Difference between revisions of "The Ten Continents and Three"
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Latest revision as of 16:21, 20 July 2009
During the Warring States periods, Immortalist Magicians seeking Immortality (神仙方士 shenxian fangshi) imagined three divine mountains in the sea, named Penglai, Fangzhang, and Yingzhou, which were said to be the habitations of Immortals(仙人 xianren) in the Bohai Sea. It was said that drugs of immortality could be found in these mountains. Later, they evolved in Daoism into the Ten Continents and the Three Islands, namely the Zu Continent, the Ying Continent, the Xuan Continent, the Yan Continent, the Chang Continent, the Yuan Continent, the Liu Continent, the Liu Continent, the Sheng Continent, the Fenglin Continent, the Juku Continent, and Kunlun Island, Fangzhang Island, and Penglai Island.
The Ying Continent is said in Daoism to be in the Eastern Sea. It has a circumference of 4,000 li, Immortalist plants grow in abundance, its jade stones stand as high as 1,000 zhang, and its gushing springs, called Yuli Spring, taste like wine and bring people longevity when they drink its water.
Fangzhang Island, one of the Three Islands, is said in Daoism in to be in the East China Sea. It covers 5,000 li and is governed by the Three Heavens' Controller of Destinies4. Immortals hoping to ascend to Heaven come to the island to receive the Register of the Supreme Mysterious Birth5. On the island one also finds the palace of the Elder of the Nine Plains6, who governs all the water spirits, dragons and snakes, giant whales, and water beasts in the world. Penglai Island, another one of the Three Islands, is said in Daoism to be opposite the northeast bank of the East China Sea. It has a circumference of 5,000 li and is particularly honourable as the big tie used by the Emperor of Heaven7 to tie up the Nine Heavens8. Once upon a time, when the mythical emperor Dayu finished regulating the rivers, he came here to worship God on the northern hill, owing his great merit to the Nine Heavens.