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Tran 1 Khanh Tran Professor Gallagher REL101 25 April 2017 Chua Tu Hieu Temple, Buffalo, New York. If you are a Buddhist or simply want a quiet place to meditate and find inner peace in Buffalo, New York, Chua Tu Hieu temple is the place you should visit. Located at 647 Fillmore Ave, Chua Tu Hieu has served the local Vietnamese Buddhist community since 1998. Like any other Buddhist sacred place, the principles of the temple are to promote cultural awareness, Buddhist teaching, and to enable all people, regardless of present life condition, race or religion to feel welcome when visiting the temple. Chua Tu Hieu temple is a spiritual oasis where people can gather and celebrate important occasions. In 1975, when the communist party of the North Vietnam won the Vietnam war and took over the South Vietnam, working in the pro-U.S. government and military, millions of Vietnamese people were treated as traitors by the new government. Since then, millions of them have had to leave their country to the United States for refuge. As in other cities in the U.S., some Vietnamese came to Buffalo and began to build the life there. Though it was extremely difficult when all assets were left in Vietnam, they have built a closely-knit community as well as tried to maintain the Vietnamese culture and traditional values. When the life began to be stable, the people here started to find their spiritual life. In 1998, the community raised fund to build a temple and the Buffalo Police Department's former Eighth Precinct Headquarter was bought and transformed into Chua Tu Hieu. However, it was not until 2014, when the breathtaking outdoor
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Tran 2 courtyard and garden were put in the place next door, that it truly came to the attention of the Broadway-Fillmore community. As a Vietnamese Buddhist temple, Chua Tu Hieu has architectural features of the Mahayana Buddhism, one of three main existing branches of Buddhism that has flourished in Vietnam since the sixth century (Condominas). Four stone pillars are the first things we see when we come to the temple. They were commissioned to be carved in Vietnam and then shipped to Buffalo. A sentence of a Buddhist poem was carved in each pillar. The statue of Guan Yin stands outstandingly on the courtyard; under her are several guardian lions, which have an extremely special religious role in the Vietnamese tradition. In India, some gods travel by riding on a lion, such as the Manjushri Bodhisattva. There are some religious figures even appearing in a lion form. Legend has it that at the birth of the Gautama Buddha, he also emitted a powerful roar of a lion.
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  • Spring '17
  • Prof. A. Gallagher

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