Eternal Dao Temple on Mt. Qingcheng (Dujiangyan, Sichuan)

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The Eternal Dao Temple ( 常道觀 Changdao Guan ) stands on the level ground between Baiyun stream and Haitang stream on Mt. Qingcheng, Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province. It is commonly called the Celestial Masters' Grotto ( 天師洞 Tianshi Dong ) because of the grotto behind the temple, which was inhabited by Zhang Daoling, the Celestial Master ( 天師 Tianshi ) of the Han dynasty. Founded during the reign of Daye of the Sui dynasty (605-618), it was formerly named "Temple of Prolonged Blessings ", ( 延慶觀 Yanqing Guan ) and renamed as "Temple of Eternal Dao" in the Tang dynasty and "Temple of Revealed Blessings " ( 昭慶觀 Zhaoqing Guan ) or "Shrine of The Yellow Emperor " ( 黃帝 Huangdi ) in the Song dynasty. Its present buildings were reconstructed in the period of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty (1662-1722), under the direction of Abbot ( 住持 Zhuchi ) Chen Qingjue, and restored again by Abbot Peng Chunxian in 1920-1939. The temple has been maintained by the Daoist Association of Mt. Qingcheng since 1980.


The main halls of the Eternal Dao Temple include the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清 Sanqing ), the Shrine of the Yellow Emperor, and the Hall of the Celestial Master.


The Hall of the Three Pristine Ones is the principal hall of the Eternal Dao Temple. It is a double-eaved pavilion building rebuilt in 1923. Nine flights of stone steps are laid in front of the hall, and six big stone columns are arrayed under the front roof. Five rooms are arranged horizontally in the unsophisticated and grand, double-eaved and upturned-ridged hall. Right in the middle hangs a horizontal board inscribed with the words "Elixir Platform of the Azure Grotto", written by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty. Enshrined and worshiped in the hall are the supreme Daoist gods and Patriarchs of Dao ( 道祖 Daozu ), the Three Pristine Ones. Upstairs is the Hall of Infinity ( 無極 Wuji ), where there are eight wooden-carved screens, which were are to have been made in the Ming dynasty.


An old tree stands beside the Ginkgo Pavilion in front of the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones. It is said to have been planted in person by Celestial Master Zhang of the Eastern Han dynasty.


The Shrine of the Yellow Emperor was originally built in the Sui dynasty. It is the oldest hall in the Temple of the Eternal Dao. On the horizontal board right in the middle are four golden characters "Ancient Shrine of the Yellow Emperor", written by Yu Youren,. In the corridor in front of the shrine there is a "stele of the shrine of Yellow Emperor Xuanyuan", inscribed on which is a eulogy written by general Feng Yuxiang in 1943. A golden statue of Yellow Emperor Xuanyuan is worshiped in the shrine.


One stone statue of Fuxi, one of Shennong and one of the Yellow Emperor are enshrined and worshiped in the Hall of the Three August Ones ( 三皇 Sanhuang ). In front of the throne is a "stele with an inscription written by Emperor Shenwu during the Kaiyuan years of the great Tang dynasty". It was handed down in past dynasties as a treasure of the temple. In the hall there are also a "stele of the lineage of The Azure Grotto Lineage ( 碧洞宗 Bidong Zong ) of The Dragon Gate Sect]] ", ( 龍門派 Longmen Pai ) a "stele in memory of the rebuilding of the Eternal Dao temple directed by Perfect Man ( 真人 Zhenren ) Peng Chunxian", and a stele inscribed with a portrait of the Celestial Master drawn by Zhang Daqian.


The Hall of the Celestial Master is located in front of the grotto on the Chaotic Origin Peak ( 混元頂 Hunyuan Ding ). It was reconstructed in the tenth Guangxu year of the Qing dynasty (1884). The grotto behind the hall is the so-called Celestial Master's Grotto. Worshiped in a stone niche in the grotto is a statue carved in the Sui Dynasty of Celestial Master Zhang Daoling, looking dignified with three eyes in his face. There is a huge stone on the left of the Celestial Master's Grotto. According to legend, it is the stone that the Celestial Master used for vanquishing demons.