The Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas at Golden Dragon Mountain (金龙山万佛寺), Grandeur Beyond Words

By Kooi F. Lim, the Buddhist Channel, 19 November 2023

Rawang, Selangor (Malaysia) -- The Temple of the Ten Thousand Buddhas at Golden Dragon Mountain (金龙山万佛寺) stands as one of Malaysia's largest and finest temples, exuding grandeur amidst the tranquillity of the Rawang countryside in Selangor.

Nestled in the outskirts, away from the city's hustle and bustle, the temple provides a serene environment for meditation, surrounded by misty mornings and cool nights, embraced by mountains, streams and forests.

Covering a vast area of 20 acres, with only 4 acres developed, the temple reflects the foresight of the abbot monk, Venerable Shi Wén Tōng (文通法師), in not only establishing a site to honour the greatness of Chinese Buddhism, but to also preserving green spaces.

The vast complex contains multitudes of rich symbolism, such as cultured details of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Arahats and deities as well as stories of the Enlightened One embedded in frescoes, carvings, statues, shrines, architecture and calligraphy. The aim for all this is to educate visitors on the endless light of Dharma, as vast as all the sands found in the Ganges (river in India).

Many people assume that this temple is an affiliate to the established ones from Taiwan, such as Dharma Drum Mountain (法鼓山) or Fo Guang Shan (佛光山). Truth be told that this is entirely a Malaysian Chinese initiative, managed by local Buddhists. The Temple of the Ten Thousand Buddhas at Golden Dragon Mountain is a testimony to the ingenuity of Malaysian Buddhists of Chinese descent, whose remarkable feat not only showcased the grandeur of Chinese Buddhism, but also fostered an alignment with Buddha Nature by embedding the complex within the surrounding of pristine nature itself.

Through its Dharma and Nature theme, the Temple of the Ten Thousand Buddhas at Golden Dragon Mountain has established itself as one of the Buddhist wonders of the world, worthy of worship and pilgrimage.

The following breaks down main sections of this vast complex for first time visitors.

The Main Hall

The main hall boasts a tall and broad appearance, modelled after the double-eaves veranda roof design, a most distinctive and recognizable style in traditional Chinese construction. Dragon motifs adorn the two ends of the main roof ridge, with the Dharma wheel and two deer in the middle symbolizing a strong and prosperous nation, the brilliance of Buddha's wisdom, and the perpetual turning of the Dharma wheel. Fourteen sculptural frescoes depicting the life of Sakyamuni Buddha and eighteen Lohan statues adorn the temple's sides.

The Buddha Shrine hosts fiberglass sculptures of the Three Buddhas, surrounded by detailed murals illustrating Sakyamuni's teachings. In the center is Sakyamuni Buddha, with Ananda and Maha Kasyapa as his main disciples, and Manjushri and Samantabhadra (普賢菩薩) as his two great bodhisattvas.

On the left side is the Medicine Buddha, with the two great Bodhisattvas, namely Suryaprabha (日光菩薩 - Riguang Pusa) or "Radiance of the Sun" and Chandraprabha (月光菩薩 - Yueguang Pusa) or "Radiance of the Moon".

On the right side is Amitabha Buddha of the Western Paradise, with the two great Bodhisattvas of Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin) and Mahasthamaprapta (大势至菩萨). Each embodies endless compassion and wisdom.

The hall's interior features eight sculptural murals by local craftsmen vividly and meticulously carving the teachings of Sakyamuni of the Lotus Sutra. The absence of pillars in the temple gives it a solemn and dignified look, a rare architectural design in Malaysia in 1997. The hall accommodates about 500 people for meditation, used for various Buddhist activities.

Three main doors are adorned with "pairs of calligraphic art" by renowned Chinese Buddhist elders, conveying wishes for fulfilment and solemnity. The calligraphies express deep respect and admiration for Buddhism's Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha).

A calligraphy was contributed by Venerable Kai-Chen, a widely-recognized Buddhist teacher from Taiwan, who initiated the compilation of the "Encyclopedia of Chinese Buddhism". Another calligraphy is from Venerable Yan Pei, a rare Buddhist master who was a learned scholar well versed in Sutra, Vinaya and Abhidharma.

The calligraphy of Master Bó Yuán (伯圓長老), honored as the "Three Greatest Masters of Poetry, Calligraphy, and Painting" in Malaysia, adorns the main door of the 大雄寶殿 (Da Xiong Bao Dian) or Main Hall. Venerable Shi Wén Tōng was a disciple of Master Bó Yuán, and this honour reflects his love and respect of the elder Venerable.

