Encountering Immortals at Ganshui

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"Encountering Immortals at Ganshui" is a Daoist anecdote, an allusion found in the Record of the Immortals Encountered at Ganshui ( 甘水仙源錄 Ganshui Xianyuan Lu ). It is recorded in the book that in summer of the Jimao year during the reign of Zhenglong (A.D. 1159), Wang Chongyang, founder of the Complete Perfection tradition ( 全真 Quanzhen ), carrying a kettle on his back, went to Ganhe town. He liked to sip fragrant wine in a wine shop. Afterwards two initiates came to the town. They looked almost the same in appearance and temperament. Wang Chongyang was surprised at it. He followed them when they left the wine shop. In a secluded place, he paid formal respects to them. Thinking that Wang Chongchang was worthy of being initiated, the adepts secretly transmitted formulas to him. Later, Wang Chongyang encountered the adepts once again in Ganhe. As the story goes, in order for Wang Chongyang to abstain from alcohol, the initiates made him eat "sacred dung", and henceforth Wang Chongyang never drank alcohol. He took water from the Ganhe River with his kettle and just drank water daily. But when somebody once asked for some water from his kettle, he felt it had a dense smell of wine. When approaching Perfect Man ( 真人 Zhenren ) Chongyang, they immediately smelled a sweet scent of wine assailing their nostrils, and were made drunken at once. The water in perfect Man Chongyang's kettle that smelt of sweet wine was regarded as water from an immortal source.