Nanhua Temple (Monastery)
This the Mountain Gate
of Nanhua Temple,
the temple of the Sixth
Ancestor of Zen, Dajian Huineng
(Hui Neng) (Japanese
The temple is located
near the modern city of Shaoguan
in the north of China’s
The temple can be reached
from the city of Guangzhou (Canton)
in about three hours
Many Chinese come to
Nanhua Temple to honor the Sixth Ancestor.
Offerings are also made
to many Buddhist deities.
The Pond for the Liberation of Life
Like many other Chinese
Zen monasteries, Nanhua contains a scenic pool at the entrance.
Often, animals such as
turtles, are saved alive from local markets and released to live in the
At the time of the Sixth
Ancestor, the monastery was known as “Baolin” (“Precious Woods”),
a name applied to this
gate that sits just past the scenic pool.
The Drum Tower
The Buddha Hall
The Buddha Hall contains
the sacred image of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Here, as in other Chinese
Buddha halls, are images of various bodhisattvas
such as Manjusri and
Sutra Storage Pavilion
In this hall the great
Buddhist scriptures were stored for the Monastery.
Among them was the “Platform
Sutra” a famous teaching by the Sixth Ancestor.
This great pagoda stands
before the Ancestral Hall of the Sixth Ancestor.
The Hall of the Sixth Ancestor, Dajian Huineng
This hall contains the
memorial statue of the Sixth Ancestor.
The remains of the Sixth
Ancestor were preserved at this site
until their destruction
during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960’s.
The two character sign
reads, “Ancestor’s Hall.”
The four character sign
above the door reads, “The Ancestor’s Seal Shines Again.”