Fo Guang Shan’s Main Shrine was personally designed by the Founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun. The foundation stone was sourced from India, in a location where the Buddha himself taught the Dharma, the stone of the Diamond Throne. The intention was to “continue the Buddha’s teaching of Dharma, and begin a new standard”.
Above the frame for the magnificent main door, are the four Chinese characters of ‘Da Siong Bao Dian’, or ‘Great Hero Jeweled Shrine’. To the sides are the twin verses of the Founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun: ‘The indestructible diamond Throne from Tusita to the Saba world, and the two Dharma Kings to left and right.’
The wide and peaceful Main Shrine covers 3570 square meters, and is 30 meters in height. Enshrined within are three Buddha images, each of which is 7.8 meters high, the calm and dignified figures gaze down with kindness on those within. In the center is sakyamuni Buddha of this the saha world, to the left is Bhaisajaguru Buddha (Medicine Buddha) of the Eastern Lapiz Lazuli world, and to the right is Amitabha Buddha (Buddha of Infinite Light) from the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. The interior four walls are filled with Dunhuang style stone niches enshrining 14800 smaller images of sakyamuni Buddha. There are no columns within the Shrine to hinder peoples viewing, and it can thus house one thousand people for morning and evening chanting or Buddhist religious services. In November 1977, the Fo Guang shan Triple Platform Ordination ceremony was held here, which became known as the most majestic and model precept ordination ceremony in Taiwan.
Before the Buddhas are the worlds two tallest Light Jewel Pagodas, each nine meters in height in seventy-two layers, and containing 7200 Buddha images. They represent the light of the Buddha dharma radiating universally upon humanity and the universe, the light of wisdom, which can break through the darkness of ignorance and bring hope and peace to the world. To the left and right are the largest Buddhist bell and drum in all of Taiwan. The bell is from pure beaten copper, and weighs 3.8 metric ton, which took two years and two castings to complete.