如傑優婆塞 wrote: ↑
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:40 am
This thread has been useful for my upcoming plans to start a next wave of pilgrimage plans in China.
On another note, from my past experience of visiting various Confucianist, Daoist and Buddhist temples in China, I was wondering on how did you managed to snap photos in the inner sanctum areas? Unless one has official permission, signages and reminders are usually all over the place to prohibit all forms of media recording & I have oft been told by guides to avoid photography in the inner shrine halls and even iconography that are placed outside like in cave temples for instance. I have seen in some temples where they have plain clothes volunteers to stop such activity. In addition, there's a local belief there that purports 'bad karma' in snapping pictures of the deities or Buddhas... So, I oft end up buying their souvenir books where sanctioned official photography is done for momentos.
Hi 如傑! It's a complicated story and I will try to explain it briefly.
1. According to my knowledge, there is no doctrinal reasons against taking photos in the halls, which is, after all, a modern behavior that has not been foreseen by the sutras or the vinaya. Surely you cannot use a flash, for it may cause damage to the ancient statutes and paintings. Moreover, during the process of the liturgies, most liturgy masters and lay participants will require you not to take the photo. Nevertheless, in most of the time, despite the local belief you've just mentioned, there should be no principled opposition to photography in the buildings.
2. However, partly due to their holding the local belief, partly due to their being afraid that tourists may show disrespect to the Buddhas/deities, many monks/nuns/temples have banned photography inside the halls. So in these cases, I've seen many times that monks would not intervene if you take the photos standing right out of the door.
3. Even in situations like 2 (Guoqing seems to have such regulations), if you act like an authentic Buddhist ,like prostrating to the Buddhas first, before taking the photos, once the monk(s) recognizes it, they tend to ignore your behavior. I think this is the best explanation for my case (or a part of it, for sometimes when I took the photos, there were no guarding monks on duty.)
I do think even if in your next trip you are interfered, you may tell the monks/volunteers that you are an international Buddhist and negotiate, they should be thrilled to talk with you and grant you exemptions.
4. Of course, if negotiation doesn't work, one should respect the particular samghas and their decisions. However, if one really wants to take photos, you know, being a bad boy is not that unacceptable.
5. My impression is that many Tibetan temples dislike tourists' taking photos. And in Quanzhen Daoism, in almost every hall, there would be a priest guarding the hall. However, in the main Chinese area, the photography prohibition is not that strict. One of my best friend is super-interested in traditional religious rituals. With the permission from the lay people who request the religious services, he has taken thousands of pictures during Daoist liturgies. So it seems photography is not to be understood as inherently disrespectful.