Linngu Temple: My journey to my father’s birthplace, June 2011

by janita on October 6, 2011
About Janita

I was determined to go to China, Nanjing to find my late father Khan Ling’s birthplace. According to the story he told me, he was born in a Buddhist Temple in the Golden Purple Mountain, northeast of Nanjing City.

The journey began in June 2011. My younger sister Fong and I,  accompanied by our cousin from Shanghai, took a train from Shanghai to Nanjing.  It was supposed to be raining all week. On the day of our departure, the sun came out and the skies were blue. I took it as a good sign for our journey.

We took a taxi and drove up to the Purple Golden Mountain. As we passed the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, I remembered that my papa told me that the temple where he was born was near his father’s burial place. My grandfather had bought a few acres of land next to the temple and was buried there.  In 1925 when the government decided to build a memorial for the Republic China founder, Sun Yat-Sen’s mausoleum, they moved my grandfather’s grave to somewhere unknown.

There is only one ancient Buddhist temple “Linngu temple” next to the Mausoleum. According to the story told by my papa, there were giant statues standing at the inside entrance of the temple. Papa used to be frightened to walk past these temple guards, with their scary red and black faces. Other things we found in the temple are the 500-year-old stone water well and a small running creek.

At the very first temple we visited, I saw four giant statues wearing armor, one with a red face and one with a black face with weapons in their hands. I knew then that this is the temple where my papa was born. A monk showed me the old stone well inside the temple court that is filled with spring water to this day. The small retreat house my grandfather built near the temple had been demolished and new temples were built as gift shops in that location.

Linngu Temple was built in the Liang Dynasty (502-557). The first emperor in the Ming Dynasty ( 1368-1644) gave its current name of “Linngu Temple” which is built in memory of a famous monk in Tang Dynasty (618-907). During the Ming Dynasty, the temple could hold a thousand monks. The temple is now a famous scenic spot.

That was enough proof to me that this was the birthplace of my papa back in 1910. I quietly sprinkled the small amount of papa and mama’s ashes behind a stone marker next to the creek, and immediately a thunder roared above my head. When my sister, my cousin and I looked up, the sun was shining, with white clouds floating in the blue canvas sky. There was no sign of a storm coming, only one soft thunder sound; not from afar, but right over my head as if my papa gave me a sign that he was pleased to come home. Now that I had seen it with my own eyes, it authenticated all the stories told by my papa in my book.

All in all, it was an enlightening and spiritual journey for me, and I am delighted to share this story with you.

Come back soon for more details about my book release and other exciting news!

Blessings to your life journey, Janita

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