Showing posts with label Venerable Ming Shan (释明山). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Venerable Ming Shan (释明山). Show all posts
Soh: Chinese original shared by John Tan below, a teacher he followed in his earlier years. I will post the ChatGPT translation here first.

**Biography of the Venerable Abbot Shi Mingshan of Wat Tham Khao Rup Chang, Songkhla, Thailand**


Wat Tham Khao Rup Chang, Songkhla, Thailand
High Monk Venerable Abbot Shi Mingshan's Biography

Distance: One hour south by car from Hat Yai to Songkhla Mountain Cave. Upon arrival, it is truly a remarkable and exciting discovery—a mysterious place known as Guan Yin Bodhisattva's Dragon and Elephant Mountain Monastery. This monastery is built along a rubber plantation, ascending a slope, and offers an awe-inspiring sight of Bodh Gaya, filling visitors with great joy. The monastery has three levels: the first level is a large Chinese temple hall that can accommodate 5,000 people, with mural paintings on the walls and dragon columns carved from stone. The second level is a Thai-style hall, featuring a traditional pointed Thai Buddha statue with exquisite and diverse patterns on the walls, creating a realm that seems to transport visitors to another dimension, each level offering many surprises.

Construction of the Mahavira Hall and the Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda Monument (Buddhist Calendar 2547 Autumn)

The founder and abbot of Guan Yin Bodhisattva's Dragon and Elephant Mountain Monastery in Patong District, Songkhla Province, Thailand, was the venerable Venerable Shi Mingshan, born Chen Zhuangzheng, from Fengmei Township, Jieyang County, Chaozhou, Guangdong Province, China. As a child, he followed his father to Singapore. At the age of nine, he lost his father, and his elder brother died from overwork and illness. His younger brother also died tragically, leaving the family in a state of hardship, solely relying on the venerable master for support. After many years of struggle, his career began to improve. However, at the age of 38, realizing the impermanence of life, he was awakened to the many difficulties of life and the boundless sea of suffering. He resolved to seek liberation and, in 1967, took the high Chan master Venerable Hui Seng as his teacher. After devoutly serving the Buddha, he practiced asceticism in the deep mountains of Patong in southern Thailand, overcoming numerous hardships to build the monastery.

