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Six-Banyan Trees Temple

six-banyan-tree-temple With a history of more than1,400 years, and noted for its stately pagoda, luxuriant trees and many Buddhist relics, the Six Banyan Temple is one of the famous historical sites in Guangzhou.

six-banyan-tree-temple01Master Xiao Yu first built the Precious Solemnity Temple in 537 during the Liang Dynasty (502-557) and a pagoda here upon the edict of Emperor Liang wu, but they were destoryed by fire in the 10th century. When the temple was rebuilt in 989, it was renamed the Purificatory Wisdom Temple because the then monks here worshipped Hui Neng (638-713), the sixth patriarch of Zen ( a Buddhist sect, which believes that the ultimate truth is greater than words and is therefore not to be wholly found in the sacred writings, but must be sought throught the " inner light" and self-mastery. It originated in the 6th century in China.), for the Buddhist cause of purification. When the pagoda in the Purificatory Wisdom Temple was reconstructed in 1907, it was called the " Thousand Buddha Pagoda" as there were one thousand Buddha figurines kept in the pagoda. In 1100, Su Dongpo (1037-1101), the celebrated literati and calligrapher of the Northern Song Dynasty came to visit the temple and he was amazed with the six banyan trees planted at the courtyard of the temple. With a sudden inspiration, he wrote with pleasure two big Chinese characters" Six Banyans" for his inscription to the temple. In the early Ming Dynasty it was first named the Six Banyan temple. The magnificent pagoda stands in the middle of the courtyard. To its west is the rear door of the temple and on its left side is a veranda with a storage of the over ten stone tables.