Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hock Soon Temple (福顺宫) Part 2 - Incense Filled Hall

Location: Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia

According to various online sources, the temple's origin is unknown, but what is known is that it was the gathering place for local Hokkiens during the colonial era. Three Hokkiens, usually businessmen and famous men, would be selected by the locals to act as judge to settle fights and problems.

Coils of burning incense praying for the welfare of the mass.

A Buddhist temple would not be complete without the familiar scent and scene of burning incense. Coils upon coils of incense hung high in the ceiling right outside of the temple halls, praying for Buddha's blessings. Unlike the unadorned cloister, the temple itself is ornately decorated with carvings of dragons, as well as an occasional inscription, coiling around the columns and pillars. The exterior wall is covered with painted legends to inspire, and windows with stylized frames to match the decoration.

The temple walls and columns are ornately decorated with carvings and inscriptions. The windows are a work of art by themselves.

Within this small area jammed an immense treasure of art and cultural history of the Buddhist Chinese in Malaysia.

Does this sea of red reminds you of Chinese New Year?

Talking a casual stroll through the temple revealed a rich cultural history to me, all jammed within the small confinement. I never thought all these could be so fascinating to me, since I had been in and out of temples since I was a kid. Seeing those inscriptions and curling dragons brought a new sense of wonder to this city mouse, accompanied by a sense of serenity that I seldom felt in the pressured life of a city.

Looking at the temple from a few steps away; I did not notice the mini stone lion until I uploaded this photo. If you are into religion, then you will notice that 斗母宫 is meant for Taoist instead of Buddhist.

A relief of a tigress looking over her cub adorn this side of the wall. 

I particularly love the inscription to the left.

Of all the inscriptions that I came across, there is none which I loved more than this:

"顺天守法见吾不拜何妨"
"As long as you live by the law, I (Buddha) would not mind that you do not worship me"

This is the exact response to a zealot's chant to worship his God and spread his own warped idea in His name. Whichever higher authority we all answer to, we are only required to do good deeds in His name, and everything else is secondary to that.




Environment:         Riverside; colonial era Buddhist architecture
Suitable for:            A walk down memory lane, and for prayers and blessings.




View Teluk Intan in a larger map




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