Difference between revisions of "Daoist Temple of Immortal Ge Mountain (Qianshan County, Jiangxi)"
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Latest revision as of 15:45, 26 July 2009
The Immortal Ge Mountain, which is located in the middle of Qianshan County, Jiangxi province, is an offshoot of Mt. Wuyi. Celebrated Daoist Ge Xuan of the Jin dynasty was said to refine elixirs and preach on this mountain, so later generations called it Immortal Ge Mountain, which became a Daoist sacred place well known in Jiangxi, Fujian and Zhejiang. According to the Records of Qianshan County compiled in the Tongzhi era of the Qing dynasty, in the Xiantong era of the Tang dynasty (860-873), the Zonghua Temple was built at the place where Ge Xuan refined elixirs. It was named by the emperor the Yuxu Temple in the second year in the Zhiping era of the Song dynasty (1065), and then renamed the Great Hall of Immortal Ge in the seventh year of the Yuanyou era of the Song dynasty (1092). Later, it was repaired many times. In the Jiaqing era of the Qing dynasty (1796－1820), the temple was destroyed by fire but restored afterwards. It was burnt down again in the 17th year of the Republic of China (1928), and rebuilt once more in the following year. Today the temple remains intact on the whole. The Great Hall of Immortal Ge ( 葛仙祠 Gexian ci ), commonly called the Temple for Immortal Ge , is located on the Censer Peak, the highest peak of Mt. Ge. The hall is 29.2 meters in length, 17 meters in width, and 496 square meters in area. There's an altar in the hall. On the altar, there are two statues of Ge Xuan, one in walking posture, another in sitting posture, and six horizontal inscribed boards. Beneath the altar there is an ancient well, which was said to have been dug by Ge Xuan. On the right side outside the hall there stand the Hall of The Three Officials ( 三官殿 Sanguan Dian ) and the Hall of The Numinous Official ( 靈官殿 Lingguan Dian ). Steps further lead to the Hall of The Jade Emperor ( 玉皇 Yuhuang ), the Tower of The Earthly Mother ( 地母 Dimu ) , the Temple of Compassionate Salvation, and the Dragon Pond. The Temple of Compassionate Salvation consists of the Hall of Arhat and the Hall of Great Buddha, where Tathagata is worshipped. The Dragon Pond, where a tongue-shaped rock sticks out into water, is the place where Ge Xuan washed and refined elixirs. By the temple there is an immortal well for monks and pilgrims to draw water from. The Daoist Temple for Immortal Ge and the monastic Temple of Compassionate Salvation have now been integrated. The co-existence of Buddhism and Daoism forms a unique spectacle..
On the slope about 2.5 kilometers northwest of the Temple for Immortal Ge there is the Mother's Hall, which enshrines Ge Xuan' mother, and on the slope about 2 kilometers southeast of the temple there is the Father's Hall, which enshrines Ge Xuan's father. On the top of the mountain on the left side of the temple, stalagmites stand like trees in a forest. A huge rock, which was divided in half as if cut by a sword and inscribed with the words "rock for trying swords", was, according to legend, the place where Ge Xuan tried his sword. On the mountain, there are still some other historical sites, such as the rock for mounting a horse, the rock for dismounting a horse, the rock for resting one's mind, the immortal's footprints, the platform for flying up to heaven, and the immortal spring for washing one's eyes, etc.
Every year, on the first day of the sixth lunar month, Mt. Immortal Ge "opens its gate", and on the first day of the tenth lunar month, "closes its gate". In the period in between, pilgrims from all directions come in streams. Especially on the 20th day of the eighth lunar month, the birthday of Elder Immortal Ge ( 葛仙翁 Ge Xianweng ) , the number of pilgrims usually exceeds 10,000. In 1984, the People's Government of Jiangxi Province designated the Temple for Immortal Ge and the Temple of Compassionate Salvation as provincial key temples to open to the public.. In addition, there is another Mt. Immortal Ge in Pengzhou, Sichuan. According to legend, it was the place where Daoist Ge Yong (Wang Gui) of the Jin dynasty practiced secluded cultivation.