Origin of Xuanzang Memorial Hall
01-15-2016    

Ven. Xuanzang was a Buddhist dignitary, a translator, an envoy of peace, and a giant of world culture. To carry forward and promote his aspirations and cause, the governments and peoples of China and India have built the Xuanzang Memorial Hall, and now erected this stele at the former site of Nalanda Temple to recount that great episode.

In 1954, Chinese premier Zhou Enlai and India prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, exchanged visits and jointly initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence to promote the friendly intercourses between the two nations. The Buddhist circles were delighted and inspired. The rector of Nalanda Institute J. Kashyap was the first to propose a joint effort to build a Memorial Hall to cherish the forerunner Xuanzang. Mr. Zhao Puchu, a lay Buddhist representating the Chinese Buddhist circle visited India in active response. The preparatory efforts were vigorously supported by both governments, and the premiers personally looked into the matter many times. In 1956, the Chinese Government sent religious figures to visit India, and in 1957 presented to the Indian Government a relic of Xuanzang¡¯s skull, 1,335 volumes translated by Xuanzang, a set of Qisha Tripitaka, a draft design map of the Memorial Hall, and RMB 300,000 Yuan as funds for the construction program. The spectacular scene that the master translated and lectured there was vividly recalled in such a contrast that the relic of the master had to be presented as a payback. It was hoped that a new temple could be built at the site of the ruins to revive the shrine.

In 2005, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and India Prime minister Manmohan Singh, held talks and released a joint statement, opening a new chapter in the annals of bilateral relations. The construction and maintenance of the Xuanzang Memorial Hall were enlisted into the programs of cultural exchanges between the two countries as a continuation of the previous predestined relationship. In November the same year, a delegation of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of the People's Republic of China visited India to discuss matters related to the construction and maintenance with the Indian construction and maintenance committee of the Xuanzang Memorial Hall. Murals were painted and exhibition shelves installed to depict the life stories of the master; a bronze statue was moulded, steles erected and bell pavilions built in praise of peace. inspired by the model role of the master, people all over China responded actively£¬and many organizations in China donated funds to the great understanding, among which were the Great Ci¡¯en Temple in Xi¡¯an, the Wenshu Temple, the Daci Temple in Chengdu, the White House Temple in Luoyang, the Bailin Temple in Zhaozhou, wuxi Lingshan Industrial(group)CO.LTD ,Shanghai Kangyu copper gate design engineering CO.LTD and China ports international shipping agency  LTD.

In April 2006, Buddhist dignitaries, experts and scholars from 37 countries and regions gathered in China and successfully held the First Word Buddhist Forum. Together, they issued the Mount Putuo Declaration, which says that ¡°Everyone is responsible for the world harmony; and a harmonious world begins in the mind.¡± Today, the Xuanzang Memorial Hall is completed, which means the principle of ¡°begins-in-the-mind¡± has been translated into reality. Hence this stele is erected to trace the source, cherish the previous worthy, and encourage the coming ones.


State Administration for Religious Affairs of  P.R.C

November,2006

Editor:kongqing
   
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