Dedicatory Inscription by Mijie Houxi and Thirty Others of a Buddhist Community 18656-1
Item No. : 18656-1
Unearthed in Yaoxian, Shaanxi in 1927; currently stored in the Yaowangshan Museum, Shaanxi.
After enduring the persecution against Buddhism by Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou, Buddhism in China enjoyed a long-awaited renaissance with the emergence of the Sui dynasty. With the emperor encouraging the erection of Buddhist monuments, 30 devotees built a four-faced shrine and dedicated this meritorious deed to not only their own longevity but also to the emperors who propagated Buddhism, while praying for the persistence of ratna-traya (the Three Jewels). The inscriptions made explicit reference to two Indian kings who were known for their patronage to Buddhism and Gautama (Sakyamuni) Buddha: King Pasenadi and King Udayana, indicating the importance of royal patronage and that the fate of the country was intertwined with the rise and fall of Buddhist teachings.