Oya-Part 2-Heiwa Kannon and the 1200 year old 1000 armed Chenrezig

Heiwa Kannon, Oya,Tochigi,Japan

A short walk from the Oya stone museum, is Oya temple, the 19th of the 33 sacred places of the Kanto district, said to have been founded in 810 A.D.

The most impressive carving on the stone wall of the cave that forms a wall of the temple is the ‘Senjyu Kannon Bosatsu’ or 1000 armed Chenrezig (སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ – Tibetan) , Avalokitesvara (अवलोकितेश्वर – Sanskrit) to those of us that got our Buddhism closer to the source in India or Tibet.
The Tibetans believe that the Dali Lama (a one time employer of mine) is an incarnation of Chenrezig, so I feel a personal connection to this particular manifestation.

That’s why, despite the warning of the lady at the gate of the temple that photography was not allowed inside, I really wanted a picture.
Easy, I thought as we stepped inside, no one around, I’ll just take a quick one.
But as soon as I raised the camera to my face a voice boomed out of some hidden speaker “Shashin Dame!” (No Photographs!), we were being watched on cctv!

Oh well, not so important ;-) I’ll just insert an image of Chinrezig from The Dali Lama’s temple in Dharamsala, India taken in 2005 and hope no one notices.

1000 Armed Chinrezig-Dharamsala-India

Next port of call was the impressive 88ft high “Heiwa Kannon” a minutes walk from the temple.
Carved out of the rock face after World War II and dedicated to the war dead and world peace. (an entire rant right there, but don’t get me started).

Heiwa Kannon, Oya, Tochigi, Japan‘Heiwa Kannon with plane’ a homage to this photo, But Sean’s is much better.

The Kannon is set in a large open area and you can climb up to the top near his head for an elevated perspective on the surrounding area.

Heiwa Kannon, Oya, Tochigi, Japan

All in all worth a visit if you are out there seeing the stone museum, but unless you are a real hardcore temple head not worth the 2 hr trip from Tokyo just to see it.

Anyway a lovely day was had, topped off by Oya-Part 3 .

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