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The mysteries of Bổ Đà Pagoda

(BGO) - Tourists and pilgrims always love to discover and adore mysteries. And Bổ Đà Pagoda in Bac Giang province is a whole world of mysteries!

The first mystery is the name "Bổ Đà"

“Bổ” and “Đà”, these two words are combined into the word “Bổ Đà”. If you look into the Sanskrit sounds and scripts - the original language of Buddhism, you will find the word "Pô ta lan ka". "Lan ka", as in the national name of the island nation of Sri Lanka, it is the Guanyin ("Sri" is a beautiful word to honor someone, similar to "Duc" (Mr), "Ngai" (Mr), "Thanh" (Saint). And "Pô ta" means "place of worship", "place of religious practice", ie: "Dao Trang". The combination of the words "Pô ta lan ka", so, means "Dao Trang Quan Am".

The mysteries, Bổ Đà Pagoda, Bac Giang province, Tourists and pilgrims, whole world of mysteries, Sanskrit sounds and scripts, place of worship, Tower Garden, powerful strategic position, sightseeing and worshiping

A corner of Bo Da Pagoda.

So the correct pronunciation of "Pô ta" will become " Bo đa". Adding the "?" and "-" signs to suit the identity and polyphonic nature of Vietnamese, " Bô đa" will become "Bổ Đà". That is the Vietnameseization and also the "short reading" - according to the rules of "pronunciation" in Vietnamese - of "Pô ta lan ka", ie "Dao Trang Quan Am"!

The next discovery when going to Bổ Đà Pagoda is the age of the pagoda. About the creation date of the earth-wood work as seen and named as " Bổ Đà Pagoda" today, the text documents and vestiges - knowledge, relics here clearly indicate it was the Le Dynasty! Specifically, the first year of Bao Thai of King Le Du Tong, or 1720 in the calendar!

However, that is only the date when To Nhu Thi Pham Kim Hung organised the restoration of a pre-existing religious-religious architectural complex! So when is "before" from? - In the middle of Phuong Hoang Mountain, where Bổ Đà - Chính Pagoda (Tứ Ân Pagoda) is located at the foot of the mountain, there is still another pagoda called Cao Pagoda, but also known as Bổ Đà Pagoda!

The documents on this Cao - Bổ Đà Pagoda show that this is an architecture to worship the Guanyin, which was once just a small house with earthen walls and thatched roof, dating back to the Ly Dynasty! And in 1720, when To Nhu Thi Pham Kim Hung restored and embellished the whole Bổ Đà Pagoda relic site, the first thing she made was to restore and embellish this original Pô ta lan ka – Dao Trang Quan Am.

Outside the Tower Garden of Bổ Đà - Tứ Ân Pagoda, there is also Am Tam Duc, which is the place to honor Tri Duc, Doan Duc, and An Duc of the Buddha. Legend has it that when To Nhu Thi Pham Kim Hung passed away, this place was turned into a place of worship to her!

Around Bổ Đà - Tứ Ân Pagoda, there is still a majestic and lively system of relic sites - mainly temples worshiping "Thach Linh Than Tuong", also called "General Thach " - a very sacred god, similar to Saint Giong - Phu Dong Thien Vuong.

If the places worshiping Saint Giong - Phu Dong Thien Vuong have been classified as "special national relic site", Thach Linh Than Tuong is considered a legendary relic from the time when the Hung Kings founded the country, so this date may also be of the Bổ Đà Pagoda relic site itself.

Discovering the date of the place where tourists and pilgrims will come, this spring, it is not only 300 years of the Le Dynasty, but a thousand years of the Ly Dynasty and thousands of the time of the Hung Kings. It is so interesting, as if we discover more values about the position of the land with Bổ Đà Pagoda.Near Phuong Hoang Mountain, archaeologists have found a series of traces of brick tombs, dating back to the time of Sui and Tang dynasties (6th to 9th centuries).

The mysteries, Bổ Đà Pagoda, Bac Giang province, Tourists and pilgrims, whole world of mysteries, Sanskrit sounds and scripts, place of worship, Tower Garden, powerful strategic position, sightseeing and worshiping

A panoramic view of Bo Da Pagoda from above.

This signaled that this land, from the period of being dominated by the dynasties from the North, was not only the center of residence, but also a place where the headquarters of an administrative capital was located. By the time of the Ly Dynasty (11th century), when Ly Thuong Kiet built the "Cau River defense line" on the other side of the river to prevent and fight the invaders, on this side, around the area where Bổ Đà Pagoda sits today, was the key and fierce battlefield of the war against the Song.

In the North of Phuong Hoang Mountain, there are also quite clear traces of the citadel of the Mac Dynasty, during the war between the Northern and Southern dynasties (16th century)... They show that Bổ Đà Pagoda was placed in the middle of a land that was not only ancient but also had a powerful strategic position, gathering the values of an area with beautiful landscape and special military significance and advantages.

This spring, especially during the pagoda festival (the tenth day of the first lunar month) and the founder death anniversary (the 17th day of the second lunar month), the Bổ Đà relic complex and especially the Bổ Đà – Tứ Ân Pagoda, with the Tower Garden (nearly 8,000sq.m), 87 stupas and 18 unbuilt graves, a 31,000sq.m luxuriant garden, brilliant strange flowers, a majestic 13,000sq.m interior area, 39 precious wooden Buddha statues, and nearly 2,000 woodblocks, promise more interesting and important discoveries, when beckoning people to come for sightseeing and worshiping.

Writer Dao Ngoc Du
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The mysteries, Bổ Đà Pagoda, Bac Giang province, Tourists and pilgrims, whole world of mysteries, Sanskrit sounds and scripts, place of worship, Tower Garden, powerful strategic position, sightseeing and worshiping
 
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