The meaning of building a temple

Update: 07/03/2022
When building a temple, we see very clearly that it is not for the monks and nuns to live but for the community to achieve 4 values: spirituality, ethics and society, education, as well as charity. Therefore, building a temple is so important that we need to have a duty to preserve, maintain and promote strongly in the spirit of serving humanity.

The meaning of building a temple


“Building temples, painting statues, casting bells,

Those three virtues should be done by people from all over the world."

That is the advice for Buddhists to work together to build a peaceful and peaceful place in the world to help people have a good life, build a happy and prosperous society.   Donations   to build pagodas and statues   must   come from   the   heart   of respect to the Three Jewels.

When building a temple, we see very clearly that it is not for the monks and nuns to live but for the community to achieve 4 values: spirituality, ethics and society, education, as well as charity. Therefore, building a temple is so important that we need to have a duty to preserve, maintain and promote strongly in the spirit of serving humanity.

Every time a temple is built, we should contribute to the construction. Every family should have a piggybank of merit, and six months later, offer it to build a temple. Therefore, whenever   we   have   the   opportunity,  we   should   contribute   to  the construction   of   the   temple,   because   building   a   temple   has   four  meanings   as following:

1. The temple is the center of spiritual development:

The pagoda is a sacred symbol that has penetrated deeply into the hearts of the Vietnamese   people   since   ancient   times, like   water   seeping   into   the ground. Therefore, even though it has gone through thousands of years of ups and downs, glory and humiliation, changes of everything, and a lot of separation, the image of the temple remains forever proudly present in the hearts of Vietnamese people. It is true that Vu Hoang Chuong's poem wrote:

“…Our people can't lose

Our Buddhism is forever brilliant

Despite going through a lot of separation

But there are still mountains and rivers

The temple remains forever."

Temples   are   common spiritual   assets   for   everyone.   Whoever   has   a heart, the temple door will be open to welcome. If you have a wrong mind, you have turned your back on the temple. The reason it is often said that the temple door is wide open is because anyone can step foot in the temple. The temple door does not contain the fame and benefits, the gossips, the envy and hatred ... in life.

There are temples that become a village school, setting out a practical educational program to build human morality for people. The purpose is to train people to have a rich spiritual life and above all, it's the cultural material of humanity. It is the path towards Truthfulness, Compassion, and Beauty that monks and nuns play a key role in this training.

1.     The pagoda is the center of cultural and social activities:

For a long time, the image of the temple has always been a lovely image, familiar image close to the gentle lifestyle of the rustic villagers. The saying "Land of the King, Temple of the Village" has shown us the sacred religious value in the self-harmony and attachment which is reflected in the simple emotional life of the countryside people. Because the pagoda is a shelter to protect, cherish and nurture their spiritual life. They see the temple as a common family home.  Therefore, together   they   are   determined   to   contribute   to   building   protection   and strong promotion. The temple is a consolation, a place to soothe the melancholy sadness that weighs heavily on people's souls. It was such a warm, passionate love affair. To show that, the image of the temple has been deeply ingrained in the hearts of Vietnamese people, leaving a deep and indelible mark in the mind. Because of that, we   are   not   surprised   to   see   that   wherever   there   are   a   lot   of compatriots   and Buddhists living, it will certainly be that there will be a temple.

"The temple protects the soul of the nation,

The eternal life of the ancestors".

This is also a place for us to worship, show our gratitude and recompense to our ancestors, who have had merit in building and defending the country, and most recently, parents who have worked hard to raise us.

The temple is a place to relieve and appease the difficulties of people's spiritual life. The pagoda is the roof to protect, comfort and embrace those who suffer when they fail, when their loved ones die. Therefore, Buddhists come to the temple to pray, listen to the sound of bells, the sound of the bell is warm, and admire the image of the Buddha to pray for   pain,   sadness, and frustration will disappear. Temples are very necessary for human emotional life.

3. The pagoda is an educational center:

In terms of ethics, the temple also has the direct effect of guiding people towards good things.   The   moral   ethics  of   Buddhism   teaches Buddhists  to   be   kind  and gentle. The five precepts of lay Buddhists are the five basic moral principles that Buddhists must carefully observe. At the same time, we must be aware of and apply the doctrine of cause and effect to our lives. Only then Buddhists can avoid sinful things. That is the direction of the moral advancement of Buddhists in self-cultivation and management of the household and bringing many benefits to the society.

