The statue of the Buddha that sheds tears in sorrow

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The statue of the Buddha that sheds tears in sorrow

Molly Vella | The BL5 hours ago

A statue of the Buddha in the city of Leshan, Sichuan Province, has reportedly shed tears many times throughout history. The people take it as a message in response to the state of the world today. Let’s delve into the context of each miraculous occurrence.

The city of Leshan, Sichuan Province is located at the confluence of three rivers. It is also surrounded by the Lingyun Mountains. In the eighth century, people carved on the stone face of Lingyun Mountain ‘The mountain is a Buddha, Buddha is a mountain’. Together with the mighty rivers, the stone carvings formed a spectacular setting. 

Along with the transcription was a statue of the Buddha which looked mercifully upon the crossing ships, blessing and protecting them to reach the other side of the river, safe and sound.

Throughout history, people have witnessed on up to four occasions this statue of Buddha shed tears.

(Kevin McGill/ Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0)

The first sight

The first report of this miraculous occurrence was during the ‘Great Famine’ that occurred under the domain of Mao Zedong.

In 1962, three years of famine brought about by Mao Zedong’s wrongful policies ended but not before the famine claimed the lives of roughly 10 million people in Sichuan Province.

The population was reported to have not even had the strength to bury the bodies of their dead. They simply wrapped them in straw mats and threw them into the river. Every day, the bodies of the starved could be seen floating down the river.

During this time, many locals witnessed that the ancient statue of Buddha suddenly closed his eyes. There are photos of the Great Buddha with his eyes closed still preserved in Leshan’s exhibition hall.

Photo taken in 1962, still in display at the hall of the Leshan Exhibition. (

The second tear

In 1963, during the Great Cultural Revolution, the very same statue of the Buddha is reported to have shed tears once more.

The ‘Great Famine’ had come to an end and the ‘Creation of God’ campaign had just begun. When the Great Buddha shed his tears once more the people were terribly fearful of what this meant for them and their society. 

Then, the authorities of the Chinese Communist Party allocated 40 million Yuan to carry out a thorough cleaning of the great statue of Buddha. However, they failed to erase the tears from the corners of the Great Buddha’s eyes.

Leshan Giant Buddha. (André HoldrinetWikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0)

The third occurrence

The third time it was recorded to have happened was in 1976. The Great Buddha was said to be ‘angry’ due to the lack of foresight taken with regard to the Tangshan earthquake. In addition to their lack of foresight, the government blocked the spread of the news story and rejected international aid. The earthquake killed some 650,000 people.

The people said that the face of the Great Buddha showed anger and cried with its eyes closed.

The fourth and final reported miracle

On the fourth sighting, on June 7th, 1994 the occurrence was not witnessed by locals this time but by tourists. 

The tourists saw from a cruise boat that the Great Buddha of Leshan was crying and wore a sad expression. Tears fell into large clusters, the muscles of the face, chin and body shuddered violently. Shortly after, the ship docked.

Then, people saw Leshan Buddha smiling very happily. On the surface of his face, however, you could still see the tears he had just shed.

A high-level spiritual cultivator and follower of the Buddha witnessed the wonder with one of his disciples. The disciple asked him, “Why does the great Buddha of Leshan cry?”

The spiritual cultivator replied, “The Great Buddha is worried about the people of the world, the people of the world no longer know how to respect the Buddha. If they return to tradition, lives will still have hope!”

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