Visit to efficacious site- Tay Thien


Generation after generation, silent but very enduring and faithful, the respectful beliefs live-forever in the spirit of the nation toward the Gods dominated in the mountain and river, to the fervent heroes, to the Bodhisattvas and to the miraculous Gods. This is a reason why from the remote jungle and high and dangerous fall there exist many a temples, pagodas built up since the old days. They are under the shade of the jungle and peaceful existence despite of wars and trouble time, despite of the change of the times, despite of the interminable poverty from century to century. The following generations who persistently devote their property and energy to restore these relics and make them good again and spacious, worship regularly when the country is in peaceful and prosperous time. Speaking of such vestige and relics community in the S shape country, people have to mention of Yen Tu (Uong Bi, Quang Ninh Province), Tay Thien (tam Dao, Vinh Phuc Provvince), Nui Ba Den (Tay Ninh Town, Tay Ninh Provvince) and more. These locations are the efficacious and beauty regions but each location has its own beauty and attraction.

Tay Thien, a famous beauty community imprinted the footprint of the sincere people who respect the Buddha and the Mother. Besides of the thought “Going to Buddha, coming to Mother”, so many people from different regions go to a land named Tay Thien to enjoy the fairyland, the name first heard it sounds like a truth and fiction. In the Buddhist term, a noun “Tay Thien” or “Tay Truc” in the literal sense means “West Sky” pointing Indian country (a nation in West Asia)-where Sakyamuni born to created Buddhism. Tay Thien also means the Extremely Happy West – a pure land of Sakyamuni. Tay Thien therefore is an waken place for the consciousness and the escape from samrasa of death and being. In Viet Nam, a nation with Buddhist tradition covers through more than 2,000 years. Vinh Phuc Province fortunately enjoys such efficacious name. This is a earliest place to start the Vietnamese Buddhism. About the 3rd century, there was a super Buddhist monk named Khuong Tang Hoi lived here and built a pagoda to carry on missionary work. Therefore, this place is said to be a cradle of the Vietnamese Buddhism. In addition, in Tay Thien Tam Dao region, it has a dullest and bushiest jungle, stream and high fall, tranquil scenery quite suitable for the monk to sit in medication. So right from Hung Vuong Dynasty, the monks came here to construct pagodas. The putting the name of  Tay Thien means the origination of the Vietnamese Buddhism and it also the gratefulness of the disciples to respect the originating place of Buddhism.     

On August 30, 1991, Ministry of Culture-Communication-Sport and Tourism issued the Certificate of the Historic-Cultural Vestige to Tay Thien beautiful site in Dai Dinh Commune, Tam Dao District, Vinh Phuc Province. One of the basic value for Tay Thien to be accepted as the national historic and cultural vestige is its beauty spot.

In the old days, many writers described the scinerry of Tay Thien. In a book named a short literature by Le Quy Don, wrote: “…beneath, water color is as an indigo color, very profound as no bottom; mountain side existed Tay Thien Co Tu temple, green bamboo, big pines, elegant natural scenery, in upper mountain is a Dong Co Temple, going up and down taking two days, from the left hand side of Giai Oan temple to climb to Lotus lake where the water is quite blue, there is a strange stone and red lotus blooming four seasons. Two sides of the lake, springs come out from the mountainside, on the left hand is Bac (Silver) spring that originating from stone slot in the top mountain. It looks like a silk strip. In the right side is Vang (Gold) stream…”

Afterward, the writer, journalist, reporter continue to offer to this location

the fine words corresponding to its charming. To experience and enjoy the endless scenery of Tay Thien, never a way but a viste from the mountain foot upto Thuong (Upper) temple. From down to upper, the tourists shall enjoy the Tay Thien churches system: Trinh Temple, Thong Temple. Thien An pagoda, Cau Temple, Co Be Temple, Tinh Room, Phu Nghi Church, Co Chin Temple, Thuong Temple, and Thuong Tay Thien Church.

Now coming into Tinh Temple to ask Godhead and Soilgod for permission to report to Saint Buddhist on safe visiting of the paradise and Buddhism scenery. To Thong Temple, it is quite enteresting to look at and contemplate the nine footed barian tree that standing imposingly as to challenge with the time. This tree is as a guardian God of the Temple. From there, normonly the tourists can buy a strong bamboo stick for support. For those who are not very well, they cam hire the supporter to bring their luggage and led by hand to go across the stream or climb up the abrupt mountain slope or crossing the big stone.   

Tay Thien is in the Tam Dao National Forest. According to the statistics, there have diversified flora and fauna (flora has 1.436 species, fauna has 1,141 speccies), in which there are many beautiful, precious species such as Orchid, waater-rail, and pine stand (there are hundred years old pine) Tam Dao butterfly, Tam Dao fish, water rat, deer, monkey, pangolin, wolff, bear, cat, panther…Fauna and flora, topography, religious reliefs works…All these make the road to Thuong Tay Thien Temple as beautiful as a water-colored painting, high and very far. There is no way of going up to the maountain other than to go on the wear out way nearby the spring. The higher climbing, the steepper the slope but the natural scenery makes the congquerer supriing at many parallel roads coming between the springs and streams and endless trees spreading thei shade. Tay Thien Spring is fallen into the steep rock ramp, precipitous with the square rock which bigger than even the bulldozer, blocking the flow of the spring resulting from the rescounting sound by day and by night. The climbing from 54 m upto 1,100 m above the sea level while wading across the streams and going through jungle, the tourists can feel  quite exhausted but interesting.

