Peace Pagoda and Peace Temple Gardens, Milton Keynes
Beside Willen Lake, Milton Keynes, is a Peace Pagoda and a Japanese Buddhist Temple with small gardens, which are open to the public.
The Peace Pagoda and Peace Temple
These are part of the international Peace Pagoda movement of the Nipponzan Myohoji Order of Buddhist monks.
It was founded by Nichidatsu Fujii, a Japanese Buddhist monk who worked with Mahatma Gandhi on peaceful ways of opposing wrongdoing by governments. He went on hunger strike against the warlike Japanese government policies, which led Japan into the Second World War. After that war, he campaigned against American and Russian plans to fight future wars by killing huge numbers of civilians with nuclear weapons, as the Americans had done to Japan. Nichidatsu Fujii said:
"Civilization has nothing to do with having electric lights, airplanes, or manufacturing atomic bombs. It has nothing to do with killing human beings, destroying things or waging war. Civilization is to hold one another in mutual affection and respect."
He lived to be 100 and his movement built 80 Peace Pagodas all round the world. Each Peace Pagoda is intended to remind people of the need to seek world peace and peaceful means to resolve arguments.
- Near the Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda are a thousand cherry trees and cedars, a gift from Japan, to remind us of the victims of all wars.
- Around the sides of the Peace Pagoda itself are eight beautifully carved scenes from the life of Buddha. In front of the Peace Pagoda is an information board which explains each scene.
- Facing the Peace Pagoda, turn left and walk for four minutes and you can reach the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. This is run by Buddhist monks and nuns who work to remind people of the importance of seeking peace in world affairs.
- On the left of this Temple is a small Japanese garden of rocks, moss and bushes with a stone lantern and a water lily pond full of carp. It is intended as a miniature symbolic model of the world.
- On the right of the Temple is a little moss garden.
- Behind the Temple is a Zen garden of rocks and gravel.
- At the back of the Zen garden is a ‘stupa’ – a Buddhist memorial to the spiritual influence of a person. This is a stupa for Nichidatsu Fujii, founder of the Peace Pagoda movement.
- In front of the Temple is information board and map about the Temple’s gardens.
The Peace Pagoda and Peace Temple gardens are open all the time.
www.mkbuddhism.org.uk/ - For more information.
Continue reading: Cawood Oriental Garden.