Virudhaka Zeng Zhang Tianwang Juyongguan Beijing Picture

Virudhaka Zeng Zhang Tianwang Juyongguan Great Wall Beijing

Virūḍhaka (Sanskrit: विरूढक, Japanese: 増長天 Zōjō-ten, Vietnamese: 增長天 Tăng Trưởng Thiên, Chinese: 増長天 Zengchangtian) is one of the Four Heavenly Kings and an important figure in Buddhist mythology. He is part of the Buddhist Pantheon of Esoteric Buddhism.[1]

His name means “He who enlarges” or “Patron of Growth”, and he is the guardian of the South.[link]

增長天王(梵文:विरूढक,轉寫:Vidradhaka,毘樓勒叉),是佛教的護法神,『四大天王』之一、『二十諸天』中的第五天王。「增長」意為能傳令眾生,增長善根,護持佛法,故名增長天王。住須彌山琉璃埵,身為青色,穿甲冑,負責守護南瞻部洲。以鳩槃荼、薜荔多等為增長天王的部眾。在中國民間信仰中,手握寶劍,為的是保護佛法,不受侵犯。在日本,是手持刀或戟等。 [link]


In the middle of the Juyongguan (pass) and Guangou Valley, there is the Cloud Platform gate, also known as the "Crossing Street Tower". It was built in 1342 during the Yuan Dynasty, and made of white marble with a height of 9.5 metres (31 ft). There were originally three white pagodas atop the platform, giving it the name of "Crossing Street Tower". They were each destroyed in the transitional period between the late Yuan and early Ming Dynasties. In the early Ming Dynasty, a Buddhist Tai'an Temple hall was built on the platform. It was destroyed in 1702 during the Qing Dynasty.

The Yuan era Cloud Platform remains. Around the top of the platform are elements such as stone balustrades and a watch post. They are remain in the original Yuan style. On the platform are carvings of Buddhist figures and symbols, as well as Buddhist texts written in six languages and six scripts:

Chinese language in Chinese characters
Sanskrit in Lanydza script
Sanskrit in 'Phags-pa script
Mongolian language in 'Phags-pa script
Tangut language in Tangut script
Tibetan language in Tibetan script
Uyghur language in Old Uyghur script


In the middle of the platform's base there is an arched portal - where people, carts, horsemen, and palanquins could pass through. Many images of people and animals were carved inside the arched gate tunnel and around the portal. [link]


为通往塞北的门户。关城始建于明洪武元年(1368),经宣德三年(1428)、景泰六年(1455)等多次修葺,是明代边墙上的一处重要关口。云台坐落在关城之内,是元代过街塔的基座。过街塔始建于元至正二年(1342),至正五年(1345)落成。塔北有寺,名永明寺。现塔已不存,仅存基座。基座部分(即云台)用大理石砌筑而成,保存有精美的元代石雕。1961年中华人民共和国国务院公布为全国重点文物保护单位。 [link]

David McBride Photography
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