Mountain Gate

发布日期:2010-05-21   字体大小:   



The main entrance to the temple is known as the Front Gate or the Mountain Gate, due to the fact that many temples are distant from populated areas, usually in the mountainous regions. Generally, the Mountain Gate consists of three gates which symbolize liberation.


Tablet of "Shao Lin Si"
In the middle above the Mountain Gate hangs the horizontal inscribed board, which is written with golden characters "Shao Lin Si" in black background by Emperor Kangxi in 1704. On top of the board is carved with privy seal of Kangxi Emperor. In the 43rd year of Kangxi (1704), he had written two inscriptions for Shaolin Temple: one is "Bao Shu Fang Lian", previously hanging in Mahavira Hall and destroyed later in the war of the late Qing Dynasty; the other is "Shao Lin Si", originally hanging outside the Hall of Heavenly Kings and shifted afterwards to the Mountain Gate, as seen now.


Maitreya was born in a Brahminic family in ancient India, a contemporary of Sakyamuni. He is currently preaching Buddhism in the Tushita heaven, and will reincarnate on earth for the benefit of beings after the passing of Sakyamuni Buddha. In Chinese folklore, Maitreya is depicted as a stout monk always carrying with him a cloth sack and wearing a big smile, thus nicknamed the Laughing Buddha. The statue of Maitreya is worshipped inside the Mountain Gate of monasteries, so he is also named "Welcoming Buddha".