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Buddhism is a religion having its roots from India that is based from the philosophy, beliefs, and teachings ofSiddhartha Gautama Buddha. Buddha, meaning “the awakened one” lived before Christ and taught his insights on ending suffering through eliminating craving for sensuality and acquisition of identity thus attaining the highest happiness (nirvana).
Older than Christianity, Buddhism never developed a missionary movement but Buddha’s teachings spread all over Asia. His followers developed its own religious structure in each country from where they came from. Among these Asian countries are India, Cambodia, Taiwan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and China. Among these countries, China has the largest Buddhist population reaching over 102,000,000 in the year 2012. (buddhanet.net)
As a country of mostly Chinese inhabitants, Singapore also practices Buddhism. When the sacred relic of the tooth of Buddha was turned over to local Venerable Shi Fa Zhao in August 2002, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum was built to house it. The temple is based on the architectural design and style of the Tang Dynasty and Buddhist Mandala. The 4-storey building stands predominantly along 288 S. Bridge Road, Chinatown, Singapore which was consecrated on May 2008 by the most Venerable Shi Kwang Sheng.
|A Great Statue Outside the Temple|
The ground floor of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum consists of the Hundred Dragons Hall and the Universal Wisdom Hall. The Hundred Dragons Hall is also called as the Maitreya Hall that houses one hundred statues of Buddha which were individually and intricately handcrafted by various master sculptors.
|Buddha Maitreya – The Buddha of Happiness|
Devotees of the Buddha Maitreya will enjoy longevity and happiness.
|Buddha Amitabha – The Buddha of Infinite Light|
On the other hand, the second hall is the Universal Wisdom Hall also known as the Avalokiteśvara Hall. It houses the “Lord who looks down” alongside with his zodiac protectors.
Devotees of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara will enjoy liberation from suffering and strife.
The fourth floor of the temple is the Sacred Light Hall or the Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic Chamber. It is where the gold tooth relic in a stupa is being confined. Buddha’s tooth is the only remains of his body after his cremation in 483 BC. Only the noble Sangha (a community of ordained Buddhist monks) have access to the chamber and visitors are only allowed in the public viewing area. Picture-taking is strictly prohibited in this consecrated higher ground.
|With a Temple Monk|
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Photo Credits to:
June Ann Olandesca
Harley Phanuel Que