Every about 15 minutes, a short break is required for the jungle breeze to dry the sweat, for free enjoying the impressive mountain and for roaming of the spring and fall penetrate into the heart. When recoved, the tourists shall make another move. Sometime the tourists can feel exhausted, blurred vision, they seem not to go on then suddenly a small wear out road and stone stairs appeared under the luxiriant old tree to lead to the small shrines and temples (Cau temple, Co Be temple, Tinh Room and others). It is granted that these works have some limitation of architure but people still feel strange warm. The higher we go up, the steepper and smaller the road but every people is quite ardent as if he/she is transmitted more the fresh air mountain to reach the Thuong temple for their wish.

Passing by Thong temple, tourists go along the stream bank to reach Cau temple that originated from Truong Sinh slot. Legent has it that there is a place that “Cau” stayed to recruit and bring up the troops in order to assist Quoc Mau) National Mother. In 1993, the temple was repaired. From Thong temple to Cau temple is over 1 km long. On this way, tourists can see the two lines of tree and low roofed houses coming in between the green garden along the stream. People go to Cau temple to worship for wealth, fortune, Godsend and longevity and other nice wishes for love and children. In addition, this wish goes to Tay Thien.

From Cau temple, tourists go about 2 km more to reach Co temple which constructed very old time and now Co Be is attended to. Co Be is a child of God who assisted Quoc Mau to safeguard the people and the country. The scenery here is elegant, spacious and peaceful with diversified floristic composition and wild climate for around year. There is a Giai Oan stream and a very old well next to the temple, which increase the silence there. Many pigrims who has been to Co temple said that “stream and well are very efficacious”. If people take water from this well then offer it for cult, they will be returned by the ease, relaxation, and purification. 

From Co temple, tourists shall go on a zigzag path through the jungle, small stream and big trees to Tay Thien Tinh Room. The scenery here is quite virginal, primitive and dull. Tinh Room is only a small grass-roofed hermitage of three female bonzes then it developed largely according to Dalai Lama  Buddhism under the Drukpa ancestry, but only received female bonze. By present, this hermitage becomes a house of more than 100 female bonzes. This race has 803-year history, through 12 superiors and a number of bonzes, stretching from Asia to Europe. There are 12 Tay Thien bonzes were sent to the Zen monastery in Nepal to learn. Three Superiors managed all the activity and daily life. Amongst the three Superiors, there is one takes charge of daily life of the bonzes, one is charge of education and the other one is in charge of diplomatics. If tourist has a time, you can asks for stay over night in Tinh Room. You will enjoy a night of silence with never – stop roaming from the stream, howling of the wind and the noise of the insects…It is but a rea strange experience.

In other turn-point, there appears a jungle bringing about the endless scenery for us. Looking at a very high top of this jungle, we can see a waterfall that stands out of the deep blue of the very old jungle and it looks like a white silk strip from the upper down to the lower deep valley. This waterfall called Thac Bac (Silve Fall). This fall starts from a very high place, large and dazzling white as Silve. There are some Thac Bac in other places such as in Tam Dao Town or Sa Pa town but Thac Bac in Tay Thien is the laggest. In the dry season, the strong people can go across the stream and climb to the top of the stream. From the top of this fall, tourist can go along a small way to Sach Hoa covern where, as the legand, is the bed and board place of Lang Thi Tieu. Lang Thi Tieu had a posthumous name is Ngoc Tieu. She is a fairy but was reincarnated as a daughter of Mr. Lang Phieu living in Dong Lo at the time. She was more talented than any others and she herself assited Hung Kings to defeated Thuc enemy and Chieu Vuong Kinh (the 7th Hung King named Lang Lieu) married her, so she became Queen. People respect her as Tay Thien National Mother and consider her as a Holy of the forest.          

In the Tay Thien vestage community, there is not only the National Mother Lang Thi Tieu temple but also a Lam Cung Thanh Mau temple who is worshiped century by century. Tay Thien is believed that it is a hiding place for the monk. In Tay Thien people found, in the old time, there was a Mother Alter and Buddhist Alter, stelae, ancient Bronze pagoda. However, the time passed, temples and pagoda were in ruin, glass and jungle leaf covered, Tay Thien was fallen into obvion and people nearly go back and forth for years. In the years of 1970, the sincere people of worship go there, and then followed by the young in the occasion of summer holidays or days off. Tay Thien, day after day, becomes an attractive tourist geographical name full of challenge.

Some 10 recent years, to facilitate of going up to the mountain, the pre-cemented pillars are pilled in the stream cross sections to easily step through the stream, then the dust way has been replaced by the concrete way. At the steep slope, the stairs and hand drail have been made. By this improvement, every people, from the old to the young, can go up to Thuong Temple with ease.

After some time of going up, Thuong Temple - an ancient, majestic Temple hidden under the old jungle – is appreared before us. Standing on the top, the tired appearance, resulting from about 2 hours of going up with a distance of 5 km long, seemed to be vanished before row on row of mountain with densy tree, noise of sprineg and fall, and the tansquil scenery, which make our feeling purer than ever.


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