Mt. Lu

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Grotto Heavens & Blissful Realms
The Ten Continents and Three Islands
The Ten Great Grotto Heavens
The Thirty-six Lesser Grotto Heavens
The Seventy-two Auspicious Realms
Famous Mt.
Mt.Tai Mt. Heng (Hunan province) Mt. Hua

Mt. Heng (Northern Shanxi Province and Northwest Hebei province)
Mt. Qian Mt. Wuyi Mt. Wudang Mt. Qingcheng Mt. Song
Mt. Mao Mt. Kongdong Mt. Zhongnan Mt. Gezao
Mt. Qiyun Mt. Lao Mt. Longhu Mt. Lu Mt. Luofu

Located at the western side of the Poyang Lake in the south of the Changjiang River, Mt. Lu meanders through Jiangxi Province. Its highest peak, the Dahanyang Peak, is 1,543 meters above sea level. Mt. Lu was called Kuanglu in ancient times, so it is also called Mt. Kuang. It is said that during the reign of King Weilie of the Zhou dynasty (4th century B.C.), Kuang Su (also known in some books as Kuang Yu or Kuang Xu) built a hut on the top of the mountain and cultivated himself wholeheartedly. The emperor got to know this and asked him to come out many times, but he declined as many times, and afterwards went even deeper into remote mountains. When the messenger managed to find his straw hut after searching for a long time, he had already ascended to heaven and become an immortal. It is said that this is why Mt. Lu is so named.

Mt. Lu has a long history of Daoism. As early as the period of the Three Kingdoms, the famous Daoist, Dong Feng, lived in seclusion at the foot of Banruo Peak, Mt. Lu. Skilled in medicine, he treated the mountain people widely but never accepted a single cent. Instead, he simply requested that seriously ill patients plant five apricot trees and those who were not so seriously ill plant one after they were cured. Several years later, there were already several thousand trees that formed a forest. After Dong Feng passed away, people built a memorial in honor of him. The tale of planting trees is so widespread that people later refer to those with high medical skills as "reputed in the apricot forest".

During the Liu Song period of the Southern dynasties, the renowned Daoist adept Lu Xiujing traveled to the south in order to take refuge from the turmoil in the Taichu era. He arrived at Mt. Lu in the fifth Daming year (461) and built an exquisite house below the cliff of the southeastern waterfall. There he lived a secluded life and cultivated Dao. After ascending the throne, Emperor Ming of the Song dynasty intended to advance Daoism. He summoned Lu Xiujing and built the Temple for the Worship of Emptiness ( 崇虛館 Chongxu Guan ) on Mt. Tianyin in the suburbs of the capital for him to live in. In the fifth Yuanhui year (477), Lu Xiujing died at the age of 72. His disciples took his coffin back to Mt. Lu. He was given the posthumous title the Simplicity and Quietness Gentleman ( 簡寂先生 Jianji Xiansheng ) by imperial order, and his former residence on Mt. Lu was named the Temple of Simplicity and Quietness.

After Lu Xiujing died, Daoism on Mt. Lu was developed to a high degree, and numerous temples were successively set up, such as the Temple of Auspicious Correspondence ( 祥符觀 Xiangfu Guan ), the Temple of Anterior Heaven ( 先天 Xiantian ), the Jingde Temple, the White Crane Temple ( 白鶴觀 Baihe Guan ), the Temple of Extensive Blessings ( 廣福宮 Guangfu Gong ), and the Temple of Supreme Peace ( 太平 Taiping ). The Temple of Extensive Blessings was founded at the western piedmont near the Donglin Temple. It is commonly called "the Temple in Honor of Gentleman Kuang" and commemorated the earliest founder Kuang Su. The Temple of Great Peace was at the eastern piedmont. It was built in the Tang dynasty and called the Temple of the Mediators of the Nine Heavens, and was enlarged in the Song dynasty and renamed the "Taiping Xingguo Temple".

Having undergone great changes in the course of time, most Daoist temples on Mt. Lu are no longer extant. The only one that is intact is the temple of the Immortal's Grotto ( 仙人洞 Xianren Dong ). The grotto is in the northwest of the Guling Ridge. It results from the natural process of efflorescing. Tradition has it that it is the place where Lu Dongbin refined himself and attained Dao. Today there are the Chunyang Temple that worships Lü Dongbin and the Temple of the Venerable Sovereign that worships The Supreme Venerable Sovereign ( 太上老君 Taishang Laojun ). In the grotto, there is the so-called "One-Drop Spring" formed by drops from splits in stone, and there are some carved stones of the Ming dynasty on the wall, such as "Heavenly Spring Grotto", "Serene Benevolent Spring", and "Good Water of the Grotto Heaven". In 1961, Chairman Mao Zedong traveled here and wrote a poem, saying, "In vague twilight I looked at the sight of the sturdy pine trees, which still stand calmly in scudding clouds. Nature gives birth to the Immortal's Grotto, which displays a spectacular scene on the perilous peak."

The great poet of the Song dynasty Su Dongpo wrote a poem: "Seen horizontally, it is like a ridge, while seen vertically, it is like a peak. The mountain looks different from afar, up close, from above, or below. We fail to learn Mt. Lu's true appearance, just because we are in the mountain." This poem added a great deal to the miraculous quality of Mt. Lu.