Xingshan Temple

Xingshan Temple (The Temple of Great Benevolence) is located in Xinfeng Park, 2.5 kilometers south of Xi'an.

Built at the end of the third century AD., the temple became the birthplace of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, when Indian monks came to China and lived and preached the scripture in the temple. Monk Amogha (705-774) was the most famous of these.

Monk Amogha was the sixth ancestor of the True-word Esoteric Buddhism. He came to China with his uncle when he was a child. In the middle of the Tang Dynasty, after he returned home, he studied the scriptures of Esoteric Buddhism. In 746 AD he revisited China, living in the Temple of Great Benevolence and translating 77 volumes of the Esoteric Buddhist scriptures into Chinese. The Tang followed Amogha's preaching; he performed rituals and recited the morning and evening sutras in the palace, was appointed to an important post, and had full access to the palace. At that time Buddhism was practiced throughout the country. A prime minister even changed his residence into a temple, ordering his sister to leave home and become a nun. The disciples recruited by the Temple of Great Benevolence once reached more than 200,000.

In the middle of the ninth century, the Tang Emperor Wu Zong attempted to suppress Buddhism, As a result, the Temple of Great Benevolence and many other temples in China were destroyed, and all monks and nuns were forced to resume secular life.

The existing Xingshan Temple (Temple of Great Benevolence) is a creation og the Ming or Qing Dynasties. The temple consists of the hall of Buddha's Warrior Attendants, the Treasure Hall of Great Heroes and a few other halls. The sandalwood Buddha sculpture with a thousand hands and a thousand eyes was carved in the Song Dynasty.