Nan Hua Buddist Temple, Bronkhorstspruit.

On a blustery Spring day, my wife and I decided to head off to
visit the Nan Hua Temple in Bronkhorstspruit.
And unlikely place for a temple of this sort.
The Temple is the South African home
of the Humanistic Buddhist order, Fo Guang Shan.
There are branches in Malawi, Tanzania and Congo.
One of the many “dogs” that guard the entrances to the Temples
and other areas of the property.
They loom large, and I am certain that they do an
excellent job of warding of evil in all forms.
The main gate…very imposing against the glaring afternoon sunlight
The first building that we came upon was this Shrine.
Although pictures can be taken outside, many of the interiors
cannot be photographed
Dozens of these statues adorn the walls.
Although entrance is free,”donations” are excepted.
Money is welcomed, of course,
but if that is not an option, then an offering of kind is acceptable.
This can be in the form of food,
or perhaps even offering to teach a skill set like first aid
The buildings are all brightly painted
and they certainly stand out against the dusty landscape.
There are bells that hang from every roof
and the constant ringing is soothing rather than intrusive.
One of the many covered walkways that connect the buildings
These paintings can be found along the walkways.
Some look like draft sketches
while others have been completed in vibrant colours
My wife, testing the wind strength.
I was unable to take pictures inside.
This was one of several hanging in the doorway.
Temple tours are conducted free of charge.
Nan Hua is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday,
The front of the Guest house visitors can find an Armillary Sphere,
which can be adjusted to and longitude or latitude
and used for either observation or demonstration.
This particular one is cast in bronze and is supported by dragons.
On either side of the sphere are Bodhisattva’s…
Guan Shr Yin Pu Sa in Chinese.
In Tibetan culture they are seen as male,
while the Chinese see them as female.
Good principals to live by.
So simple in the wording, but often harder to put into practice.Photo:
The undercover, open air dining area.
There is an inside dining hall,
but when we were there a large group as well as the staff were utilizing it

A vegetarian meal is served to visitors on a Sunday (depending on numbers).
What I thought was chicken turned out to be Tofu.
Not something I normally eat as it seems to have the consistency of an eraser.
Here, it was so delicious that I went back for more.
The meal costs R30.00 per person and is great value for money.

There is a small, but interesting museum just off the curio shop.
The current exhibition is of  One-Stroke Calligraphy,
by Venerable master Hsing Yun.

This “white” Protea arrangement is simple, elegant and stunning

Part of a  sculpture, called “A heaven on Earth,”
which has to be seen to be appreciated.
Carved from a single piece of ivory, this flawless sculpture
needs extensive planning and concentration

If only we could all strive to live our lives according to these practices.

Just so that you remember that you are actually in South Africa.
An interesting juxtaposition of styles.
This is the interior of the Pu Hsien Shrine
that can be found on the floor above the dining hall.
The White Elephant signifies spiritual practice through
strength, stamina, diligence and firm resolve.
It has six tusks,that represent, the hell, animal,hungry ghost,
human, angry god and heavenly realms…
the six realms of existence.
The Ten Great Vows are inscribed on a scroll
that the Bodhisattva holds in his left hand.
His right hand points towards the sky as a gesture of compassion.
His readiness to spring into action to help those in need
in reflected in the fact that his right foot is resting on a lotus
being held in the elephant’s trunk.
To find out more about the Temple and the Order,
please visit their web site:
 Friendly and efficient staff who have a passion for their customers.
Based on my experiences over the past few months
and in five different cities, I highly recommend them.
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