The entrance courtyard of the Sơn Phúc Pagoda has two main statues, this one represents a female Buddha. Apart from the specific hand positions it seems to share much with western Madonnas A number of these pages have featured particular pagodas in Vietnam together with some in Laos. It is hoped that they have been of interest, not just for their emblems and associations, but also for their history and aesthetic qualities - as with the thousand year old Thầy Pagoda. This page offers a contrast for, although it is not a major part of Vietnamese life, Buddhism is still active and important to a substantial minority. So new centres are built where it is Buddhist practice that is important to its members, rather than any contribution to general cultural. The Sơn Phúc Pagoda is newly completed, so much so it largely escapes Googles clutches. While lacking historic charm it does embody the range of currently important symbols. The Pagoda sits beside the Khe San Lake, actually a reservoir, about seven kilometres south-west of the centre of Tĩnh Gia town. Here the associated buildings are seen
on the lake-side, just to their right is the roof of the shrine room.
Just below here is a short video clip showing the lake
The flowers of the lotus stand well above the water - the flowers of water lilies sit on the water
Lotus flowers in the shallow water at the edge of the lake near the pagoda - of great symbolic significance in the Far East
This picture of the altar in the shrine room, rather emphasises the
utilitarian nature of the building
The ornamentation, so pristine, comprises all the conventions of more traditional Buddhist centres
And again an image of the whole room does bring the ceiling and window shutters to attention
Left, a video clip of the entrance and courtyard from the steps. Right, a wall plaque of the Amitabha Buddha (Infinite Light Buddha) with the words 'Homage to the Amitabha Buddha' above in Vietnamese. With a Tibetan inscription below it and an English maxim with acknowledgement of the 17th century Tibetan sage: Namchö Mingyur Dorje.
The building's entrances and steps seen from the courtyard
In the courtyard, Buddhist statues and urns (to hold incense sticks) with flowers and fruit as offerings
A less cluttered pedestal on the other statue
The pair of cranes represent longevity
The entrance gates are simple, but incorporate the name of the pagoda in wire letters
Somehow appropriately to a Buddhist pagoda in a nearby pool a mother and calf quietly enjoy the light shade
Buddhist sages, some more, and some less historical, are seen as embodiments of aspects of the system of beliefs. These aspects are often emphasised by hand positions which symbolise the key point being made. For example the palm outwards and finger touching thumb of this statue draws attention to the importance of teaching. The coils of incense can burn for periods of a day or more. More mundane - the 'Donation Box' (Hòm công đức) on the first step
The cranes stand on the backs of turtles - longevity on longevity. They are highly stylised with curved necks and small wings
This Buddha stands on a lotus and looks out from the courtyard of the temple across the lake where the living lotuses are growing...
...A fitting view for that white Buddha: lotuses rising above the mud
The next page
of this section moves from a modest peaceful pagoda at a cool lakeside to the heat of the Laotian capital - Vientiane with its grand pagodas
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Dragon-graphs'.
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Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
of the Mosaic Section.