A ceremony to inaugurate the statue of King Tran Nhan Tong was held at Yen Tu historical site in the northern province of Quang Ninh on December 3.
The ceremony was organized by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Central Committee and the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province to celebrate the 705th anniversary of the attainment of Nirvana by King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong, founder of Vietnam Zen Buddhism.
According to Venerable Thich Thanh Quyet, Head of the Quang Ninh Buddhist Sangha Executive Board, the statue weighs more than 138 ton and is 12.6 meters high. It is the first statue on Yen Tu Mountain at a height of 1000 meters above sea level. The terrain is difficult here and weather conditions are also severe. All the year round it is wet and cloudy over the mountain.
Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308) was the third king of the Tran Dynasty to practice and propagate Buddhism. He founded the Truc Lam School of Zen 700 years ago. After defeating Mongol invaders, the king abdicated his throne at the age of 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain. During that time, the King-Monk worked to unify different sects of Vietnamese Buddhism into Vietnamese Zen Buddhism.
The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Central Committee has long observed the day King Tran Nhan Tong attained Nirvana (first day of the 11th lunar month) as a national anniversary day for Vietnamese Buddhism.