The statue of Dharma Protector Guan Yu was installed at Hua Zang Si on Saturday, July 30, 2005. Chief Rinpoche and head of the temple, Akou Lamo Rinpoche conducted the ceremony and lead the Dharma Assembly outdoors to the pavilion where the Dharma Protector was to reside. The Abbess of the temple, Long Hui Fa Shi, removed the red velvet cloth that covered the statue. Then eight laymen (Ju-shi) carried the large wooden statue using only white silk hardas. Three rinpoches and a dharma teacher guarded the statue with red hardas and escorted the Dharma Protecting Deity to his pavilion. The entire procession with the statue was lead by the person who donated the statue, Ms. Wang from Chengdu, China.
Guan Yu is a Dharma Protecting deity who helps practitioners with worldly matters. Historically, he was a legendary military general (160-219 CE), loyal to Emperor Liu Bei. Also known as the “Lord with the Magnificent Beard,” he is usually depicted with a red face (symbolizing extreme courage and loyalty) and holding a long-handled sword known as a “guandao,” so named in his honor. He is also regarded as a Taoist saint and god of war and martial arts. After he died he sought refuge with a Buddhist master and quickly obtained liberation whereupon he became a protector of the Dharma. Nuns at the temple and others make daily offerings to this great being.