Big Wild Goose Pagoda was named after prayer that was answered by Bodhisattva.
After watching the stunning sunset in Hangzhou, I made an attempt to capture a sunset in every city I visited. I missed my chance to see one when I was at The Tiger Hill Pagoda in Suzhou. This time, I made sure not to make the same mistake in Xian.
After my visit to the Terracotta Army, I went to The Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Here’s the story behind the funny name:
A legend goes that there were two branches of Buddhism in India, the Mahayana and the Hinayana. The Mahayana believers are vegetarians but the others are meat-eating people. One day, the Hinayana believers couldn’t find meat to eat. Suddenly a flock of big wild geese flew over the sky. A monk murmured to him: ‘Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.’
On hearing this, the leading wild goose broke its wings and dropped dead to the ground. All the monks were startled and believed that Bodhisattva showed his power to order them to be more pious. Instead of eating the goose, they buried it and built a pagoda given a name wild goose. From then on, they converted into the Mahayana by becoming vegetarians.
When Xuan Zang told the story to the Tang Emperor, Emperor Tai Zong was deeply moved, saying “Our pagoda can share the name with the pagoda in India.” About half a century later, the other pagoda in Jianfu Temple was built, which was much shorter than the previous one. In order to tell the difference between the two pagodas, the word “big” was added to Wild Goose Pagoda. Hence it got the name “Big Wild Goose Pagoda”. – China Bravo
Well, I made it to the top of the pagoda. Unfortunately, it closed before the sun started to set. So I ended up watching the sun set in the garden nearby. No complaints though. It was just as gorgeous from the ground up.