Ly Quoc Su Pagoda
Location: Ly Quoc Su Pagoda is at 50 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Characteristic: Ly Quoc Su Pagoda worships a Buddhist Monk of the Ly Dynasty (the 10th - 12th
centuries). This Monk, whose full name was Nguyen Chi Thanh, was born
on 1066 in Dien Xa Village, Gia Vien District in Ninh Binh Province in
the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong.
In 1077, at the age of 11, Nguyen Chi Thanh began
practicing for the Buddhist monkhood and was taught by Tu Dao Hanh, a
well-known monk. As the legend says, Monk Tu Dao Hanh was erudite in
Buddhism and excellent in healing. He admired and respected Nguyen Chi
Thanh's talent and virtue. In 1138, in his seventies, Monk Nguyen Chi
Thanh cured King Ly Than Tong of a disease that many famous doctors had
failed to do. For his respectful virtue and talent, he was given the
title Ly Quoc Su by the King, which meant Great Monk and Merit Teacher
of the nation. |
The King provided Ly Quoc Su with a serene
residential quarter, which was situated next to Bao Thien Pagoda in the
centre of Thang Long Capital, on a side of Luc Thuy Lake (Hoan Kiem Lake
of today). This pagoda had a 12-storey tower. Apart from preaching
Buddhist sutra for the monks and nuns, Ly Quoc Su taught medicine,
prescription of medicines and demotic scripts to many people in the
temple and surrounding areas. Skilled in bronze casting, Ly Quoc Su also
trained many bronze casting craftsmen.
That is why when he died
at the age of 75 at Giao Thuy Pagoda in Nam Dinh in 1141, King Ly Anh
Tong (holding power from 1138 to 1175) had a temple erected right on the
ground of the residential quarter where Ly Quoc Su had lived.
Throughout the country there are many pagodas worshipping both Buddha
and Ly Quoc Su, who is considered the Saint of the bronze casting craft,
such as Giao Thuy Pagoda in Nam Dinh and Keo Pagoda in Thai Binh.
Quoc Su Pagoda was rehabilitated and redecorated many times with the
biggest restoration being made in 1954. The cultural and historical
treasure of this temple still remains Ly Quoc Su's statue, Buddha
statues and statues of Monk Tu Dao Hanh and his mother and Monk Giac
Hai. There is also the precious bell of Tu Chung, cast in the 19th
century and a stone stele with inscriptions made in 1855 by Le Dinh
Duyen, a famous man. The name of Ly Quoc Su was given to a 244m-long
street running from Hang Bong to Nha Tho streets.