The Origin of Jade Buddha Temple
During the Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty, Master Hui Gen
from Mount Putuo decided to follow the foot-step of Master Xuan
Zang's journey west to India. In 1882, Master Hui Gen bid farewell
to his fellow monks and travelled alone with great compassion to
the wondrous historic sites of Buddhism.
Master Hui Gen began his homage from Mount Wutai and Emei,
then he trudged through mountains of Sichuan Province to
Tibet. Finally after enduring such hardship, he reached Buddha's
During Master Hui Gen's journey back to China, He passed
by Burma. When he saw the precious Burmese jades and its
masterful skilled carvers, He was determined to bring the local
jade Buddha statues back to China to enshrine and worship.
With the permission from the Myanmar King and the donations
from overseas Chinese, Master Hui Gen personally designed and
selected the materials for the statues. He hired the most skillful
carvers from Myanmar and produced five gracious and dignified
jade Buddha statues of different sizes.
In 1899, Master Hui Gen brought the jade statues back to China
with excitement. He passed by Shanghai on his way back to the
Mount Putuo. At that time, the Buddhists there along with the
Minister of Railroad of Qing Dynasty asked the Master to leave the
jade Buddha statue in Shanghai for worship.
Since Master Hui Gen felt connected to Shanghai, he left
two Buddha statues, one sitting and one recumbent pose in
Shanghai. He was hoping that the statues would preach the
teaching of the Buddha. The remaining three statues were
escorted back to Mount Putuo by the Master.
The family of Sheng gathered all kinds of people in Shanghai to
build a hut to place the jade Buddha statues beside the Song Hu
Railway. This was the first location of the Jade Buddha Temple.
In 1900, Master Hui Gen thought that consecrating the Jade
Buddha in the hut wasn't a permanent arrangement. Therefore
he raised fund for a second location in Jiangwan Town,
Shanghai, to commence the propagation of the Buddha
Dharma. Mater Hui Gen was the first abbot of the Jade Buddha
Soon after, Master Hui Gen passed away and Master Ben Zhao
inherited the lineage. Master Ben Zhao obtained the Qianlong
Tripitaka from Qing Dynasty in Beijing. The Tripitaka collection
was stored in the Jade Buddha Temple for safekeeping and
Until now, the Tripitaka is still perfectly preserved and kept in
the Jade Buddha Temple. So far, Triratna (the Buddha, Dharma,
Sangha) have stayed together in the temple.
Master Hong Fa and Master Ke Cheng became Master Ben Zhao's
successors. Master Ke Cheng raised money and constructed
the third location of Jade Buddha Temple. It took ten years to
complete the new temple, which is the present location of Jade
Since Master Ke Cheng also inherited the lineage from Lin Ji sect
of the Zen Buddhism, the new temple was renamed as the "Jade
Buddha Zen Temple".
Afterwards, the Jade Buddha Temple has experienced the
abbot of many masters over a hundred year. Nowadays, under
the leadership of the present abbot, Master Jue Xing, the
Jade Buddha Zen Temple has seen further promotion and
With more and more followers coming to the temple for the past
over a hundred years, the space became rather overcrowded
and many halls and firefighting needed to be repaired and
upgraded. Thus in July 2014, the temple officially launched
"Shanghai Jade Buddha Zen Temple eliminate public safety
hazards protection restoration project".
During the restoration, the parallel relocation of the Grand Hall
was one of the most remarkable projects undertaken. In 16 days,
the Grand Hall was moved 30.66 meters northward, and elevated
for 1.05 meters high, which created much more needed space for
visitors and followers.
In the early 2018, the restoration of the front yard of the temple
was almost finished. The newly completed hall replicates the
design from Jiangnan's Ming and Qing Dynasty style.
The Jade Buddha Zen Temple has set up meditation classes and
other Zen exercise related programs regularly. The temple also
holds more than 30 ceremonies every year, such as Shui-Lu rites,
Ullambana, and Tisarana-gamana.
In an effort to follow the ideals that culture builds temple and
education flourishes it, the temple also founded the Juequn
Center for the Studies of Humanistic Buddhism, Chanting
Orchestra, Calligraphy, Art institution and other cultural
Meanwhile, the temple has edited and published many articles,
journals and essays on the topic regarding Buddhist philosophy.
The temple has also held culture lectures, exhibitions of
calligraphy and art monthly.
The temple also dedicates to the charitable social impact, such
as the Shanghai Jue Qun Cultural & Education Trust, which
focuses on the traditional Chinese cultural inheritance and
development and social charity projects.
Special introduction to the temple's new media center, which
uses articles, images, audios, videos and other different media
to promote and broadcast Buddhist philosophy and knowledge
New Media Center 「Platemaking」
The Juequn Center for the Studies of Humanistic Buddhism 「Proofread」
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