The Main Shrine is situated on the first floor of the 14 meter high Main Shrine Building. When facing the shrine from the front door, in the middle is the 4.5 meter high sandal cedar wood Sakyamuni Buddha Statue. On both sides are the 3.5 meter high sandal cedar wood Sariputra Statue and Maudgalyayana Statue. Both Sariputra, well known for his wisdom, and Maudgalyayan, well known for his supernatural power, are the foremost disciples of the Buddha. All of these statues were specially crated and imported from China.
Sariputra was from a Brahmin family, born in a village in Magadha, Southern India. At the age of eight, Sariputra was able to understand all the books he read. Once, he was invited to a banquet held by a wealthy man to entertain the royal families, ministers and scholars. The eight year old impressed everyone at the banquet with his eloquent speech and great wisdom. The King awarded him with a village.
At age twenty, he left home and began searching for the Truth. During his venture, he met Maudgalyayana and became the best of friends, both with the same ambition to search for the truth.
One day while walking on the streets, he came up Venerable Assaji. Sariputra was so impressed by his dignified manner, he asked Venerable Assaji who was his teacher and what was his teaching. Venerable Assaji told Sariputra that his teacher was Sakyamuni Buddha and his teaching was; all things arise and fall according to causes and conditions, and all things are impermanent. On hearing the words of Venerable Assaji, Sariputra suddenly saw the light and all his doubts about the universe were dismissed.
Maudgalyayana was one of Buddha Sakyamuni’s closest disciples. He is considered the second of the two foremost disciples of the Buddha, together with Sariputra.
Of all the Buddha’s disciples, Maudgalyayana was the most accomplished in the various supernatural powers. These abilities included being able to use the mind-reading for such things as detecting lies from truths, transporting himself from his body into the various realms of existence and speaking with ghosts and gods. He was also able to do things like walking through walls, walking on water, flying through the air, and moving with a speed comparable to the speed of light.
Varying accounts in the Pali Canon show Maudgalyayana speaking with the deceased in order to explain to them their horrific conditions and give them an understanding of their own suffering, so that they may be released from it or come to terms with it.
The Ullambana Sutra is the main Mahayana Sutra in which Maudgalyayana is mentioned. The sutra covers the topic of filial piety and was a discourse given to Maudgalyayana by the Sakyamuni Buddha.
At the back of Main Shrine, there is the Thousand Buddha Mandala and each Buddha is labelled with the donors’ name. In the middle is Guan Yin, a representation of compassion, and on the sides are Guan Yin Bodhisattva and Earth Store Bodhisattva.