Vietnam Famous Ancient Pagodas
XÁ LỢI (THE BUDDHA`S RELIC) PAGODA
Xá Lợi Pagoda is located on the area of more than 2,500 m2 at 48 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan , District 3. HoChiMinh, side gate at Sư Thiện Chiếu St., constructed on 05 August 31,1956 by the South Vietnam Buddhism Study Association (Hội Phật học Nam Việt) with the offering contribution of the Provincial Association of 21 Southern provinces then to worship the Buddha relics, so people are familiar to the name as the Xa Loi (Relics) Pagoda. Then, the Most Venerable Khánh Anh, South Vietnam Sangha Dharma Head, Witness Masters of the South Vietnam Buddhism, named as it is for everybody heart’s harmony. The construction is under the supervision of two engineers Dư Ngọc Ánh and Hà Tố Thuận and according to the architects Trần Văn Đường and Đỗ Bá Vinh‘s drawings on, inaugurated on the days: 2,3,4 May,1958.
This Pagoda with new architectural design of 2 storeys;. includes the main hall, the auditorium, the seven-storey bell tower (32m high), the library, the reading room, the monastery and the funreral parlour… The main hall at upstair is for worship with the Buddha Sakyamuni statue enshrined here, an artistic work of pink man-made stone 6.5m high, carved in 1958 by the sculptor Lê Văn Mậu. Especiallly, on the upper, right in front of the Buddha statue, is enshrined the Buddha Relics Gem which was offered to the Vietnam Buddhism by Sir Narada Mahathera, the Abbot of the Vajirarama, in Sri Lanka. Around the wall above is the series of 15 paintings depicting the remarkable events in Buddha’s life from His Birth until Great Decease by Nguyen Van Long Artist. The lower floor is the auditorium and also for exibhition.
The Pagoda is then the headquarter office of Vietnam Buddhist Congregration (Office II ) from establishment in May 11-1981. By 1993, the office was moved to Quang Duc Monastery. The Most Venerable Thich Thien Hao , Vice President for Executive Council of the VN Buddhist Sangha , the head of HCM Buddhist Executive Council, former Institute Master of the pagoda.
Xá Lợi Pagoda is closely related to the history of the South VN Buddhist Association founded in 1951 in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City now) by Sir Chánh Trí Mai Thọ Truyền with its branches in almost every town of South VN, published Từ Quang magazine as its regular forum for Buddhist information
Sir Mai Tho Truyền, Dharma name Chánh Trí born in 1905 in Ben Tre , he was a civil servant as a Secretary of state in charge of culture . In 1950 he established the South VN Buddhist Association and launch the campage to build the Xa Loi Pagoda.
In the book of Xa Loi Pagoda history – traditional culture ( Religion Publishers , 2003), author Thich Dong Bon said pagoda worships an old Pali Sutra written in leaves 1,000 years ago on the 45cm long , 6cm across, by the Sri Lankan Sangha donated to Master Thich Quang Lien , and he has donated to the South VN Buddhist Dharma Association to make the evidence of permanent Dharma Treasuse residence in this country . The sutra is about the written words of the Buddha when He began turning the Dharma wheel in the city of Benares. The sutras delivered to Xa Loi Pagoda on 16 June 1957. In the side of pagoda has a Bodhi tree extracted from the original branch in Sri Lanka, originated by the Prince of Asoka King brought from the Buddhism land and the grown on 27 Dec 1958 ( Mau Tuat 17-11 years ).
Xa Loi Pagoda with its important position in the VN Buddhist Sanga and its considerable contribution to the Dharma propagation since its early days, receives a large number of Buddhist delegations and vististors all year round. Especially at the Sunday weekly there are sections of Dharma Preach and Dharma Teaching for everybody
The HCMC People’s Committee recognized Pagoda as the historical site – the city of culture
Phone number: (08) 3930 0114.