Add:170 Anyuan Rd, near Shanxi Rd N.
Credit Cards Accepted
English Service Available
As its name suggested, Jade Buddha Temple is well-known for the jade Buddhas in it. There are three Buddhas in Jade Buddha Temple. Two of them were brought back from Burma by Master Hui Gen in 1882, the first abbot of the temple. The other one was carried back from Singapore by Master Zhen Chan – in the 10th abbot of the temple.
As to the two jade Buddhas from Burma, there is a story behind them concerning the very foundation of the temple. Back in Qing Dynasty (1636 –1911A.D.), Master Hui Gen went on a long journey to visit shrine mountains of Buddhism in China. He started from Putuo Mountain in Zhejiang, then Wutai Mountain in Shanxi, Emei Mountain in Sichuan, Tibet and finally he reached his destination, Burma. When he found that Burma abounded with jade, he decided to have some statues of Buddha caved out of the superb jade.
With the help of some donations and his hard efforts, Master Hui Gen managed to get enough jade to make five scriptures of Buddha. On the return journey, he left two of the jade Buddhas – the other three back in Putuo Mountain – in Shanghai in 1882, and they are now the ones enshrined in the Sleeping Buddha Hall and Jade Buddha Hall.
Nearly 2 meter high and adorned with emerald and other precious stones, the jade Buddha in sitting position is a stature of Sakyamuni reaching his supreme spiritual enlightenment, a state in which he transcended desire, suffering, all the other worldly affairs and attained nirvana. Eyes half-closed, legs-crossed and a smile at the corner of his mouth, Buddha appears serene and peaceful. The sleek lines and the perfect proportion of the statue prove that it was caved with masterly techniques.
The sleeping Buddha from Burma was carved in green jade stone and is an image of Buddha at the end of his life. Historically, after 40 years of preaching about Buddhism, Sakyamuni died lying on his right side, with one hand supporting his head and the other resting on the waist. The statue captures the peace of his death and the transcendence of pain and suffering.
Besides the two jade Buddhas, Jade Buddha Temple offers a dazzling display of Buddhist antiques, including a Guanyin Bodhisattva carving made of jujube wood, a bronze Buddha statue and a stone carving of Guanyin Bodhisattva of Northern Wei Dynasty (386 – 557A.D.), a scripture written in Tang Dynasty in a Dunhuang Grotto, a wood carving of the Spirit Vulture Peak in Qing Dynasty.
The vegetarian restaurant in the temple provides more than 80 different kinds of Buddhist delicacies, making it too unique to be missed out on.
The souvenir shop provides a profuse of Buddhist articles, accessories such as strings of crystal beans and items for Buddhist services.
The temple puts on a lecture about Buddhism delivered by prestigious Masters or experts every Sunday from 2pm to 4pm. The lectures are in Chinese. To get access to the lectures you need to sign up for them online in advance.