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China, Day 12: The Forbidden City

Lee Family Reunion 2006: China
A Tronkie Travellogue
Day 12: The Forbidden City and Yong He Temple (Yong He Gong)



Morning: The Forbidden City











Afternoon: Yonghe Lama Temple

Yonghe Lamasery, or Yonghegong, is a temple and monastery of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism located in the northeastern part of Beijing, China. It is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. The building and the artworks of the temple combine Han Chinese and Tibetan styles. (Wikipedia)




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Banazir

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jun. 25th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for chronicling your trip. It's been unbelievable to follow.
abrichar
Jun. 25th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
Whoops!
Previous comment was mine!
banazir
Jun. 25th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
You're most welcome
I'm just glad that someone is following
bojojoti
Jun. 25th, 2006 07:50 am (UTC)
Is the Buddhist religion embraced, tolerated, or monitored closely by the Chinese government? I am curious, especially considering the history with the Dalai Lama.
banazir
Jun. 25th, 2006 09:05 am (UTC)
Buddhism in China: Northern, Southern, Tibetan
The type of Buddhism makes a bit of a difference.

Mahāyāna Buddhism (the "Northern Tradition") is most common in China at present. As there are still many Buddhist (fuojiao) adherents of the Northern Tradition in China to this day, I would say that it is tolerated.

Theravāda Buddhism (the "Southern Tradition" prevalent in India) is much rarer in China. Vajrayāna Buddhism ("Tibetan Buddhism"), considered by some a third branch of Buddhism and by others a relatively modern innovation of Northern Buddhism, was the official religion of the last emperors of China. It is more politically controversial.

I would say that "co-opted" is the right term to use for the Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism (associated with the Dalai Lama). Tibetan Buddhism was the official state religion of two of the last three Imperial dynasties, the Yuan or Mongol Dynasty (1271-1368) and the Qing or Manchurian Dynasty (1644-1911). Since Tibet has been a province-level administrative region of the PRC since 1959, most lamaseries within China were disbanded. Yonghe Lamasery is said to have survived through the intervention of then-premier Zhou Enlai, and reopened to the public in 1981.

Yonghegong receives a fair amount in collections from worshippers; I saw people burning incense and praying in every temple. I have no idea how its proceeds are taxed by the PRC government, but I would be surprised if donations were permitted to circulate as "church funds" as opposed to the operating funds of Yonghegong. I do know that Yonghegong is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list, not that the Chinese Communist Party would want to disband it. I believe the 25 RMB admission price is collected by the government.

--
Banazir
bojojoti
Jun. 26th, 2006 06:53 am (UTC)
Thank you. Very interesting. I am learning so much from your journey.
banazir
Jun. 26th, 2006 08:45 am (UTC)
Glad it's been useful
You're welcome, and thanks for commenting. I like getting feedback - not just on my travellogue and photography, but on other people's experiences with different cultures, and on their impressions and personal biases.

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Banazir
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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