|Respect: A monk strikes a bronze bell to celebrate the inauguration of the Southern Truc Lam Zen Monastery on Saturday. — File Photo
CAN THO (VNS) — The Can Tho Buddhist Shangha on Saturday opened the Southern Truc Lam Zen Monastery after a year of construction.
The monastery, covering a four-hectare area in My Khanh Commune, Phong Dien District in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta province of Can Tho, was built in the Vietnamese style of architecture with ornate detailing inspired by the Ly and Tran dynasties.
Alongside the main worshipping hall, the monastery also features a nine-storey tower, a 500-seat grand meeting hall.
It is now the biggest monastery in the Mekong Delta.
The monastery follows the Truc Lam Yen Tu, a Vietnamese Zen sect, which was founded by King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), who was also the founder of the Truc Lam Monastery 700 years ago.
After defeating Mongol invaders, the king renounced his throne at the age of 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain, which is located in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh.
During the period, the King-Monk worked to unify different sects of Vietnamese Buddhism into Vietnamese Zen Buddhism.
The Southern Truc Lam Zen Monastery was built using a total capital of VND145 billion (about US$7 million), which was mainly donated by Buddhist followers from across the country. — VNS