A group of Buddhists in Ho Chi Minh City plan to make a two-ton jade statue of King Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), considered as the founder of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism
Work on the statue, which is between 1.5 and 1.6 meters high, will start on July 5 and be completed in December.
Made from a 4.5-ton nephrite jade block from Canada, the statue will be seated on a white marble lotus throne, according to the Buda Company, which has been assigned the task.
The stone has previously been blessed by foreign and local monks, nuns and Buddhists during a special ceremony, the company said.
Part of the jade will also be sculptured into 100 sets of seals copying nine seal designs of the Tran Dynasty (12251400), it added.
The first of its kind in Vietnam, the statue is meant to inspire Vietnamese unification and celebrate its history, spirit and culture, the VnExpress news web site reported. It will be circulated among several large pagodas across Vietnam for the pious to pray, it said.
The group of Buddhists will also choose another jade block to restore two master seals of the dynasty. The seals will be given to the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, an umbrella organization encompassing several public groups, for selling them at an auction on December 31.
All the proceeds will be contributed to a poverty alleviation fund.
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