Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery

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Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
光明山普觉禅寺
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Temple 45.JPG
The Venerable Hong Choon Memorial Hall of the temple
Monastery information
Full nameKong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
OrderMahayana
Established1920
People
Founder(s)Zhuan Dao
AbbotKwang Sheng
Important associated figuresHong Choon, Long Gen, Yan Pei, Sui Kim
Site
LocationBishan, Singapore
Coordinates1°21′41.04″N 103°50′9.6″E / 1.3614000°N 103.836000°E / 1.3614000; 103.836000Coordinates: 1°21′41.04″N 103°50′9.6″E / 1.3614000°N 103.836000°E / 1.3614000; 103.836000
Public accessyes
Websitekmspks.org
Buddhism

Dharma Wheel.svg

Basic terms

People

Schools

Practices

The Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (also the Bright Hill Pujue Chan Monastery) (simplified Chinese: 光明山普觉禅寺; traditional Chinese: 光明山普覺禪寺; pinyin: Guāngmíng Shān Pǔjué Chán Sì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Kong-bîng-san-phóo-kak-sī), is a Buddhist temple located at Bright Hill Road in Bishan, Singapore.[1] Built by Zhuan Dao in the early 20th century to propagate Buddhism and to provide lodging for monks, this monastery is the largest Buddhist temple in Singapore.[2]

History[change | change source]

Between 1920 and 1921, the Monastery was built on the a plot of land in Thomson Road that was donated by Tay Woo Seng, a Chinese businessmen. It was the first traditional Chinese forest monastery to be built in Singapore. Its name was taken from Kong Meng San ("Bright Hill", formerly "Hai Nan Mountain"), the place where the monastery is located at. The original temple consisted of a two-storey building, a shrine room, a visitors' room and living quarters.

In 1980, the temple began to build Evergreen Bright Hill Home, which opened in 1983,[3] with the donation of S$5.3 million from Hong Choon's followers, He Hui Zhong's family's company.

The monastery opened the Buddhist College of Singapore on 13 September 2006. As the country's first Buddhist college, it offers a four-year bachelor's degree in Buddhism. Lessons were held within the temple until a new $35 million five-storey building is completed.

On 21 June 2008, the temple raised over $1 million for the reconstruction of schools destroyed in the 12 May Sichuan earthquake, by organising the Great Compassion; Great Aspiration Charity Show.

Present day[change | change source]

Premises[change | change source]

Celebrations at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See
Traditional ancestral worship at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery

The modern day monastery premises consist of prayer halls,[4] crematorium and columbarium[5] which contains over 200,000 niches,[6] bell and drum towers, and an outdoor statue of Avalokitesvara[7] stands between the Dharma Hall and the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas.[8] The Hong Choon Memorial Hall of the temple was built in 2004. Another notable feature of the monastery is a Bodhi Tree[9] which was brought from the sacred Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The tree in Sri Lanka was brought from Bodh Gaya, India where Shakyamuni Buddha was said to have attained enlightenment.

The large bronze Buddha statue, located in the temple's Hall of No Form, is one of Asia's largest Buddha statue. It has a height of 13.8 m (45 ft) and it weighs 55,000 kg (121,000 lb).[10].

Practices, charities and events[change | change source]

The monastery celebrates Vesak Day every year[11] with a variety of ceremonies such as "Bathing the Buddha", and "Three-Steps-One-Bow".[12] Other major events include the Qingming Festival.[13] As the East Asian traditional practice of burning incense and joss materials remain despite repeated pleas and discouragement, costlier alternatives appeared which include the installation of a new four-storey, $1 million eco-friendly burner in 2014.Zaccheus, Melody (14 April 2014). "Eco-friendly burner friendly to temple's neighbours, too". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 January 2015.

When Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew died in 2015,[14] the monastery conducted the primary Buddhist prayer service on 26 March 2015 together with the Singapore Buddhist Federation,[15][16][17]

References[change | change source]

  1. "About Page of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery on Google+". Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  2. "Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery". Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  3. "BRIGHT HILL EVERGREEN HOME". OCTANE AW. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  4. "NGHỆ THUẬT KIẾN TRÚC PHẬT GIÁO SINGAPORE". 17 June 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. Heng, Linette. "Columbarium gives women's ashes to wrong family". Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  6. "EACH URN HAS UNIQUE NUMBER". The New Paper. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  7. "Five Beautiful Buddhist Temples in Singapore". NileGuide.com. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  8. Cancela, Jorge. "Singapore Life (V). Religions of Singapore". Retrieved 22 December 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. "Ficus religiosa: The Sacred Fig". photoplusbyritasim. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  10. "Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery". Retrieved 22 December 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. Tham, Colin (7 May 2014). "Kong Meng San Phor Kark See lights up for Vesak Day". The New Paper. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  12. Chen, Johnny. "A Bright Hill lit by lanterns". Ghetto Singapore. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  13. Zaccheus, Melody (1 April 2013). "Clearer skies, roads for temple's neighbours". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  14. "Remembering Lee Kuan Yew: Mourning period". 24 March 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  15. "Memorial Service: Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew". Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  16. "Memorial Prayer Service – Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew". Ramblings of a Monk. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  17. Neo, Isaac. "Over 3,000 turn up at memorial service by Buddhist group". Retrieved 6 May 2015.

External links[change | change source]