Vietnam commemorates founder of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism

Thanh Nien News, Dec 30, 2009

Hanoi, Vietnam -- The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha celebrated last week the 701 st anniversary of the attainment of Nirvana of King Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the founder of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism.

In the northern province of Quang Ninh, a ceremony was held to start the construction of a copper statue of the King on the holy Yen Tu Mountain, where he is said to have become enlightened.

According to the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, King Tran Nhan Tong attained Nirvana on the first of the 11th lunar month, which fell on December 16 this year.

The statue, expected to be completed by next December, will stand 9.9 meters and weigh around 100 tons, resting on a base more than two meters high.

Tourists can visit the place by taking a newly built road leading from the An Ky Sinh statue to Dong Pagoda.

The executive board of the Quang Ninh Province Buddhist Sangha is spending more than VND80 billion (US$4.3 million) raised from different sources.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plans to coordinate with relevant ministries and the Quang Ninh Province People’s Committee to ask UNESCO to recognize the King as a world cultural figure.