||Precious Hall of the Great Hero|
|Kanji||大雄 宝 殿|
A Mahavira Hall, usually simply known as a Main Hall, is the main hall or building in a traditional Chinese Buddhist temple, enshrining representations of Gautama Buddha and various other buddhas and bodhisattvas.It is encountered throughout East Asia, including in some Japanese Buddhist Main Halls.
From their importance and use, they are often simply known in English as the temples' "Main" or "Great Halls". The term "Mahavira Hall", also encountered as "Mahāvīra Hall" or "Hall of the Mahāvīra", is a reverse translation, employing the original Sanskrit term in place of its Chinese or English equivalent. They are also known as the Precious Hall of the Great Hero, the Hall of Great Strength, or the Daxiongbao Hall. Less often, a main hall is called an "adytum", after the equivalent area in Greco-Roman temples.It is also sometimes misunderstood as the "Great, Powerful, and Precious Palace".
Mahavira Hall is the main hall of a Buddhist temple. It is generally located in the north of the Heavenly King Hall and serves as the core architecture of the whole temple and also a place for monks to practice. Statues of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism are enshrined in the hall.
Sakyamuni statues enshrined in the Mahavira Hall have three modeling postures. The first is sitting in the lotus posture with the left hand placing on the left foot and the right hand dropping naturally, representing that he has sacrificed all he has for people before he becomes Buddha. All these can only be proved by the ground. This posture of the statues is called "posture of becoming Buddha" (成道相). The second is sitting in the lotus posture with the left hand placing on the left foot and the right hand's finger ringing. This is called "posture of preaching" (說法相), showing his postures when preaching. The third is a standing Buddha with the left hand dropping, signifying the hope that all people can fulfill their wishes, and the right hand stretching arm, indicating all people can relieve their sufferings. This posture is called "Sandalwood Buddha" (旃檀佛相). Usually two disciples' statues are placed next to the statue of Sakyamuni, the older is called "Kassapa Buddha" and the middle-aged is called "Ānanda".
At the back of Sakyamuni's statue, three statues of Bodhisattva facing the north are usually enshrined. They are Manjusri Bodhisattva riding a lion, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva riding a white elephant and Guanyin Bodhisattva riding a dragon. Some temples also set island scene behind Sakyamuni's statue and only enshrine the statue Guanyin Bodhisattva with a clean vase of water and a willow branch in it.
Tiantong Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Taibai Mountain of Yinzhou District, Ningbo, Zhejiang, in the People's Republic of China. The temple covers a total area of 76,400 square metres (822,000 sq ft), with more than 38,800 square metres (418,000 sq ft) of floor space. Tiantong Temple is listed as one of the "Five Chan Buddhism Temples". Tiantong Temple is the cradle of the Sōtō school of Japanese Buddhism.
The Hall of Four Heavenly Kings or Four Heavenly Kings Hall, referred to as Hall of Heavenly Kings, is the first important hall inside shanmen in Chinese Pure Land Buddhist temples and Chan Buddhist temples and is named due to the Four Heavenly Kings statues enshrined in the hall.
The Hall of Guanyin or Guanyin Hall is the most important annex halls in Chinese Buddhist temples and mainly for enshrining Guanyin (Avalokiteśvara). Guanyin, also called "Guanshiyin" (觀世音), "Guanshizizai" (觀世自在), "Guanzizai" (觀自在), etc., is the attendant of Amitabha and one of the "Western Three Saints" (西方三聖). Guanyin is renowned for his mercy and sympathy. According to Chapter of the Universal Gate of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva (《觀世音菩薩普門品》), if people are in danger, they just need to call his name and he will hear them and go to save them. Since he has many manifestations, different places enshrine different statues of Saint Guanyin (圣觀音), Guanzizai (觀自在), and Thousand-armed and eyed Guanyin (千手千眼觀音菩薩).
The Luohou Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Taihuai Town of Wutai County, Xinzhou, Shanxi, China.
Qifo Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Taihuai Town of Wutai County, Xinzhou, Shanxi, China.
Linji Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Zhengding Town of Zhengding County, Hebei, China. In the mid-Tang dynasty (618–907), Linji Yixuan founded the Linji school, which eventually became one of the five major schools of Buddhism in China. In the Song dynasty (960–1276), two Japanese monks Eisai and Shuniyo introduced Linji school to Japan. Linji Temple is the cradle of Linji (Rinzai) school of both Chinese and Japanese Buddhism. The temple was added to National Key Buddhist Temples in Han Chinese Area's list in 1983. The eldest thing in the temple is the Chengling Stupa, which still preserves the architectural style of the Liao and Jin dynasties (916–1234).
Dizang Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Nanguan District of Changchun, Jilin, China. Dizang Temple is named after Kṣitigarbha, one of the "Four Bodhisattva in Chinese Buddhism". The temple is a Bhikkhuni temple.
Caotang Temple is a Buddhist temple located on the north hillside of Mount Guifeng, in Huyi District of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
Zhiyuan Temple is a Buddhist temple located on Mount Jiuhua, in Qingyang County, Anhui, China. Alongside Ganlu Temple, Baisui Palace and Dongyan Chan Temple are honoured as the "Four Buddhist Temple on Mount Jiuhua".
Guangren Temple, also called Guangren Lama Temple, is a Buddhist temple located in Lianhu District of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. It is the only Tibetan Buddhist temple in Shaanxi.
Hongfu Temple is a Buddhist temple located on Mount Qianling, in Yunyan District of Guiyang, Guizhou, China. Hongfu Temple and Qixia Temple are collectively known as the "Two Attractions in Guiyang".
Huating Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Xishan District of Kunming, Yunnan, China.
Baoguo Temple is a Buddhist temple located on Mount Emei, in Emeishan City, Sichuan, China. It is the site of the Buddhist Association of Mount Emei. The temple mainly enshrines Buddhist deities as well as deities of both Confucian and Taoism, which makes rarely seen temple temple of three religious.
Wenshu Temple or Wenshu Monastery is a Buddhist temple located in Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
Longshan Temple is a Buddhist temple located on the foot of Mount Long in Anhai Town of Jinjiang, Fujian, China. The eldest thing in the temple is the statue of Thousand-armed and eyed Guanyin, which was supposed carved by ancient Indian monk Yilisha (一粒沙). It was transformed and expanded many times throughout Chinese history till now. There are dozens of which are built after the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Longshan Temple is the ancestral temple of 400 Buddhist temples with the same name in Taiwan.
Yingfeng Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Yingjiang District of Anqing, Anhui, China.
Chenxiang Pavilion or Chenxiangge Nunnery is a Buddhist temple located in the Huangpu District of Shanghai. Now it is a Bhikkhuni temple.
Sanzu Temple is a Buddhist temple located on Mount Tianzhu, in Qianshan, Anhui, China. Originally builtin 505 in the Northern and Southern dynasties (420–589), the temple has a history of over 1550 years, but it was destroyed and rebuilt many times because of war and natural disasters. The present version was completed in 1944.
Xingguo Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Zhangqiu District of Jinan, Shandong.
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