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Festive season: Roadtrip to Buddhist temple in Bronkhorstspruit

By: Natasha Archary

 

Just over an hour (70km) outside of Johannesburg is the largest Buddhist temple in Africa. The Nan Hua temple situated in Bronkhorstspruit is a spiritual haven for anyone who needs a tranquil retreat.

Offering a meditation retreat centre the Chinese Buddhist temple will have you feeling like you’re in the East Asian country.

The temple gives visitors an immersive experience and a leisurely stroll through the temple and grounds.

Construction of the temple began in October 1992 and 95% of the materials used are from South Africa.

There are other Nan Hua led temples and centres throughout South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania and Congo.

The non-profit religious organisation operates on donations, something called dana in Buddhism. Generousity is an intrinsic part of the 2500-year Buddhism principle.

Triple Gem

The temple is home to the Triple Gem, which means Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. There are 3 towering Buddha statues inside the main temple, each representing one of the gems.

Gems that symbolise the spiritual life beyond the bounds of this world. Buddhism is a faith that was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) more than 2,500 years ago in India.

Buddhists believe that the human life is one of suffering, and that meditation, spiritual and physical labor, and good behavior are the ways to achieve enlightenment, or nirvana.

 

What to do when you’re inside the temple:

Respect the temple and the people who are present and be quiet. Before entering the temple remove your shoes and put your phone away.

There is no photography allowed inside the temple. Should you not wish to partake in the meditation or pray, you are free to just walk around the temple to sight-see.

If you do wish to partake, you may take 3 incense sticks and light them. After praying before the triple gem Buddhas you may leave the incense sticks in a holder before each one.

You can then proceed to pick up a lesson from the glass bowl in the foyer, sit and meditate or pray.

The following principles form the foundation of the Buddhism faith:

  1. Unity in thoughts
  2. Equal rights for all members of the community
  3. Equal financial standing for all members
  4. Promotion and the sharing of common interests.
  5. Being kind and courteous to each other in words.
  6. Considerations and goodwill to others.

The temple is open to the public from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10h00 to 14h00 and entrance is free.

Due to Covid-19 protocols, all visitors will have to wear a mask and no groups exceeding 10 people will be allowed.

There is a coffee shop for visitors to make use of that serves beverages and light meals. The temple is definitely worth a road trip this festive season, if you need to get away for the day and discover something new.

 

 

Written by: Natasha



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