ShanXiof China: Big Wild Goose Pagoda中国陕西:大雁塔


Last part, we talked about the Huaqing pool. Today, we will going to see the other famous scenic spot in ShanXi: Big wild goose pagoda.
The Big wild goose pagoda originally built in 652 during the reign(统治tǒnɡzhì)of Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch(教主jiàozhǔ)Xuanzang. The pagoda first built to a height of 60 meters (197 feet) with five stories, it is now 64.5 meters (211.6 feet) high with an additional two stories. It was said that after that addition came the saying-‘Saving a life exceeds building a seven-storied pagoda’.
Xuanzang started off from Chang’an (the ancient Xi’an), along the Silk Road and through deserts, finally arriving in India, the cradle(发源地fāyuándì) of Buddhism. Enduring 17 years and traversing 100 countries, he obtained Buddha figures, 657 kinds of sutras(佛经fójīnɡ), and several Buddha relics(文物wénwù). Having gotten the permission of Emperor Gaozong (628-683), Xuanzang, as the first abbot of Da Ci’en Temple, supervised the building of a pagoda inside it. With the support of royalty, he asked 50 hierarchs into the temple to translate Sanskrit in sutras into Chinese, totaling 1,335 volumes, which heralded(预示yùshì)a new era in the history of translation. Based on the journey to India, he also wrote a book entitled Pilgrimage(朝圣cháoshènɡ) to the West’ in the Tang Dynasty, to which scholars attached great importance.
As for the reason why it is called Big Wild Goose Pagoda, there is a legend. According to ancient stories of Buddhists, there were two branches, for one of which eating meat was not a taboo. One day, they couldn’t find meat to buy. Upon seeing a group of big wild geese flying by, a monk said to himself: “Today we have no meat. I hope themerciful(仁慈的réncíde)Bodhisattva(菩萨púsà)will give us some.” At that very moment, the leading wild goose broke its wings and fell to the ground. All the monks were startled and believed that Bodhisattva showed his spirit to order them to be more pious. They established a pagoda where the wild goose fell and stopped eating meat. Hence it got the name ‘Big Wild Goose Pagoda’.
大雁塔自建成以后,就有“雁塔”之称。它的得名有多种说法。一种说法是:古印度迦蓝佛曾“穿石山做塔五层,最下一层作雁形,谓之雁塔”。玄奘最初设计建造的塔就采用这种形制。另一说法是:按照印度佛教说,当初佛教有大乘佛教与小乘佛教两大派,小乘佛教不忌荤腥。有一天一座小乘佛教寺院的和尚买不到肉做饭,正好这天是菩萨布施日,天空一群大雁飞过,一个和尚仰面望着雁群自言自语道:“今日僧房无肉吃,大慈大悲的菩萨一定不会忘记这是什么日子。”话音未落,领头的大雁折翅坠地。全寺和尚大惊失色,领悟出这大雁分明是菩萨化现。他们在大雁坠地处建造石塔,从此戒绝荤腥,改信大乘佛教。因此佛塔又称大雁塔。 再一说法是:当年玄奘取经途中曾困沙漠,后来得到大雁引领,才找到水源,得以生还。建造这座佛塔是为了报答菩萨所化身指点迷津的大雁之恩。 还有一种说法:它和佛祖释迦牟尼曾化身为鸽救生的佛教故事有关。唐代人习尚雁,通常以雁泛指鸟类,因此得名雁塔。
This is the Big wild goose pagoda, if you have interested in it? Then what are you waiting for? Come and join us, let’s go and enjoy this beautiful landscape!

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