Difference between revisions of "Temple of Accumulated Blessings (Dujiangyan, Sichuan)"
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Latest revision as of 15:24, 27 July 2009
The Temple of Accumulated Blessings ( 建福宮Jianfu Gong ) is situated on the left of the mountain entrance under the Elder's ( 丈人 Zhangren ) Peak of Mt. Qingcheng, in Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province. It was first founded in the eighth Kaiyuan year of the Tang dynasty (730) and originally named the Shrine of the Elder or Temple of the Elder. Both the name of the Elder's Peak and the name of the Shrine of the Elders originate from the tale of Elder Ningfengzi of the Five Sacred Mountains ( 五岳 Wuyue ). According to legend, Ningfengzi was an official in charge of making pottery in the period of the Yellow Emperor ( 黃帝 Huangdi ). Having attained the Dao, he lived in seclusion on the northern cliff of Mt. Qingcheng. The Yellow Emperor heard about it and went there to ask about the Dao. Ningfengzi transmitted him the Book of the Dragon Flight ( 龍礄經 Longqiao Jing ). After reading it, the Yellow Emperor became able to travel to the Eight Extremes ( 八極 Baji ) by riding on clouds and dragons. Then he established a terrace and venerated Ningfengzi as the Elder governing the Five Sacred Mountains. The Stele Inscription of the Shrine of the Elder on Mt. Qingcheng written by Xu Taiheng of the Tang dynasty says, "According to imperial order, the Temple of the Elder on Mt. Qingcheng should follow the same rule as the Temple of the Perfect Sovereign ( 真君 Zhenjun ) of the Five Sacred Mountains." In the first Zhonghe year during the reign of Emperor Xizong of the Tang dynasty (881), Ningfengzi was honored as Perfect Sovereign Xiyi. In the third Yuanfeng year of the Northern Song dynasty (1080), he was granted by imperial order another title, "Perfect Man Who Reserves Good Fortune and Controls Destiny ". ( 儲福定命真君 Chufu Dingming Zhenjun )
In the second Chunxi year of the Southern Song dynasty (1175), following a petition to the emperor by Fan Chengda, the official in charge of military affairs in the border areas of Chengdu, the court bestowed the favor of changing the name of the Temple of the Elder into "Temple of Assembled and Accumulated Blessings ", ( 會慶建福宮 Huiqing Jianfu Gong ) later called "Temple of Accumulated Blessings" for short. The present temple was reconstructed in the fourteenth year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing dynasty (1888) and rebuilt again in large scale in recent years. The three characters "Temple of Accumulated Blessings" on the inscribed board on the door were autographed by Lin Sen, chairman of the national administration in 1940.
Nowadays there are three rows of halls in the Temple of Accumulated Blessings. The first hall is called the "Hall of Changsheng", in which is worshiped Fan Changsheng, the Heavenly and Terrestrial Elder Master of the Four Seasons and Eight Solar Terms ( 四時八節天地太師 Sishi Bajie Tiandi Taishi ) of the Jin dynasty. The second hall is called the "Hall of the Elder", in which are worshiped the Elder of the Five Sacred Mountains, Perfect Sovereign Ningfeng, and Celestial Master ( 天師 Tianshi ) Du Guangting. Worshiped in the third hall are the Supreme Venerable Sovereign ( 太上老君 Taishang Laojun ), Imperial Sovereign Donghua ( 東華帝君 Donghua Dijun ), and the founding master Wang Chongyang. The long couplets of 394 words hung on the principal columns of the hall are one of the unique features of Mt. Qingcheng.
In ancient times, in front of the Temple of Accumulated Blessings stood Yuhua Tower, which was so magnificent as to be "the best of buildings", but it does not exist today. The Record of the Daoist Canon on the Flying Wheel Preserved by the Temple of Assembled and Accumulated Blessings ( 會慶建福宮飛輪道藏記 Huiqing Jianfu Gong Feilun Daozang Ji ) of the Song dynasty, and some articles such as big stone vats and stone candlesticks have been excavated since 1958. They seem to be relics of the Temple of Accumulated Blessings or of Yuhua Tower.