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Temple Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel

When you look towards the center of the roof level, you will see a large, tall Ten Thousand Buddhas Pavillion, housing the large Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel, in the center.
Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel in BTRTM
At the center of the Ten Thousand Buddhas Pavillion is the huge Vairocana Prayer Wheel, specially produced using the cloisonné enamel technique so as to give it a bright, colourful, intricate and glossy look. It has three-tier of Vairocana Mantras within bright borders. The Wheel sits on a granite cladded base. Every complete turn of the wheel will toll the wheel bell.

Inside the prayer Wheel are more than 3,000 copies of the Vairocana Dharani. Each roll of the dharani has been carefully hand calligraphed.

About Vairocana Buddha
Vairocana(Sanskrit: वैरोचन Vairochana, Mahāvairocana, Great Universal Light, The Illuminator; Chinese: 大日如來 (Dàrì Rúlái), Great Sun, 毘盧遮那佛 (Pílúzhēnàfó); Japanese: 大日如来 (Dainichi Nyorai), 毘盧遮那仏 (Birushana-butsu)). Also considered the Celestial Buddha, Cosmic Buddha, Supreme Buddha, Primodial Buddha and Adi Buddha.
He is often interpreted, in texts like the Flower Garland Sutra, as the Bliss Body (Dharmakaya) of the historical Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama).

In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Buddhism, Buddha Vairocana is also seen as the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of Emptiness.

In esoteric Buddhist teachings of the Five Wisdom Buddhas, Buddha Vairocana is foremost and at the centre. He dwells at Arupadhatu, the Heaven Beyond Form and is the essence of wisdom and of absolute purity. He is the unifier and central Buddha in the Diamond World (Vajradhatu) Mandala and Womb World (Garbhadhatu) Mandala, together forming the Dharmadhatu.

He is considered by some esoteric sects, eg Shingon, Hosso, Kegon, Tendai; to be the transmitter of Yogacara school teachings.

Buddha Vairocana is first introduced in the Brahma Net Sutra:

“Now, I, Vairocana Buddha am sitting atop a lotus pedestal; On a thousand flowers surrounding me are a thousand Sakyamuni Buddhas. Each flower supports a hundred million worlds; in each world a Sakyamuni Buddha appears. All are seated beneath a Bodhi-tree, all simultaneously attain Buddhahood. All these innumerable Buddhas have Vairocana as their original body.”

Dharma
Buddha Vairocana is the Primordial Buddha in the Chinese schools of Tiantai, Hanmi Esoteric School and Hua-Yen Buddhism, also appearing in later schools including the Japanese Kegon and esoteric lineages of Tendai and Shingon. In the case of Shingon and Hua-Yen schools, Buddha Vairocana is the central figure.

The doctrine of Buddha Vairocana is based largely on the teachings of the Mahavairocana Sutra (Mahāvairocana-abhisaṃbodhi-tantra, Chinese: 大毘盧遮那成佛神變加持經) and to a lesser degree the Vajrasekhara Sutra (Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha Tantra).

The Mahāvairocana Tantra is the first true Buddhist tantra, the earliest comprehensive manual of tantric Buddhism. It was probably composed in the middle of the 7th century, in all probability in north-eastern India at Nālandā. The Mahāvairocana Tantra consists of three primary mandalas corresponding to the body, speech and mind of Mahāvairocana, as well as preliminary practices and initiation rituals.

Mandalas
Diamond World (Vajradhatu) Mandala and Womb World (Garbhadhatu) Mandala

Mantra
Namah samanta-buddhanam. A vam ram ham kham.

Supporting Images
1. The Borobudur Mendut temple Buddha Vairocana statue is flanked with statues of Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara and Boddhisatva Vajrapani (left).

2. Samantabhadra (Pu-hsien) is his dhyani-bodhisattva.

Art
The Buddha Vairocana statue in Nara’s Tōdai-ji in Japan was the largest bronze image of Vairocana Buddha in the world.


Chief Monk, Ven. Shi Fazhao at Todaiji, Japan, Apr 2012

The larger of the monumental statues that were destroyed at Bamiyan in Afghanistan was also a depiction of Buddha Vairocana. In Java, Indonesia, the 9th-century Mendut temple near Borobudur in Magelang was dedicated to Dhyani Buddha Vairocana. Built by the Sailendra dynasty, the temple featured a three-meter tall stone statue of Dhyani Buddha Vairocana, seated and performing the Dharmachakra mudra.

He is often shown with the mudra of Six Elements or Fist of Wisdom, his left index finger representing the Diamond World, enveloped by he five fingers of the right hand, the Womb World.

About Prayer Wheels
A prayer wheel is a cylindrical “wheel” (Tibetan: འཁོར་, Wylie: ‘khor) on a spindle made from metal, wood, stone, leather or coarse cotton. Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel. Also sometimes depicted are Dakinis, Protectors and very often the 8 auspicious symbols Ashtamangala.


Chief Monk, Ven. Shi Fazhao at Bhutan, Apr 2013


In Tibetan Buddhism, every turning of the prayer wheel generates as much merits as the reading of the sutra or mantra.
About Dharani
A dhāraṇī (Sanskrit: धारणी; Sinhala: ධරණී; traditional Chinese: 陀羅尼; pinyin: tuóluóní; Japanese: 陀羅尼 darani; Standard Tibetan: གཟུངས་ gzungs) is a type of ritual speech similar to a mantra. The terms dharani and satheesh may be seen as synonyms, although they are normally used in distinct contexts.

Each sponsorship of the Dharani sutra was $500, with 3,000 rolls of sutra available.

Development of BTRTM Vairocana Prayer Wheel
The Vairocana Prayer Wheel was specially developed together with Beijing City Enamel Manufacturing Company, the biggest factory in China to produce cloisonné enamel. There was a special blessing ceremony conducted at the factory by our Sangha on 30 January 2007.

The sponsorship of the Vairocana Prayer Wheel was $1,000 with 1,000 shares available.

Bibliography:

  1. Lokesh Chandra, Dictionary of Buddhist Iconography, International Academy of Indian Culture and Aditya Prakashan, 1999, Vol 13, pages 3770 – 3829
  2. Louis Frederic, Flammarion Iconographic Guides, Buddhism, Flammarion, 1995, pages 127 – 132
  3. Meher McArthur, Reading Buddhist Art, An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs & Symbols, Thames & Hudson,2002, pages 34 – 35
  4. William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous, A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 2000, ISBN 81-208-0319-1, page 90a
  5. Charles F Chicarelli, Buddhist Art, An Illustrated Introduction, Silkworm Books, 2004, ISBN 974-9575-54-7, pages 263
  6. Denise Patry Leidy, Shambala, The Art of Buddhism, An Introduction to its History & Meaning, 2008, pages 122 – 125

Websites:

  1. Prayer wheel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Vairocana – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Five Dhyani Buddhas – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Dharani – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  5. Mahavairocana Tantra – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  6. Vajrasekhara Sutra – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  7. CBETA T18 No. 848 《大毘盧遮那成佛神變加持經》
  8. dBET_T0848_Vairocana_2005.pdf
  9. www.tommyooi.com/DSC_0815.jpg
  10. Buddha_Mendut.jpg
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