Four Great Heavenly Devas, Two Guardian Stone Lions
Radiation of Great Light, Auspiciousness descends from Heavens
15th May 2016, the Ninth day of the Fourth month of the Lunar Calendar, was a day when auspiciousness descended on Earth.
On the Sunday that followed Buddha’s birthday, Tasmanian Chinese Buddhist Academy of Australia (TCBAA) held the Official Opening of the Two Guardian Stone Lions and Four Great Heavenly Devas Holy Statues, and guests from ten directions were invited; in this auspicious event, they bore witness to the preliminary steps of the future Tasmanian Chinese Cultural Park of Australia.
Jin-Gang-Dhyana Temple is located on the land of the future Tasmanian Chinese Cultural Park of Australia, and is the world’s southernmost Buddhist temple as well as the world’s southernmost Esoteric Buddhist Temple.
The Patriarch of Chinese Han Transmission Tantrayana Buddhism– Holy Tantra Gu Fan Mi Jin-Gang-Dhyana Buddhism, Bhagavan Zhi-Ji Patriarch Master upheld the teachings of the 27th Ancestral Patriarch Master, Bhagavan ZHI-JI Vimalakirti Jing-Wu Great Dharma Lord, which was to establish an Esoteric Buddhist base on the southernmost island in the southernmost corner of this Earth.
When the establishment of this Cultural Park eventuates in the future, it will be a gift offered to all Tasmanians and Australians free of charge; a place to provide sentient beings with the conditions to experience Chinese culture. It is also a learning ground of ambrosia nectar for sentient beings, to save and deliver all those in suffering.
Very early on during the day of the ceremony, the sky showered down with rain; Buddhas of Multiple Heavens patrolled the heavens bestowing purity and demonstrating the incomparable might of the Universe. However, this did not dampen the interest and enthusiasm of friends and sentient beings. From 8 o’clock in the morning onwards, cars gradually filled the parking lot, which was located next to the main gate and designed to hold several hundred cars. According to numbers, there were well over 1200 guests in attendance.
Among the guests who travelled from afar just to grace our occasion, were those that travelled from Sri Lanka: accompanied by the Secretary General of the World Buddhist Sangha Youth, the Most Venerable Anuruddha Mahathero, was the Sangha Raja of Sri Lanka, the Most Venerable Wedarua Upali Maha Nayaka Thero and eight of his disciples. Other honoured guests also included representatives of Consul-General Song Yumin (Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Melbourne), Consul Zhou Yujiang and Consul Zhang Xiaohong, the President of the Melbourne chapter of the Xinhua News Agency, Ms. Song Dan; the President of the Australian chapter of the People’s Daily, Mr. Li Feng; the Chief Correspondent of Economic Daily, Mr Weng Donghui; the National Chairman of National Liaison Council of Chinese Australian, Mr. Anson Hong JP and his wife; the chief editor of the Yearbook of Chinese in Australia, Professor Feng Xiaoyang and his wife; the Senior Producer of the Chinese program for SBS radio, Ms. May Hu JP; the leader of the Sydney Oriental Dance Troupe, Ms. Lily Cheng JP and her fellow performers.
Local guests included Aboriginal Elder Aunty Eva Richardson; the representative of the Liberal party, Speaker of the House of Assembly the Hon. Elise Archer MP; the Minister for State Growth the Hon. Matthew Groom MP; the Leader of the Opposition for Tasmania the Hon. Bryan Green MP; the representative of the Leader of the Opposition for Australia the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Tasmanian Labor Senator the Hon. Lisa Singh; Independent member for Denison the Hon. Andrew Wilkie MP; Member of Parliament Julie Collins MP; the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Alderman Sue Hickey; the Mayor of the Southern Midlands Council Alderman Tony Bisdee OAM; the representative of Hutchinson Builders Mr. Steve Ninnes; along with the various leaders of the Chinese communities: the President of the Chinese Community Association of Tasmania, Mrs. Lily Chan; the President of Chinese News Tasmania magazine, Ms. Jiang Shan; the President of the Chinese Language Teachers’ Association of Tasmania Ms. Shelley Keyes; the President of the Tasmanian Chinese Art and Communication Society, Ms. Chang-you Pan and her fellow performers, and the President of the Tasmania Chinese PhD Students Association, Mr. Owen Hu. Also in attendance were various politicians and leaders of many trades and professions, and along with friends from all around the state, it can be said that great friends filled the venue to celebrate this grand occasion.
The opening ceremony began with Aboriginal Elder Aunty Eva performing a Welcome to Country local indigenous blessing and acknowledging the ceremony. Next, Bhagavan Zhi-Ji Patriarch Master delivered a welcoming speech, expressing gratitude to all our friends that have supported us continuously throughout the years, allowing this plan to develop to its current stage. One after another, honoured guests expressed their earnest congratulations and recognition, wishing and looking forward to the early completion of the future Tasmanian Chinese Cultural Park of Australia, so as to enhance the friendship between China and Australia and promote Tasmanian culture and tourism, alongside bringing further development. Their kind wishes all expressed a central theme: the friendship between Australia and China has already undergone considerable development, and established many extensive financial connections. However, if there is to be a more focused connection, it has to primarily stem from cultural exchange and communication, in hope that there can be deeper and more extensive ideological, mental, and spiritual communication with regards to culture, arts, and other various aspects.
