Update: 08:36 | 30/01/2020
Carved woodblocks bearing the Sutras of Zen Buddhism at Bo Da Pagoda in Viet Yen district, the northern province of Bac Giang are being showcased at an exhibition that opened in the pagoda on Jan 29.
This is part of activities within the framework of the Culture and Tourism Week 2020 in Bac Giang, and to mark the 300th founding anniversary of Tung Lam Bo Da (1720-2020), and 200 years of the establishment of Viet Yen district (1820-2020).
Visitors at the exhibition.
It aims to popularise widely unique values of the woodblocks as well as the quintessence in ancient sculpture art in the community, while contributing to introducing the image of the Sutras of Zen Buddhism to domestic and foreign visitors.
The exhibition is expected to help raise public awareness of the importance of preserving the national treasures.
According to Vice Chairman of the Viet Yen district People’s Committee Nguyen Dai Luong, Bo Da Pagoda, which is a centre of Lam Te Buddhism and had a major role in Buddhism’s development in Vietnam, is now home to nearly 2,000 Sutra woodblocks engraved by the Lam Te Zen Buddhism’s masters in the Le dynasty - Canh Hung era (1740-1786).
Carved woodblocks, which were named national treasures in 2018, reflect profound thoughts and philosophies of Buddhism in general and the Lam Te Zen Buddhism in particular.
In the 18th century, monks at the pagoda carved Buddhist Sutras on thi wood (decandrous perssimmom) that is both light and pliable, making it ideal for carving, preserve the texts so that they could be used to teach Buddhism.
The pagoda, also known as Quan Am (Goddess of Mercy), lies at the foot of a pine-covered hill, surrounded by earthen walls with mountains and rivers in the distance.
The pagoda was built in the 11th century under the Ly dynasty, the golden age of Buddhism in Vietnam, but was badly damaged during wars in subsequent centuries. It was not until the revival of the Le dynasty under King Le Du Tong that the pagoda was reconstructed.
Bo Da is unique for its architecture, while it appears to be a closed complex from the outside, the pagoda’s inside has hundreds of compartments that open into one another. The pagoda provides visitors with a sacred, secluded refuge from the world.
On this occasion, Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Le Anh Duong handed over a decision recognising Bo Da Pagoda as a tourism site to representatives of Viet Yen district and the pagoda.