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Abbot's Room

The Abbot’s Room of Lingyin Temple is located on the east of the Hall of Samgharama. The Abbot’s Room, also called Fang Zhang, Han Zhang, Zheng Tang or Tang Tou, is where the abbot lives and deals with affairs of the temple. The Chinese word “Fang Zhang” was originally used to describe the size of an Indian monk’s room since rooms at that time were all square (fang), with both the height and the length of the rooms one zhang (approximately 3.33m). It was therefore called “Fang Zhang” Room (The Abbot’s Room). When it was introduced to China, “Fang Zhang” Room became the room of the governor of a temple.

Another function of the Abbot’s Room is that it is also a place for lectures and formal meetings as well as other important affairs of the temple. So the Abbot’s Room is also the Abbot’s office. The office is also called “Yi Bo Liao”. It is not a big department in the temple, with three main staff in it: one is in charge of recording the account of money that is sent to the Abbot’s Room from the storeroom, and he is called “Yin Qian Ci Bo”; another one, in charge of the utensils which are daily used or used on special occasions, is called “Zhuang Yan Yi Bo”; and the last one takes charge in reception and the clothes that the abbot wears on different occasions, and he is called “Shi Zhe”, the attendant.

 

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