Enshrined Pagoda and Buddha’s

-King Ashoka’s Pagoda Special Exhibition

Venue:Chongsheng Hall in the Nanjing Municipal

On November 22, 2008, the King Ashoka’s Pagoda Inlaid with Seven Buddhist Treasures was slowly lifted out of an iron container under the Jinling Changgan Temple of the Northern Song dynasty after it was buried there 997 years ago, and appeared before the people of the 21st century. Of all the King Ashoka’s Pagodas so far discovered, this one boasts the largest size, the most exquisite production, and the most complicated craftsmanship. It represents the highest craftsmanship of the Northern Song dynasty as each picture, each pattern, and each statue on the pagoda is true to life and treated with great care. Its tall and vigorous posture, elegant patterns, and gorgeous golden light from the seven Buddhist treasures are absolutely breathtaking. More importantly, enshrined in the pagoda are “induction sarira”, a skull bone of the Buddha, gold guan (inner coffin), silver guo (outer coffin), and many other precious sacrificial objects. The pagoda’s unearthing has aroused strong repercussions among cultural and religious circles both at home and abroad, making its title, “Pagoda King”, well-deserved. The King Ashoka’s Pagoda at the Jinling Changgan Temple also has the most inscriptions and thus is of the greatest historical value compared to other King Ashoka’s Pagodas so far discovered. These inscriptions truthfully record the construction process of the Jinling Changgan Temple and the pagoda, as well as the process of enshrining the sarira during the Dazhong Xiangfu period of the Northern Song dynasty (1008-1016). They provide valuable first-hand materials for studying the relationship between Buddhism and society in the Northern Song dynasty, and the gold and silver inlay technique. To satisfy the wish of people, from all walks of life, for a look of the pagoda, the Nanjing Municipal Museum organized the “Enshrined Pagoda and Buddha’s Light: King Ashoka’s Pagoda Special Exhibition”. The exhibition is well-designed and quite impressive. It has not only created a solemn and beautiful artistic atmosphere, but also highlighted the sacred nature of the No.1 Buddha pagoda in the world.

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