The main hall's Burmese teak wood doors, lacquer-free and adorned with Tibetan carvings, stand out. Venerable Shi Wén Tōng 's admiration for golden light, inspired by the Sutra of Infinite Life, connects the site to the Purple Cloud Temple on Golden Dragon Mountain.

Temple of Heavenly Kings or Maitreya Hall

Built in 2013, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, or Maitreya Hall, houses a statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva and depictions of the Four Heavenly Kings. Wooden statues of Avalokiteshvara and Kṣitigarbha highlight their roles and attributes.

In the centre of the hall, Maitreya Bodhisattva is flanked by statues of the Four Heavenly Kings (四天王): Dhritarashtra (持国天王 – Chi guo tian wang), Virudhaka (增长天王 – Zeng zhang tian wang), Virupaksha (广目天王 – Guang mu tian wang), and Vaisravana (多闻天王 – Duo wen tian wang). Inside the temple are also 33 wooden statues of Avalokiteshvara and Kṣitigarbha, the Bodhisattva of the Great Vow.

Tripitaka Hall

The Sutra Collection Building, established simultaneously with the Mahamudra Hall, houses a comprehensive collection of Buddhist and traditional texts, fostering knowledge and study. These include not only Buddhist texts but also traditional texts useful for the study of internal medicine, such as the Great Tibetan Sutra, general Buddhist texts, Buddhist books, periodicals, magazines, dictionaries, analogies, and traditional texts.

Guan Yin Shrine or Great Compassion Hall

Completed in 2018, the Great Compassion Hall features an imposing statue of Avalokiteshvara and the depiction of the Great Compassion Mantra (大悲咒, Da Bei Zhou). This imposing and spacious building has two floors, the first of which is the Great Hall of Compassion, with the multi-purpose auditorium "Miaoyin Court" on the ground floor. On September 16, 2018, Miaoyin Mansion was officially opened.

Outside the hall, there is a seated statue of Sakyamuni Buddha and stone statues of the Eighteen Luohan. The plaque of the Hall of Great Compassion was inscribed by the late Master Song Shun, whose calligraphy is bold and powerful. Inside the Hall of Great Compassion is a 20-foot-tall statue of Avalokiteshvara, the thousand-handed, thousand-eyed Bodhisattva. The golden body of the Bodhisattva is brilliant, shining, solemn and in deep meditation.

At the back of the Thousand-Handed Guanyin statue is a display of 84 human-sized statues representing the eighty-four sections of the Great Compassion Mantra. Each of these 84 sections represents one of the 84,000 different afflictions or sufferings that sentient beings may experience. These afflictions are rooted in the Buddhist concept of the 84,000 defilements that cloud the mind and hinder enlightenment.

Seedling the Future

Venerable Shi Wén Tōng  is aware that a great Buddhist complex, no matter how opulently adorned, is only as rich as the wealth of its Dharma based human capital. As such, he has put in efforts to establish programmes to develop young Buddhists, to draw them into Dharma practice.

Initiatives like the Children and Youth Life Camps engage the younger generation in Buddhist teachings through religious lessons, motivational programs, and exciting games, despite limited publicity, these camps have seen significant growth.

Visionary Land Development

Venerable Shi Wén Tōng 's vision for land acquisition and gradual development materialized with the establishment of various halls and ceremonies. The ongoing goal is to build more dormitories, accommodating the increasing number of believers and ensuring the temple's utility and practicality is sustained.

Conclusion, a Vision of Great Light and Sustainability

The Temple of the Ten Thousand Buddhas at Golden Dragon Mountain, situated in the tranquil Rawang countryside of Selangor, stands as one of Malaysia's largest and grandest temples, covering 20 acres with a mindful allocation of green spaces. Its architecture is a symbolic testimony to the pinnacle of ancient Chinese architecture, featuring dragon motifs and sculptural frescoes while embodying the essence of Buddhism. The temple is also adorned with calligraphy by renowned Malaysian and overseas Buddhist elders. The temple includes the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Tripitaka Hall housing a comprehensive collection of Buddhist and traditional texts, and the Great Compassion Hall, with an imposing 20-foot-tall statue of Avalokiteshvara and displays 84 statues representing the sections of the Great Compassion Mantra. Initiatives like Children and Youth Life Camps engage the younger generation in Buddhist teachings, reflecting Venerable Shi Wén Tōng 's vision for gradual development, ensuring the temple's grandeur will continue to shine long into the future.
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: