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Shifang Yuan

Shifang Yuan is a vegetarian restaurant of Lingyin Temple, situated in front of the Hall of Heavenly Kings on the right side. Above the front door hangs a plaque carved with “Shifang Yuan”. Inside the restaurant, about 2 meters in front of the entrance places an altar, with a tablet on it written “The Maharishi-Kimnara-King Bodhisattva”. Given the belief that this Bodhisattva is in charge of kitchens in Buddhism and also stories about him in China, all sorts of temples mostly inhabited by Han Chinese worship him in the temple kitchens for blessings and protection. The interior of Shifang Yuan is divided into two parts, with tables and chairs lining on each side. Beside the front door is the cashier.

With the purpose of making Buddha Dharma known by the public through vegetarian diet, Lingying Temple built up such a vegetarian restaurant and named it “Shifang Yuan”, meaning a gathering place for people from all directions. Upon the door is a couplet that reads “Guests from both south and north gather together to have vegetarian diet in the temple; Karma brings guests from both east and west together to cultivate the unsurpassed awakening mind”.

 

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