Visiting Longmen Cave

By Xiao Ming

PureInsight | October 21, 2008

[] There are three famous stone caves in China: Mogao Cave, Longmen Cave, and Yungang Cave. Mogao Cave is located at Dunhuang City, Gansu Province; Yungang Cave at Datong City, Shanxi Province; and Longmen Cave is 13 kilometers south of Luoyang City, Henan Province.

If one takes a bus, it is less than 30 minutes from Luoyang City to Longmen Cave. The scenic areas at Longmen Cave include East Mountain Cave, West Mountain Cave, Xiangshan Temple, and Baiyuan.

Work began on Longmen Cave in 493 AD, around the time when Emperor Xiaowen of the North Wei Dynasty moved the capital to Luoyang. It took a total of more than 400 years to finish the cave, and work carried on through many dynasties, including the East Wei, West Wei, North Qi, Sui, Tang, North Song, etc. It is estimated that there are in total 2,345 grottos in East Mountain Cave and West Mountain Cave, holding more than 100,000 Buddha statues.

Most grottos are found on East Mountain and West Mountain. There is a river between these mountains. These two mountains and the open space between forms the shape of a giant gate.

After arriving at Longmen Cave, I was deeply saddened to see the damage that had been done to the caves during the Cultural Revolution. Most of the Buddha statues there were damaged.

Most of the caves began with an opening dug into the side of a cliff. Inside the caves, there are statues of Buddha, Bodhisattvas, and other Gods. There are also buildings, pavilions, flying heavenly beauties, and other divine scenes. In those ancient times, after the cultivators entered the mountains, many of them dug a cave in a cliff-side and sat in meditation in there. After reaching certain levels, they could see some scenes. Some of them were good at sculpture, and so they carved statues in the caves. However, during the Cultural Revolution, many of the caves were damaged and the statues desecrated. Others were stolen and sold. The Chinese communist party (CCP) thus damaged the traditional Chinese culture.

Standing on the platform on the east side of the river, the biggest Buddha statue one can see is in Fengxian Temple. Fengxian Temple is an open-air temple. Walking down the stairs from the platform, one can reach the place of worship. It is said that Empress Wu Zetian once led royal officials to worship Buddha here.

Between the worshiping place and the Buddha statue is a circular stone in the middle of the river, on which there used to be a lotus flower pedestal.

I was surprised to hear that the former head of the CCP, Jiang Zemin, who ruthlessly attacked Falun Dafa, once came here to worship. It is said that after Jiang committed so many evil deeds, he started transcribing Buddha scriptures to try to avoid ending up in hell. Isn’t it too late?! He could have done fewer bad deeds in the past.

There are three main scenic spots in West Mountain Cave: Ten-Thousand Buddha Cave, Lotus Flower Cave, and Mo Cliff.

After arriving at Xiangshan Temple, we went into the Arhat Hall. From the introductions to these Arhats, I learned that some Arhats obtained Buddha Fa early and some obtained Buddha Fa late. The earlier ones introduced Buddha Fa to the later ones. This is the history, but isn’t it similar to today when Dafa practitioners introduce Dafa to other people?

June 30, 2008

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