Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of a Buddha Amoghasiddhi, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. This big statue symbolises the harmonious connection between man and nature, people and religion.
The name, Tian Tan Buddha, comes from its base: it is a model of the Altar of Heaven or Earthly Mount of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
It is one of the five large Buddha statues in China, but Tian Tan one has a great peculiarity: while all the others face the South, this one faces the North.
The Buddha statue sits on a lotus throne on top of a three-platform altar an it is surrounded by six smaller bronze statues known as “The Offering of the Six Devas”, offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha. Each one of the offerings symbolises a different value: charity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are necessary to enter into nirvana.
The Tian Tan Buddha appears serene and dignified. The position of the two hands have a strong meaning often represented in Buddhism religion: right hand is raised, representing the removal of affliction, while left hand rests on the lap in a gesture of giving dhana.
Tian Tan Buddha as a swastika symbol carved on the breast, and this could be misunderstood by any Western tourist: swastica has been used for thousands of years as a sign for good luck, protection, as a materialisation of life and the changing seasons of the year.
The word swastika stems from the Sanskrit and meant “being happy”: sign of constant rotation, as suns and seasons, in a circular movement which represents rebirth.
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