History of Buddhism
Tảo Sách Pagoda
Translated by Lê duy Hùng (Source: thientam.vn)
06/02/2013 21:00 (GMT+7)
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Tảo Sách Pagoda - the millennium-old sacred building, which is located at 386 Lạc Long Quân Street, Nhật Tân Precinct, Tây Hồ District, Hà Nội Capital, formally known as Tào Sách (original name) and then Linh Sơn (second name) in Nhật Tân Commune, Thượng communal group, Hoàng Long District, Hà Đông province (olden day), has long been recognized as a historical and cultural relic.

Dating from the Early Lê Dynasty (980-1009) as its stone steles and parallel sentences read, the venerable Pagoda of large-scale structure situated on the poetic West Lake (Hồ Tây) is encompassed within a grave atmosphere and picturesque scenery, and houses a vast collection of valuable literature in Hán and Nôm languages.

According to statistics of the Institute of Hán Nôm Studies, there are 42 pairs of parallel sentences (39 pairs in Hán language and 3 pairs in Nôm language), 23 pieces of large calligraphic characters, 2 bells (one bell cast in 1822), 24 steles (12 of them carved and erected in 1941).

Most of the steles were engraved with commemorative names to honor the donors who made offertory contributions to the Pagoda. A number of other steles were for commemorating landmark events: Linh Sơn tự kỉ niệm bi kí  (recording the memories of Linh Sơn by Most Venerable Monk Phan Trung Thứ in 1941); Cựu Tào Sách Hoa Nghiêm hội bi kí (record of the Avatamsaka sect of Tào Sách Pagoda) and Linh Sơn tự Hoa Nghiêm hội bi kí (record of the Avatamsaka sect of Linh Sơn Pagoda). These two steles with contents composed by Cúc Hương Hoàng Thúc Hội were carved and erected in 1933.

The former states that the sect, acting in conformation with its general consent, employed Avatamsaka Sutra as the base for its main thesis with the aim to freeing the soul of relatives of the sect members from suffering.

The latter reads that Cúc Hương Hoàng Thúc Hội had the good fame of the sect members lasting eternally by inscribing their records on the stele.

To allow interested readers to get to know further details of the Pagoda’s history, culture etc. we would like to introduce the stele ‘Linh Sơn tự kỉ niệm bi kí’ and a number of typical parallel sentences on pairs of wood panels as follows:

The stele ‘Linh Sơn tự kỉ niệm bi kí’, which was erected in 1941, is in a good state of preservation with its clearly readable characters. This stele, measuring 0.82 x 1.45 m, was carved on one single face. The stele’s forehead was decorated with a carving of a couple of dragons facing the moon. The edging was carved in foliage relief. 

Thích Nguyên Hạnh is currently the abbot of Tảo Sách Pagoda.




Entrance to the main Hall of three Jewels



                               The Altar dedicated to the Great Hero (Buddha) in the Precious Hall



The Altar dedicated to Sudatta (Anathapindika) - 

The chief lay disciple who gave Jeta Park to the Buddha

                                                         God Protectors of the Dharma 

                                                                         Stone Stele




                                                        The Altar dedicated to the Great Sage

                           The Altar dedicated to Cundi (Extreme Purity) - Bhagavati or Mother of Buddhas



                                          The Altar dedicated to Ksitigarbha or Earth-womb Bodhisattva 




                                                                         Bronze Bell


                                                                  Cloud-shaped Bronze Gong



                                                            The Temple dedicated to Patriarchs





                                                      The Altar dedicated to Patriarchs 


                                                 The Statue of the Buddha entering Nirvana




                                                    The Mother Goddess Temple



                                                    The Altar dedicated to Mother Goddesses


                                                                  The Stupa Garden


                                                   The Statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva 


                                                                  The Stone Stele




                                                      The Triple Porch of Tảo Sách Pagoda

Thích Nguyên Hạnh, The Venerable Abbot of Tảo Sách Pagoda

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