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LOCAL TIME: 03:13 am | Thursday, 22 February
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The Nan Hua Buddhist Temple, Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng

Nan Hua Buddhist Temple, Bronkhorstspruit, Northern Gauteng

The Nan Hua Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorstspruit with its seminary is the largest in Africa. A visit to the temple is an interesting outing. The large scale of the front gates, the buildings and the steps to the temple are impressive. On special days like Buddha’s birthday, the grounds are festively decorated. The elaborate architecture and large statues of Buddha are reminiscent of those seen in temples overseas and, as such, are unexpected in the farmlands of Bronkhorstspruit. The Chinese New Year is celebrated and the temple is open to the public who can also book in for retreats.

Land was donated to the Fo Guang Shan order by the Bronkhorstspruit City Council and building of the temple began in October 1992 at a cost of more than R60-million. Funds for this massive undertaking were provided by the order and the large Taiwanese community in South Africa.

The Chinese Buddhist Centre developed as an educational and cultural complex with an ethos to engage with and assist communities via outreaches and charitable work.

Being a non-profit charity/religious organization, Nan Hua operates on donations made towards the spreading of Buddhist principles in South Africa and the drive to ease the suffering of people and promote a peaceful, moral life. This donation drive is called Dana, or generosity, and is intrinsic to the 2500-year-old Buddhist tradition.

Since the time of the Buddha, the teachings (Dharma) were considered priceless and therefore given away freely. In keeping with this spirit, the monks and nuns, as well as the visiting facilitators at the Temple do not receive any payment for leading retreats even though they give generously of their time, energy and understanding. The Temple’s retreat tariff is set to cover running expenses without profit.

The seminary attracts novices from all over Africa and the varied interns commit to a three-year period of study at the temple. The annual head-shaving ceremony is a symbolic demonstration of the devotees’ willingness to start a new life by turning their backs on materialism and embracing Buddha teachings that promote love, kindness, tolerance and peace.

Nan Hua is about an hour’s drive from Johannesburg along the N4 highway towards Witbank and 45 minutes from Pretoria on the N4 going east.

Address: 27 Nan Hua Road, Cultura Park, Bronkhorstspruit. Telephone: +27 (0)13 931 0009: E-mail: Website.

More on the quaint town of Bronkhorstspruit More on the Northern Gauteng area

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