The Vihara Satya Dharma is a Chinese temple located near the port of Benoa. It is dedicated to the goddess Tian Shang Sheng Mu. It is believed that she can calm the sea and ensure the safety of sailors.
The main name of this goddess is Mazu. But she is also known by other names and titles, such as Mother, Grandma Mazu, Holy Heavenly Mother, Divine Woman, and Princess of Heaven.
Legends and Beliefs
It is assumed that Mazu is the deified form of a real woman, Lin Mo or Lin Monyan, a shaman who lived in 960-987 AD in China.
Legends about the goddess claim that when Lin Mo was a girl, she was visited by a Taoist master and recognized the Buddha nature in her. By the age of 13, she had mastered the book of knowledge he left her and gained the ability to see the future and visit other places as a spirit.
She stood on the shore in red robes to guide fishing boats home, regardless of harsh or dangerous weather. Lin Mo cast out demons, healed the sick, and averted disasters. Myths claim she was the master of rain during a drought.
Lin Mo died unmarried at the age of 27 or 28. Her celibacy was sometimes attributed to a vow she took after losing her brother at sea. Legends say that she climbed a mountain and ascended to heaven as a goddess in a beam of bright light.
After her death, she became the guardian of fishermen and sailors, and her worship spread to coastal areas of China and overseas Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia.
She was believed to roam the seas protecting the faithful. Now her believers generally regard Mazu as a powerful and benevolent Queen of Heaven.
Mazuism is popular in Taiwan because a large number of early immigrants to Taiwan were from Fujian, the county where Lin Mo was from.
Temple Name and Location
The Sanskrit name of the temple Satya Dharma (सत्य धर्मा) means "true order". The word "vihara" is used for Buddhist and Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. They are also called "klenteng".
The Chinese name of the temple is Bao An Gong (保安宮). Bao (保) means protection, An (安) peace, and Gong (宮) temple or palace. Thus, the literal meaning of Bao An Gong can be translated as "temple for maintaining security".
The temple is located near the entrance to the expressway to Benoa from Denpasar.
The Vihara Satya Dharma Temple was built with funds raised by parishioners from Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand. Construction lasted 6 years and the temple was officially opened on August 22nd, 2012.