The Buddhist Sangha Raja, who had especially travelled from afar to attend this opening, performed a blessing ritual for the ceremony along with offering the Sakyamuni true body sarira (relics) of the patron Buddha and a sarira pagoda, adding a sacred brilliance to the holy event.
The morning of the ceremony, Buddhas of Multiple Heavens demonstrated their great might, showering the great land below, simultaneously adorning the sky with a great rainbow, and illuminating all with the warm sun. In short, all the possible manifestations of supreme celestial phenomena were displayed. Nevertheless, when the most auspicious time arrived - the time for the ribbon cutting ceremony, all the dark clouds were pushed aside, and the beautiful sun shone down from high above. With the warmth of the sun, all attendees joyfully stepped out of the tents and walked towards the Guardian Stone Lions to cut the ribbon. Seeing the radiant sun and the lush emerald grass surrounding the area, it was difficult to believe that mere moments before, the sky was pouring with incessant rain and gustily winds blew.
With all these supreme and extraordinary phenomena, people could only appreciate in awe that this truly was a unique occurrence.
All the various media, including the local ABC news, The Mercury, journalists from Melbourne and Sydney, and even the mainland-China-based Xinhua News Agency divisional chapter, People’s Daily Australian Chapter, People’s Daily Online, as well as the Economic Daily, all reported about this grand event with video and news articles.
The Buddhist column of the Da Gong Bao in Hong Kong also compiled an exciting report for the event. The chief editor of the Yearbook of Chinese in Australia, Professor Feng Xiao Yang in Sydney published a very timely report, which was followed by a very detailed account from the Economic Daily a few days after the event.
All the holy statues of the opening ceremony are intricately carved from Chinese white marble; the tallest statue is 7 metres in height with a total weight of 200 tons. These statues are the first group of statues that the Tasmanian Chinese Buddhist Academy of Australia plans to build in Campania, as part of the main gate construction stage of the future Tasmanian Chinese Cultural Park of Australia. The current stage has a total of 6 statues that were all especially carved by the best craftsmen and shipped from China. Upon arrival in Australia, one of the largest and renowned construction companies in Australia, Hutchinson Builders, was contacted and employed to aid in the erection of the statues. Hutchinson Builders were highly dedicated to the task, and in order to complete the task without mistakes and perfectly erect the 6 holy statues, they specifically arranged for a crane with a maximum loading limit of 100 tons, operated by their most experienced drivers. As soon as the task was completed in perfection, they were all overjoyed and took commemoratory photos with Bhagavan Zhi-Ji Patriarch Master.
Inevitably, the successful placement of the 6 holy statues could not have been realised without the support, help, and guidance of the various Government departments. Only with their support, could we have resolved various procedural obstacles and smoothly begin the project.
At the same time, apart from the holy arrangements of the Universe, the perfect completion of this holy event is also due to the continuous day and night, tireless 200% diligent and selfless contributions of Elder Gurus, Gurus and practitioners of the world headquarters, along with practitioners and devotees from all around the world including mainland Australia, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong just to name a few; these arrangements were all under the supreme guidance of Bhagavan Zhi-Ji Patriarch Master.
According to the personal experience and high appraisal of scholars and honoured guests from the Motherland that attended the holy ceremony, within the past 30 years, using their strict and disciplined religious demeanor, Bhagavan Zhi-Ji Patriarch Master and the Elder Gurus and practitioners of Holy Tantra Esoteric Buddhism left behind deep impressions, not with simple rationale or other forms of culture, but using the nourishment and cultivation of the Buddha human character to gradually inspire the people of the western society. It is this that is most precious!
So far, Chinese Han Transmission Esoteric Buddhism inherits the ultimate virtuous kindness compassion and wisdom of the Great Holy Sakyamuni Buddha, with a fresh new academic, scientific, religious and philosophical appearance. This is unfolding multi-channeled, multi-leveled, multi-arena, multi-aspect and multi-disciplinary explorations of the eternal life, in order to disseminate the positive energy and mutually perfect the China dream along with shouldering the heavy responsibility of the exchange and communication between Chinese and Western cultures. Apart from spreading the ancient historical culture of China to the entire world, Chinese Han Transmission Esoteric Buddhism also receives and welcomes many high Sangha, eminent ones and scholars of various different schools from around the world to mutually study the essences of Buddhism, mutually conduct Buddhist rituals, mutually perform prostrations, and together experience auspiciousness. Thus, allowing Hobart to truly become a spiritual holy land where practitioners from around the world can enjoy peace and seek liberation. With this as the main theme and starting point, we hope to propagate the harmonious and peaceful spiritual brilliance of Buddhist culture and traditional Chinese culture to the entire world!
However, precisely as revealed by the Universe on the day of the opening ceremony: the celestial phenomena transformed and fluctuated endlessly. The moment sunlight shone upon the land, dense clouds blanketed the skies and heavy rain poured down. Following this, a rainbow hung high in the heavens with infinite beauty and elegance. This teaches us that the path placed in front of us is rough and twisted, and yet, it is also a path we are able to walk, provided that we progress with united hearts. This is analogous to the thousand red and gold multiple Buddha flags lining the paths of the opening ceremony: they are all facing the same goal, withstanding the fierce gusts of wind, however, propped up with chests high, no matter how mighty the wind blows, they are fearless in the face of adversaries. Befriending and saving sentient beings even when sentient beings do not themselves know their need of deliverance, embodying the omnipotent positive energy of the Universe, and mutually performing the holy song of the universal great land.