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Story about Tanzhe Temple

 Tanzhe Temple
Tanzhe Temple

Tanzhe Temple(潭柘寺) of Beijing was a famous Buddhist temple at home and abroad. In the pagoda forest outside of the temple, an ancient Tibetan-style pagoda was quite eye-catching. It is widely renowned as Tiger Tower(虎塔). Originally named Xiuyun Temple(岫云寺), Tanzhe Temple was initially built in the period of western Jin Dynasty. The location of temple had Zhe Tree and Long Tan(Dragon Pond). Hence it was named Tanzhe Temple.

There was a story connected with this Tower of Tiger. Anciently, the Buddhist temples used to be built in wild area for lessening the use of land which could be the high-quality of farmlands. Besides, it also demonstrates the Buddha is living in nature and integrated with nature and uncivilized animals. Surely, Tanzhe Temple was also intimidated by many brutal monsters or animals. There was a tiger always running to the close villages to the temple hurting the villagers and domestic animals. The local people were quite anxious. In Tanzhe Temple, there was a senior Buddhist monk named Ying Liang with miraculous martial arts. He made a decision on eliminating the threat of tiger for village. But the Buddhists are prohibited to hurt the creature according to the basic demands of Buddhism. How to tackle with this problem still haunted Ying Liang. One Day, he was in meditation for self cultivation to understand the words of sutra, and suddenly got an idea that The Power of Buddhism is Limitless. He fixed his decision in mind that he must overmaster this tiger at any cost. One this day, he finally found that tiger. They glared at each other, but in a minute, Ying Liang was covered with the sense of mercy. He closed his eyes and recited the sutra sincerely. They kept such a condition for a while. Surprisingly, this tiger even laid itself down and listened to Ying Liang’s sutra-recitation. Since then, Buddhist Ying Liang taught it the sutra of Buddhism. And at the time for dining, this tiger behaved like a cat following Ying Liang to drink porridge. And the tiger never ate the meat any more.

Once, a Buddhist ceremony was held in temple, and a lot of guests were invited. Ying Liang barred the tiger in a cave behind the temple. Seven days later, the tiger stayed in cave peacefully, even Ying Liang forgot to send food. Plentiful years later, Buddhist Ying Liang died and the tiger shed tears and blood to death. The monks were all moved deeply. Under the special concession of abbot, a pagoda was built and named Tiger Pagoda for commemorating this tiger.


Writer: David from Seeraa International
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