It will be displayed soon in the central Quang Binh Province before it is exhibited in other northern localities.
A solemn ceremony to welcome the statue will be organised at Hoang Phuc Pagoda in Quảng Bình at 9am on March 27. The statue will be displayed there till April 5, while various worship ceremonies for national peace and security and lectures on Buddhism and peace will be hosted by senior Buddhist monks Thich Duc Thien and Thich Chan Quang.
The “Jade Buddha for Peace” statue has been carved from gemstone-quality jade called Polar Pride, discovered in north Canada in 2000. Ian Green, an Australian Buddhist, had invited artisans from Nepal, India and Thailand to carve the statue in Thailand.
The statue is modelled on the Siddhartha Gautama Buddha statue inside the Mahabodhi Stupa in India’s Bodh Gaya. It stands 2.7m tall, weigh four tonnes and sits on a 1.4m-high solid alabaster throne. Its size and beauty make it a wonder of the world.
The statue was first displayed in various pagodas in Vietnam such as in the central city of Danng, Ba Ria Vung Tau, HCM City and Dong Thap in the south, besides the northern Bac Ninh Province in 2009.
It was then moved to Australia before it toured the United States (2010), Europe (2011) and Asia (2012).
According to monk Thich Duc Thien, head of Hoang Phuc Pagoda in the central Quang Binh Province, the statue was first displayed in Vietnam as “the Vietnamese people love peace and believe in Buddhism, and thanks to the great support of Vietnamese enterprises in Australia.”
It’s reported that after being brought to Vietnam for the second time this year, the Jade Buddha will be permanently installed in Australia.
Hoang Phuc is an ancient pagoda associated with King Monk Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the third King of the Tran Dynasty (1226-1400) and the founder of the Truc Lam Zen Buddhist sect in Vietnam.
The pagoda was called Tri Kien (or Kinh Thien) at first and is located in Thuan Trach Village in Le Thuy District’s My Thuy Commune.
King Monk Tran Nhan Tong gave lessons on Buddhism at the pagoda in 1301.
According to historical books, lords Nguyen Hoang and Nguyen Phuc Chu renovated the pagoda in the 17th century.
“The renovation marked the period when our ancestors expanded the territory to the south,” Thien said.
On the occasion of welcoming the jade statue, the pagoda would distribute a “holy paper” containing the teachings of King Monk Tran Nhan Tong, Thien said.
Organisers will also prepare up to 10,000 vegetarian food portions each day for tourists flocking to the pagoda during the time.
While local localities have upgraded local infrastructure facilities for tourists, the organisers are encouraging local households to offer overnight home-stay services to tourists. Those who would like to stay longer in the locality could travel to Dong Hoi City for hostel and hotel accommodation, Thien said.