One of Ten Thousand Buddhas
Po Fook Hill, Pai Tau
The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Tsz), located Po Fook Hill at Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin in the New Territories is one of Hong Kong’s most famous Buddhist temples and popular tourist attractions. The temple was founded in 1949 by the Reverend Yuet Kai and completed in 1957. The monastery is not residential and is managed by lay-persons. It should not be confused with the Po Fook Hill Ancestral Halls which lie directly below it. View of the lower level of the monastery complex from top storey of the nine-storey pavilion. Kwun Yam Pavilion is in the foreground with the rather gaudily externally decorated Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple in the background. The Reverend Yuet Kai, born into a wealthy family in Kunming in southern China in 1878, was a skilled lyre player and talented poet, who studied philosophy at one of China’s leading universities. At the age of 19 he decided to dedicate his life to Buddhism and is said to have set fire to flesh, cut from two of his fingers, to light forty-eight oil lamps in front of the Buddha to demonstrate his commitment to the faith. In 1933 Yuet Kai moved to Hong Kong to preach Buddhism in a local monastery and soon found many followers. He originally planned to establish a Buddhist college on an estate donated by a wealthy merchant who was also a devout Buddhist but eventually decided instead to found a monastery and construction of the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery began in 1949. Yuet Kai himself, although by now approaching old age, personally helped in the construction by carrying materials, with his disciples, from the foot of the mountain. The monastery buildings were completed in 1957 but it took a further ten years to complete all the miniature Buddha statues, now on display around the walls of the main temple and which actually number almost 13,000 (in Cantonese tradition “ten thousand” simply represents a figurative term for an extremely large number). The Reverend Yuet Kai died on 24th April 1965 (23rd March in the Chinese Calendar) at the age of 87. After being buried for eight months in a coffin on the hillside his body was exhumed, still in perfect condition, and in accordance with his wishes, embalmed with Chinese lacquer, painted with gold leaf, draped with robes and put on display seated in the lotus position in a glass case in front of the main altar. The corpse is named "The Diamond Indestructible Body of Yuexi" on monastery signs.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Tsz) is a Buddhist temple in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. It is located at 220 Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin. It is not an actual monastery as there are no resident monks and is managed by laypersons. The monastery, which occupies over 8 hectares, is made up of two groups of architectural structures at lower and higher levels respectively. There is a pagoda, a hall, two pavilions and a tower in the architectural structure at the lower level. There are four halls in another structure at the higher level. The five halls in the monastery are used to house the statues of Buddhas. The main journey up to the monastery is an attraction itself, as the path is lined on both sides with golden Buddhas, each unique and in different poses.