Difference between revisions of "The Celestial Masters' Mansion on Dragon and Tiger Mountain (Yintan, Jiangxi)"
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Latest revision as of 15:17, 26 July 2009
The Celestial Masters' Mansion is located in Shangqing town, Guixi County, Yintan city in Jiangxi province. Originally, it was constructed at Guan menkou of Shangqing town in the 4th Chongning year of the Northern Song dynasty, and moved to Changqing Fan, Shangqing town in the 6th Yanyou year of the Yuan dynasty. Finally, it was rebuilt at its current place. During emperor Jiaqing’s ruling years in the Ming dynasty, it saw large scale repairs and expansions. However, most parts of its buildings were burned to the ground in the 13th Kangxi year of the Qing dynasty. It saw its next reconstruction in the 43rd Qianlong year and further severe damage in the 7th Xianfeng year in the Qing dynasty. Thanks to the sponsorship and supervision of Zhang Renzhen, the 61st generation Celestial Master, repairs were carried out during emperor Tongzhi’s ruling years in the Qing dynasty. In 1949, Zhang Enpu, the 63rd generation Celestial Master left for Taiwan. Since then, the Celestial Masters' Mansion was taken away from Daoism. The next round of repairs began in 1984. After that, it was returned to Daoists in 1988.
Today, with the Gate of Mansion, the Gate of Rites, the Second Gate and the Private Mansion at the core, additional facilities such as the Hall of the Jade Emperor, the Hall of the Celestial Master, the Hall of the Mysterious Altar, the Bureau of Magical Registers and the Ancestral Altar of All Skills have been constructed, incorporating temple buildings with facilities of the Celestial Masters' Mansion.
The gate of the Mansion was constructed in 1990. From overhead hangs a wooden tablet bearing the inscription “Mansion of the Celestial Master Descended from the Han Dynasty” ( 嗣漢天師府 Sihan Tianshi Fu ) . On the door pillars in front of the gate is a couplet: “Immortals live in Chi-lin Hall in the heaven, Premiers inhabit the Dragon and Tiger Mountain.” Among the newly repaired facilities is the Ceremonial Arch. On the east lies the Hall of the Mysterious Altar ( 玄壇殿 Xuantan Dian ) in honor of Zhao Gongming, Spirit of Wealth ( 財神 Caishen ); on the west stand the Bureau of Magical Registers ( 法籙局 Falu Ju ) and The Celestial Masters’ Office. Reconstructed in 1996, the Second Gate boasts its remarkable wooden tablet hung horizontally and a couplet inscribed on the pillars: “Mysterious Skills subdue dragons and tigers; Good virtues conquer Ghosts and Spirits”. Behind the gate lies a well, which is known as the Well of the Numinous Spring, the Well of Elixir, or the Well of Mysterious Water, a well allegedly dug by the famous Daoist Bai Yucan himself. Farther behind stands the Hall of the Jade Emperor, which was built on the original site of the Celestial Masters’ Preaching Hall. In the back of the hall is the Private Mansion, which is the Celestial Masters’ residence. The lobby of the hall, also known as the Hall of the Three Thoughts, used to serve as a meeting room. It was transformed into the Hall of the Celestial Masters in 1985. The middle section, originally called the Hall of the Kettle Immorta ( 壺仙堂 Huxian Tang ) , used to serve as the guest house. The Back section, also known as High House, used to serve as the Celestial Masters’ living area. In the backyard are private gardens. In the east stood the Celestial Masters’ ancestral temple and private studies. The Ancestral Altar of All Skills was located at the western court, where are spread three halls: the main hall, namely, the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清殿 Sanqing Dian ) in the middle, and the Hall of The Numinous Official ( 靈官殿 Lingguan Dian ) and the Hall of The Spirit of Wealth( 財神殿 Caishen Dian ) , the subsidiary halls, on both wings. The Celestial Masters' Mansion also boasts historical relics such as a 9999-catty weight bell dating back to the Yuan dynasty, a Daoist stone tablet with the handwriting of Zhao Mengping, the famous calligrapher, and other wooden tablets as well as couplets of different dynasties in Chinese history.