Chapter 14: Great Lei Yin Temple
Past the ruins, an ancient temple stood in the deathly silence. The temple was small and could not be considered magnificent. There was a stone Buddha within and by the side an ancient bronze lamp swayed giving off a faint light.
Beside the temple stood an old but stalwart Bodhi tree. The tree was so large that even six or seven people would not be able to surround it. It’s trunk was already hollowed out from old age and if not for the sparse green leaves that dotted its branches one would have assumed that the tree had already withered.
The temple and Bodhi tree stood side by side, giving people a sense of eternity as though countless years had gone by and people felt endless peace and serenity.
Everyone felt different emotions at the scene in front of them. The magnificent palace behind them had already turned to ruin and yet this small temple had withstood the test of time. This gave them a feeling of surrealism.
“Why is there such a temple here?”
“The green leaves on the Bodhi tree are actually shimmering with a faint green glow!”
The Bodhi tree can also be referred to as the Buddha tree as its beginnings can be traced to the start of Buddhism. According to legend, more than 2500 years ago Shakyamuni* sat under a Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment thus ascending to Buddhahood.
[T/N* The sage whose teachings Buddhism was founded on, also known as Gautama Buddha]
The ancient Bodhi tree and temple seemed like they were companions for life and together they seemed extraordinary making one marvel at them.
“Why do I have this feeling of the river of time, as though this scene in front of us has been there for untold years and been through countless pasts.
Fifty metres was a short distance and everyone had arrived at the temple. Each person was filled with a strange feeling, as though the scene before them was an old historical picture and the feeling of eternity filled the atmosphere.
“Could it be that a god used to live in this temple?”
“This world can’t really have Buddha.” The temple was dilapidated however it still gave people a feeling of peace and tranquility as though in a meditative state.
The temple was deathly silent, it was extremely peaceful.
“There is a bronze plaque over there and it seems that there are writings on it.”
In the dilapidated temple there was a rusty bronze plaque with four words inscribed on it, a dense aura of zen filled the air . Although it was written in the difficult to understand Bronze Inscriptions, the first word ‘Da’* could be easily made out. Even those who did not know the language could also recognise the word.
[T/N* Da also means big, but refers to great in this context]
“The last word is ‘Temple’. Zhou Yi had a slight grasp of Bronze Inscriptions and managed to make out the last word.
“These four words come together as the ‘Great Lei Yin Temple’.” Ye Fan combined the words and read them.
Everyone was shocked and had expressions of incredulity.
“Great Lei Yin Temple…… Did I hear wrongly?!”
“How can this be……”
The Great Lei Yin Temple of legends that Buddha resided in was regarded as a sacred ground to Buddhists. The dilapidated temple in front of them was so small and did not have any semblance of grandeur. There was only a single temple, why was it named Great Lei Yin Temple?
Having already witnessed nine dragons pulling the bronze coffin, the group had long been prepared to witness the existence of gods or already believed in it. The sight in front of them still left them shocked. Mars had a temple named Great Lei Yin Temple, what did this imply? Perhaps parts of history and legends would be explained and the veil on the mysteries of the ancient past would be uncovered.
“The way of the Buddha, reverberated like thunder.” The Great Lei Yin Temple!
Could it be that the ancient temple in front of their eyes was actually that temple?
If their speculations were correct, this would indubitably be stupefying. The reddish-brown ground that was made up of soil and gravel on Mars stood an ancient temple, the origins of the temple were astonishing.
The more the group looked at the temple the more they felt that it was extraordinary.
The palace behind them had been large and majestic but it had been destroyed and only rubble was left. The temple was seemingly dilapidated but it continued to withstand the test of time, forming a strange contrast between the two.
With the Bodhi tree accompanying it, the Buddhist lamp glowed in the background.
Simplistic, quiet and serene it had withstood the weathering of time. Only “truth” would be left behind and any superfluous extravagance would return to the earth in a cloud of dust.*
[T/N* Author is saying that something of substance will withstand ageing but something superficial will not]
A lamp, Buddha, temple and tree. Seemingly eternal existences that have always existed in this world.
The peace and tranquility was uplifting, as though there was ethereal chanting in the air.
“If this really is the Great Lei Yin Temple of legends, could the Bodhi tree beside it be the tree where Shakyamuni attained enlightenment?”
“How could that be possible, that should just be a legend from the Buddhist teachings. Do you really believe that 2500 years ago Shakyamuni sat under a Bodhi tree on Mars for seven days and seven nights before becoming a Buddha?”
“From what we have experienced so far, nothing is impossible!”
The events the group had experienced today made them feel as though they were living in a dream however all this was actually cold hard reality.
Ye Fan and Pang Bo suddenly went forwards into the temple and at the same time Zhou Yi followed closely behind by Wang Zi Wen also entered the temple.
At the back, Liu Yun Zhi also seemed to think of something and rushed in as well. The others also reacted as though waking up from a dream; if this was the real Great Lei Yin Temple, this was actually a place where a god had stayed. Although it was now derelict and covered in dust it was definitely not an ordinary place.
The temple was very small and only had a single room which contained the Buddha statue. It seemed to be empty with nothing else inside besides the lamp and statue. Ye Fan came before the stone statue and grabbed the bronze lamp by the side.
The bronze lamp looked ordinary and simple however when one held it there wasn’t the cold feeling of metal and it felt like holding a piece of warm jade. Although the entire temple was covered in dust the lamp was surprisingly spotlessly clean as though it could prevent any dust from landing on it.
It was evident that this temple had not been maintained for many years and there was a thick layer of dust covering it. Even so, the lamp was still able to stay dust-free and lit. This made Ye Fan feel bewildered, could it be that the bronze lamp had been lit all this time?
“Wow it’s really empty in here, besides the stone Buddha and the bronze lamp there is nothing else left in here.” Pang Bo looked at their surroundings and felt regret at seeing nothing else.
At this moment, Zhou Yi who was following closely behind had stepped onto the thick layer of dust on the floor and kicked an alms bowl with a “Klang!”
At the same time Liu Yun Zhi and the rest also entered the temple and nobody said a word opting to look around in silence.
Initially everyone was very careful and did not dare to explore the temple because of all that had happened to them on Earth. Upon seeing Ye Fan rush into the temple, they had a realization that they were on another planet and if this temple really was the Great Lei Yin Temple from legends there may be artifacts left behind by a god!
Within the temple, Ye Fan held the spotless bronze lamp as the soft radiance from it filled the temple.
Suddenly, Ye Fan heard a faint sound of chanting that seemed to have descended from heaven itself. Initially he thought that he was hallucinating but the Buddhist prayers kept getting louder and the whole temple was filled with sound, making one imagine Buddhist prayer wheels spinning all around; solemn, vast, sublime and mysterious.
Thereafter the whole temple became free of filth and dust, and six words sounded in a mantra: “ Om Mani Padme Hum*……”
[T/N* Sanskrit Mantra]