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The Golden Monk of Zhangzhou

CHINA | Wednesday, 17 December 2008 | Views [1818] | Comments [2]

We went to see The Golden Monk today. Dad has been meaning to take me there since I arrived in Zhangzhou, and this morning we finally went.

The Golden Monk is located in one of the modern Buddhist temples in the city of Zhangzhou. The monk apparently died when he was 116 and because he was very well respected throughout the community, his body was preserved, dried and dipped in gold.

It was really quite extraordinary to see. If you didn't know it was human remains dipped in gold, you'd just think it was a golden statue. Once you know the story behind it and you consider it...it's a little bit strange. I have never heard of any other monks body being dipped in gold and I would've thought that would've been quite an extravagance for such a low profile Buddhist temple. I would really like to know the exact reason for dipping him in gold.

Sadly, all of the info about him in the temple is written in Chinese and there seems to be nothing about him on the internet, so everything I know about him, I know from Dad and June and the few photos hanging on the wall of the temple room where the monks body is kept.

The photos I've taken probably tell a better story than I can, so have a look at the photos in the Golden Monk folder. :)

This is a photo OF a photo. It's hanging on the wall in the temple in Zhangzhou where the gold monk is - it's a photo of the monks remains after it had been dried. Ew.

This is a photo OF a photo. It's hanging on the wall in the temple in Zhangzhou where the gold monk is - it's a photo of the monks remains after it had been dried. Ew.

Comments

1

I thought the same thing - the gold is extravagant for a buddhist temple... or I would think any religious temple... Religious places filled with gold and marble, etc, annoy me. all that money spent on the place when it could go to something USEFUL, not just something that looks nice...

  !!*JEN*!*YEAH*!! Dec 18, 2008 12:15 AM

2

That's exactly how I feel. Religious ignorance has caused a lot of people to go hungry over the years.

  mazystar Dec 18, 2008 2:55 PM

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