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Chuang Yen Monastery - USA

Tuesday 9 February 2016, by Buddhachannel USA

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All the versions of this article: [English] [中文]



Chuang-yen Monastery is a Chinese Pure Land Buddhist temple/monastery in Putnam County, New York, near the town of Lake Carmel. Its Great Buddha Hall houses the largest Buddha statue (Vairocana Buddha) in the United States. The complex also includes a major library and research center, primarily for East Asian religious studies. The monastery was built and is maintained by the Buddhist Association of the United States on land donated by C. T. Shen. His autobiography, My Memoir is published by The Institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions and is distributed free at the monastery.

The monastery grounds contain several prayer halls, dormitories, a dining hall, a memorial area, and a library. Most of the buildings are built in an imitation of Tang dynasty architecture, and the main hall contains a 37-foot statue of the Buddha Vairocana, encircled by 10,000 small statues of the Buddha on a lotus terrace. The larger Buddha statue is said to be the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

They hold also seminars and summer camps in both the English and Chinese languages.



The monastery is home to more than one library collection.

Reportedly, the Woo Ju Memorial Library has a collection of "2,500 books in Chinese, 1,000 books in English", —not mentioning collections in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, or other languages. Some websites report the size of the collection at 73,764 books. Until 2006, the library was home to the collections and offices of the Institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions—but it is unclear if this now operates out of its offices in New York City, or has ceased to exist, as its collections were reportedly donated to the University of Virginia in 2006. At present, the website for the Institute is blank or empty.
<br<The library is named after the wife of C.T. Shen.



The Great Buddha Hall has a design similar to that of the Kuan-Yin Hall - the exterior design of both buildings are in the style of architecture of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD) and both are constructed without internal pillars supporting the ceiling. This results in a spacious, unobstructed interior that reflects the spirit of Chuang Yen Monastery.

The building is 84 feet tall, contains 24,000 square feet of space and can accommodate 2,000 people in the main hall. Inside the Hall is a 37-foot statue of the Buddha Vairocana - the largest Buddha statue in the Western hemisphere. Encircling the large statue are 10,000 small statues of the Buddha on a lotus terrace.

Address: 2020, Route 301 Carmel, NY 10512
Tel: 845-225-1819 845-228-4288
Fax: 845-225-0063
EMail: info@baus.org
Website: www.baus.org




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