During my recent visit to Perak Cave Temple, I had expected to spend less than an hour covering the whole area but I ended up spending a few hours there, the maximum I could spare before my journey back to Kuala Lumpur. There was so much to see and photograph. Now, I shall take you inside the temple. OK, OK, I'm so sorry if you are bored but I need to write this, otherwise I won't be at peace with myself. Think of me as a little girl who has just found the entrance to a cave of ancient treasures and can't wait to show it to you. If you wish to skip this post, I would like to invite you to read my other posts about gardening. For those who are coming along with me,
Welcome to the world of Chinese Arts and Culture, a world of magical adventures and voyages, where mythical creatures, gods, goddess, fairies, demons and spirits live among mortals and immortals. With 5,000 years of history, we have come a long way...
This is the main entrance to the interior of Perak Cave Temple. If you look at the pillars, you will see chinese writings on all the pillars. How I wish I am able to interpret the meaning and explain to you in detail. Nevertheless, I'm sure they are either poetic verses or auspicious, meaningful words. I truly regret to say that I can't read chinese words! Otherwise, I would have rewritten all the poerty and writings in English. Maybe I am suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) because I need to find the answer and put into words anything that inspires me. It is so difficult to live with ignorance of something that is so fascinating.
“An Art Gallery at Perak Cave - Part 2 of 3”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on 17th October 2009.
As you walk into the temple, you will be greeted by these 2 ceramic Fu Dogs guarding the entrance. Fu Dogs are mythical creatures that look quite similar to lions and they are used as protective symbols to ward off evil and killing energy. As you can observe here, Fu Dogs are not identical twins nor a couple. They are actually a family. The pair of Fu Dogs are usually placed quite high on a pedestal with the male positioned on the left side of the main door (inside looking out) and the female on the right. The male is usually seen with a ball but this one seems to be holding a ruyi. The female has a baby fu dog with her. Together they make a happy protective family that brings peace and prosperity to the homes or buildings that they guard.
On the left here is the main sales counter where devotees can buy incense, joss sticks, candles or other offerings to Buddha and other deities. The table and chairs on the right is actually a fortune telling counter. The method used in fortune telling is called the 3 Lifetime Book. Based on your date and time of birth according to the lunar chinese calendar, the teller will be able to interpret your past, present and next life. The past refers to a previous life before you were reincarnated into this world as a human being. Here they are talking about karma and reincarnation. The teller makes the interpretation from a book called the 3 Lifetime Book ( 三世书 - 'sang shi shu' in Mandarin or 'sam sai she' in cantonese). They will charge a small fee for doing the reading. People say the readings are very accurate and it may stunt you! Do you believe in getting your fortune read? As for me, I'd agree with Doris Day in her Que Sera Sera song, "Whatever will be will be, the future's not ours to see, what will be will be"........
Here are 2 statues of the Four Heavenly Kings on one side of the temple. There is another 2 more on the opposite side. They are the Guardians of the Four Compass Directions, also known as Four Deva Warriors, Four Lords of Dhamma and Four Keepers of the World. Can you see the demons they are stepping on from under their feet?
Post Publication Update:
On Monday, 15th Nov 2010, The Star ran an article about Dr. Sun Yat Sen pertaining to the 22nd Joint Conference of the Sun Yat-sen and Soong Ching-ling memorials in conjunction with the International Centennial Celebrations of Sun Yat-sen's "Penang Conference" to be held between Nov 19-22, 2010. The full article titled, "Perak's Former Tin Mining Towns Linked to Sun Yat-sen " can be read here.
Perak Cave Temple chairman Chong Yin Chat said Yu was a friend of his father Chong Seng Yee, who was the last batch of graduates of the prestigious Whampoa Military Academy in Guangzhou. Yin Chat had set up a Sun Yat-sen Gallery at the temple in 1995 in honour of the Father of Modern China. On display at the gallery are photographs of Dr Sun, a bust presented by the Sun Yat Sen memorial museum in Taiwan, calligraphy works and reproductions of letters by Dr Sun.