The temple is also like a hospital, because it treats mental illnesses. If someone can see in his soul that there is greed, hatred, delusion, and poison, he goes to the temple to pray for the Buddha's righteous Dharma to cure the diseases of greed, anger, delusion, flatulence and arrogance then the temple door is always open. We know that Buddhism was born to break that veil of delusion. Therefore, Buddhism is the way to open human wisdom. We go to the temple, considering the temple as a school to raise intellectual life, spiritual life. Going to the temple not only bows to the Buddha but also listens to the Dharma, learns the teachings, and expands wisdom. Whoever has wisdom, he overcomes all diseases and suffering.

Whether the temple is small or large, whether simple or grand, they all have the same purpose that is educational. At any time, the temple also plays a key role in guiding the education of the mass.

The temple is as   a  cradle, a place for  training, specializing in training  people  to practice   in   good   faith,  training generations   of   monks   and   nuns   to uphold   the Buddhadharma, such as Thanh Luong pagoda located in An Binh commune, Cao Lanh,   Dong   Thap,   The   Venerable   Thich   Thien   Hue,  Rector   of   the   Buddhist Intermediate School of Dong Thap Province; Hung Thien pagoda, located in My Hoi, Cao Lanh, Dong Thap communes with The Venerable Thich Phuoc Duc who is the owner of the pagoda; Son Thang Zen Monastery in Thanh Duc, Long Ho, Vinh Long, The Venerable Thich Phuoc Tu, Principal of Vinh Long Provincial Buddhist School...

4. The temple is a place of charity activities:

The temple is the place where compassion is used to help the unfortunates get the necessary comfort and support. The abbots receive donations from lay Buddhists and then give them to those in need. Today, social associations also follow the same way. However, faith in associations cannot equal the faith that Buddhists have in pagodas. By conscience monks do these things better than lay Buddhists.

The temple, in addition to its external appearance such as aesthetic architecture, has   excellent   artistic   qualities, full   of   national   patterns, but it   also   has   many functions to nurture the spiritual life and contribute to the construction of people's moral life in the direction of holiness. In addition, the temple also responds to the religious needs of worship, study, and social activities of all classes of people.

For a long time, the people of Tay Ninh wanted to have a spiritual temple as a place of spiritual practice and cultural activities for Buddhists here.

On February 19, 2022 (January 19th, Year of the Tiger), approved by the local government and the Executive Board of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in Tay Ninh province, Quang Phap pagoda (Thuan Tan hamlet, Truong Mit commune, Duong Minh district) Chau, Tay Ninh Province) - a branch of Hoang Phap Pagoda managed   by   Venerable  Thich   Tam   Thach,   has   been   recognized   as   a  religious establishment directly under the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha - Tay Ninh Province as well as Duong Minh Chau district.

Up to now, Hoang Phap Pagoda has 47 branches in the country and abroad.

The temple is the place of existence of the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. With the merit of building pagodas and erecting statues, we can dedicate them to our relatives such as teachers, grandparents, parents, brothers, friends, etc. sentient beings who are living in misery, expecting and look forward to the part of the   good   that   we   dedicate.   When   they   rejoice   in   that   good   merit, they   are immediately freed from suffering and are reborn in a good state, enjoying all the happiness.

So let's not miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build temples. This good deed will give the result of lasting peace in this life and in future lives. Then we should not hesitate, if we have good conditions, we should do it, don't miss that opportunity.

Building temples, erecting Buddha statues, casting bells first is to create a place to worship Buddha, then a place to study and propagate Buddhadharma and save all sentient beings. The merits of building pagodas, erecting statues, and casting bells are extremely beneficial.

If you plant a relationship with the Three Jewels, you will receive the protection of the Three Jewels, receive the teachings of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha in many forms, either directly or indirectly, knowing what to do and what not to do to avoid future calamities.

Hoa Đạo

Translated into English by Huynh Thi Minh Trang

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