Ta-chu-sheng ("Preserving the Great Law") Cave is located at Mt. Pao in An-yang, Honan province. An important site not only because it is recorded in historical accounts, it is also one of the rare Sui dynasty caves found in central China. This cave was designed by Ling-yu, a great Buddhist master of the sixth century, and was carved out in 599. There are three large niches in the north, west and east walls which contain three sets of images－Vairocana Buddha attended by a bodhisattva and a monk, Amitabha Buddha attended by two bodhisattvas, and Maitreya Buddha attended by a bodhisattva and a monk. On either side of the niches are seven Buddha images. Twenty-four Great Buddhist teachers are also engraved on the east wall towards the entrance, while inscribed on the opposite wall are two sutras concerning a prophecy on the decline of the Buddhist Law. Carved on the outer wall of the cave are many Buddhist texts and Buddha names. Evidently, the Ta-chu-sheng Cave is a planned arrangement that reflected the thought of Ling-yu. On one hand, it shows Ling-yu's concern about the decline of Buddhism, while on the other hand it indicates his enthusiasm for preserving the Buddhist Law. In terms of function, this cave served as a site for worshipping Buddhas and doing penance, in addition to doing meditation. Although the arrangement, content of the engraved Buddhist texts, and the main images in this cave display many similarities to those of other Northern Ch'i (550-577) caves, the numerous Buddha names and more realistic style are characteristic of those of the Sui dynasty (581-618). Furthermore, the 24 Great Buddhist teachers serve as a prototype for the portraits of Buddhist patriarchs that flourished in the T'ang dynasty (618-907). As a result, the Ta-chu-sheng Cave is a landmark site in the development of Chinese Buddhist caves.