**Biography of Venerable Shi Mingshan**

- 1967: At the age of 44, he took the high Chan master Venerable Hui Seng as his teacher.
- 1968: Pilgrimage to India (41 people, both lay and monastic), first offering his finger to the Buddha at Bodh Gaya.
- 1970: Dragging Buddha (offering pan sanga), invited to sit in a small flat-bottomed dragon boat, with a carved Buddha statue on the boat, slowly dragged by dozens of male and female devotees for over ten kilometers to the Patong market.
- 1971: Dragging Buddha (offering pan sanga).
- 1972: Second offering of his finger to the Buddha at Bodh Gaya in India (April, alone).
- 1973: Completion of Guan Yin Bodhisattva and Patriarch statues; closed retreat for one year on February 15, practicing the Bhadra Samadhi method for three months. During the retreat, inspired by the vision of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, he vowed to cut off his ears as an offering to Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
- 1974: One-year closed retreat. Worshiping the Lotus Sutra.
- 1976: Created a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha (over 40 feet high), completed after two years. Traveled to Bangkok to arrange a bronze factory, ordered statues of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, Skanda Bodhisattva, Vidyadhara Bodhisattva, and the Three Saints of the West.
- 1977: Built a four-story guesthouse.
- 1982: Third offering of his finger to the Buddha at Bodh Gaya in India. Built a three-story building, with the lower level serving as a dining hall and kitchen.
- 1983: Traveled to Taiwan for a 53-day ordination retreat. Built a paifang-style gate and constructed a wall, with two guarding elephants sculpted at the gate.
- 1984: Built a dragon-headed boat moored on the river, with a gold-bodied statue of the Four-faced Heavenly King on the boat.
- 1985: Sculpted two seven-headed dragons, ten feet long, on both sides of the road leading up to the Great Cave. Built a two-story building, named 'Long Hall,' for entertaining Dharma masters, and constructed several kutis for disciples' practice and workers' accommodation.
- 1986: Held the opening ceremony of Guan Yin Bodhisattva's Dragon and Elephant Cave on the sixth day of the eleventh lunar month and distributed rice, clothing, and other supplies to nearby impoverished families.
- 1987: In April, led over ten disciples on a pilgrimage to the Four Great Mountains in China and the Potala Palace in Tibet. In June, installed five-colored lights in the cave, transforming it into a 'miniature Guilin.' Developed another cave, named 'Arhat Cave.'
- 1988: Ordered a wooden statue of Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Made a second pilgrimage to Putuo Mountain in China.
- 1989: Ordered a large bell and drum, weighing 1,000 kilograms each, from Taiwan. Held the first almsgiving ceremony for 300 poor families on the first day of the ninth lunar month (now held annually), distributing rice, sugar, oil, and clothing.
- 1991: Held a Water and Land Dharma Assembly (beginning on the first day of the eleventh lunar month, lasting fifteen days).
- 1992: Completed the large paifang of the Dragon and Elephant Cave, two kilometers from the cave entrance.
- 1993: Expanded and widened the area in front of the Great Cave. Built a platform over 3,000 square feet on the river, with the lower level serving as a guest reception hall, completed in nine months. Sculpted a thirty-foot-long reclining Buddha in 'miniature Guilin' in March. The Great Buddha on both sides enshrines wooden statues of the Four Heavenly Kings with gold bodies. Held the consecration ceremony for the Great Paifang and reclining Buddha in June, chanting the 'Wonderful Dharma Lotus Sutra' for 49 days. Received government approval for constructing a formal temple certificate on September 17. The government approved building an orphanage within the Dragon and Elephant Monastery, simultaneously starting to adopt orphans and provide education.
- 1994: Constructed the orphanage.
- 1998: Groundbreaking for the Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda in July.
- 2001: Built a three-story 'Long Hall' near the Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda.
- 2002: Offered alms to 1,200 monks.
- 2004: Built a 'Long Hall' by the river.
- 2005: Held the ceremony for the jewel of the Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda. Built a 'Long Hall' near the main gate.
- 2006: Held the consecration ceremony for the Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda on June 6.
- 2010: On November 21, Buddhist Calendar 2553, the venerable passed away in the monastery at the age of 88, having been a monk for 44 years.

泰国【宋卡】龙象山寺 Wat Tham Khao Rup Chang 高僧释明山方丈年谱!181?filename=%25E8%25A7%2582%25E4%25B8%2596%25E9%259F%25B3%25E8%258F%25A9%25E8%2590%25A8%25EF%25BC%2588%25E9%2599%2588%25E6%2598%259F%25EF%25BC%2589.swf

兴建大雄宝殿万佛塔碑 (佛历二千五百四十七秋立)



1967 44
闭关一年。 拜法华经。
塑造释迦牟尼佛圣像(高约四十多英尺),二年后完成。 前往曼谷筹铜厂,订造一尊地藏王菩萨,一尊韦陀菩萨,一尊明王菩萨及西方三圣。
第三次在印度菩提迦耶燃指供佛。 建一座三层楼高楼房,楼下作为斋堂与厨房。
前往台湾受增壹戒为期五十三天。 建造牌楼式大门及修筑围墙,门前塑造两只守门大象。
四月率领十余信徒往中国四大名山及西藏布达拉宫朝圣山。 六月装山五色灯使黑洞变成小小桂林 开发另一洞称为罗汉洞
订造木刻观音菩萨圣像。 二度往中国普陀山。
台湾订造一口重壹仟公斤的大钟及大鼓。 农历九月初一日举行第一次布施给三百户穷人家(现今每年一次)米,糖油衣服等。
加宽加扩大大洞前的场地,在河上驳建一座面积三千余平方尺的平台,楼下作为接待宾客的客厅,工程费九个月完成。 三月在小小桂林塑建一尊长约三十英尺的卧佛。 大佛两则供奉木雕装金身的四大天王圣像。 六月为大牌楼及卧佛开光典礼,恭诵妙法莲华经法会四十九天。 九月十七日政府来信批准申请建造正式寺庙的证书。 政府批准于龙象寺内建孤儿院,同时开始收养孤儿并给于教育。 1994 建筑孤儿院。 1998 七月万佛宝塔动土。
万佛宝塔宝珠仪式。 近大门建筑一座隆堂
1121 佛历二五五三年,长老圆寂于寺院中。享年八十八岁,僧蜡四十四载。