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This was the hall where Wu Cheng'en worshipped Master monk Tang, and meditated and listened to the wind. In September 2010, with the care and support of the renowned performing artist Liu Xiao Ling Tong, we began to re-exhibit, which is now officially open to the public.
Dear sirs, let’s pay attention to the above plaque "Master monk Tang Memorial Hall", which is the inscription of Mr. Zhang Hai, President of the National Association of Calligraphers. On both sides are the couplets inscribed by Yicheng Master, former President of the National Buddhist Association. Monk Tang's journey to the West, monk Tang Sanzang's utras study, the bronze statue of Master monk Tang are all donated by Liu Xiao Ling Tong. The background behind is a woodcut Heart Sutra with nearly 9 square meters based on the high-grade Korean pine with Yangzhou lacquerware, fine chiseling, total 12 layers: 9 layers’ single lacquer surface, 3 layers’ wax surface , 279 words, and Buddhist eight treasures. The woodcut paintings on the East and west sides of the Sutra are based on the portraits of Master monk Tang painted by the ancients. Combined with modern creativity, monk Tang's two scenes of Journey to the West and returning from the classics are presented by means of traditional Chinese painting. The volume of calligraphy on the eastern wall is monk Tang's introduction. Tang Sanzang (602-664), based on the historical Buddhist monk Xuanzang, is a central character in the novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en. The title Sanzang refers to his mission to seek the Sanzangjing, or the "Three Collections of (Buddhist) Scriptures". In some English translations of Journey to the West, the title is rendered as Tripitaka which is the original Sanskrit term for the Sanzangjing. After he became a monk, he visited famous Buddhist teachers all over the world. He was determined to study Buddhism in Tianzhu because he felt that different schools had different theories and could hardly reach conclusions. Zhenguan nineteen years, he returned to Chang'an and organized the translation of the scriptures. He translated seventy-five scriptures, 1335 volumes. The translated Buddhist sutras are often translated literally and carefully, enriching the ancient Chinese culture and preserving precious classics for the ancient Indian Buddhism, known as the "New Translation". He compiled Chengwei Consciousness Theory and argued that I am the subject and law are only the realization of knowledge and are not real. Only by breaking away from "self-persistence" and "law-persistence", can we achieve the realm of "Buddha-formation". The Western Regions of the Great Tang Dynasty is an important material for the study of ancient history and geography of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Central Asia. The stories of Wu Changling in Yuan Dynasty and Wu Cheng'en in Ming Dynasty are all derived from his stories. The four pictures below show Wu's conception of Journey to the West. Below is the portrait of Master monk Tang painted by Mr. Liu Xiaotong. On the west wall is a brief introduction to Buddhism together with which, Christianity and Islam, called the three major religions of the world. It was founded by the King of Kapilovi in ancient India about 2553. His surname is Gautama and his name is Siddhartha. Because he belongs to the Sakyamuni people call him Sakyamuni, which means Sakyamuni saints. Buddhists also honor him as Sakyamuni Buddha. Buddhism is the education of Buddha breaking ignorance and worries with Prajna's wisdom and self-evidences, and achieving the way of Bodhisattva instead of empty preaching or even superstition. Buddhism is widely spread in many countries in Asia and has made an indelible contribution to the spread of world historical culture. Since the introduction of Buddhism spread in China in the Eastern Han Dynasty, it has been the mainstream of Chinese people for more than a thousand years. During this period, through the improvement and promotion of the great virtues in generations of eminent monks, many emperors, prime ministers and well-educated Confucians had joined this ranks, and finally made Buddhism penetrate into all sectors of society. The philosophical part of Buddhism combines with Confucianism and Taoism, stirs up and blends with , forming one of the mainstreams of Chinese culture, radiating brilliant light for Chinese culture. The four pictures below show monk Tang in folklore. Below is monk Tang's map of westward travel. The works on the east and west walls imply monk Tang’s seeking to achieve the true sutra.
The exhibits on the walls are some scriptures translated by Master monk Tang donated by Liu Xiao Ling Tong together with precious rubbings and precious articles reflecting monk Tang's life, learning scriptures, traveling westward and holy religious orders.
Last but not least, I’d like to invite all of you to read the inscription by the President of the National Buddhist Association: “the national backbone is everlasting, and the Buddhist leaders look forward to the future!” which gives a high evaluation to Master monk Tang.