Hall of Guru

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Hall of Guru
Hongfa Temple, Shenzhen 016.jpg
The Guru Hall at Hongfa Temple, in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.
Traditional Chinese 殿
Simplified Chinese 殿
Literal meaning Hall of Guru
The Guru Hall at Baiyun Temple, in Ningxiang County, Hunan, China.

The Hall of Guru or Guru Hall (simplified Chinese: 祖师殿; traditional Chinese: 祖師殿; pinyin: Zǔshīdiàn), also known as the Founder's Hall, is the most important annex halls in Chinese Buddhist temples for enshrining masters of various Buddhism schools.[1] It is encountered throughout East Asia, including in some Japanese Buddhist Kaisandos (開山堂). The Hall of Guru is generally situated to the west of the Mahavira Hall. Chan Buddhist temples usually have the Hall of Guru, which is followed by other schools' temples. Therefore three statues are always enshrined in the Guru Hall, namely the founder of the school, the senior monk who make significant contributions to the establishment of the school and the builder of the temple. Generally the Guru Hall in Chan Buddhism temples has Bodhidharma enshrined in the middle, the 6th Master Huineng's (638-713) statue on the left and Master Baizhang Huaihai's (720-814) statue on the right. Patriarch Bodhidharma and Damo (Chinese: 达摩) for short, from south of ancient India, was the original ancestor of Chan Buddhism. The 6th Master Dajian Huineng was the actual founder of Chan Buddhism. After him, the Chan Buddhism in ancient China was almost changed and had far-reaching influence on Chinese traditional culture. Baizhang Huaihai was the third generation disciple of Huineng and his main achievements included: applying Chan Buddhism into practice, creating a set of regulations for Chan Buddhist temples and contributing to the steady development of Chan Buddhism.[2][3]


  1. Zi Yan (2012-08-01). Famous Temples in China. Beijing: Time Publishing and Media Co., Ltd. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-7-5461-3146-7. 
  2. Wei Ran (2012-06-01). Buddhist Buildings. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press. ISBN 9787112142880. 
  3. Han Xin (2006-04-01). Well-Known Temples of China. Shanghai: The Eastern Publishing Co. Ltd. ISBN 7506024772. 

Further reading

  • Wang Guixiang (2016-06-17). 《中国汉传佛教建筑史——佛寺的建造、分布与寺院格局、建筑类型及其变迁》 [The History of Chinese Buddhist Temples] (in 中文). Beijing: Tsinghua University Press. ISBN 9787302427056. 
  • Zhang Yuhuan (2014-06-01). 《图解中国佛教建筑、寺院系列》 (in 中文). Beijing: Contemporary China Publishing House. ISBN 9787515401188. 

External links

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