Monk and Pagoda

( )

Updated: 2012-05-21

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 0

According to legend, a monk roamed around the world and arrived at the nine peaks in the Taipingxingguo Period of the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960~1127).

He fell in love with Sheshan Mountain as it was covered with dense trees and bamboos. For this reason, he settled down here. Local people asked his religious name. He answered "Xiu", so people called him Monk Xiu.

Monk Xiu practiced Zen in the Huayan Nunnery at the southern foot of East Sheshan Mountain. One day, he suddenly heard the deafening sound of tidewater and saw Guan Yin riding a huge turtle and rising from the surging tides and then flying away. Xiu renamed Huayan Nunnery into Chaoyin (literally "Tide Sound") Nunnery and had the idea of spending his whole life building a Buddhist pagoda.

He surveyed the whole Sheshan Mountain. Between East Sheshan Mountain and West Sheshan Mountain, he built a makeshift hut with local materials. He went out to beg alms and raise funds in the daytime.

At night, he practiced Zen in the hut. After several years, he started building the pagoda. Eight years later, (AD 976~984), a 20m high seven-storey octagonal brick-wood Buddhist pagoda was built up. The exhausted Xiu was pleased. In order to get Buddhist relic for pagoda top, Monk Xiu decided to die for Buddhism.

He burnt himself in the fire. Monk Xiu has died, but the pagoda named after him stands more than one thousand years. Due to the fires, its wooden structure was partially damaged, but after renovation, it is still as graceful as before. The stories of Monk Xiu were narrated generation after generation and praised by scholars in all dynasties.

Copyright © China Daily All Rights Reserved, Constructed by China Daily
Official Website of the Sheshan National Tourist Resort, Shanghai