Supreme Clarity Temple (Taiqinggong) , Shenyang
A Brief Introduction
Eatablished in the second year of the reign of emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty (1663) by Guo Shouzhen, a descendant of the eighth generation of The Dragon Gate Sect ( 龍門派 Longmen Pai ) of The Complete Perfection Tradition ( 全真道 Quanzhen Dao ), the Supreme Clarity Temple ( 太清宮 Taiqing Gong ) now covers an area of 3,900 square meters and is located in Shenhe District, Shenyang City. Formerly called "Three Teachings' Hall", it was renamed in the 44th year of the reign of emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty (1779), when Zhao Yichen was its Temple Inspector. With the perfection of its conditions, it has developed into the most influential Daoist temple in northeast China and a center for Daoist activities.
Originally, there was a big pool outside the northwest corner of Shenyang City. In the spring of the second year of the reign of emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty, due to a serious drought in Fengtian (Shenyang), general Wukuli, who was in charge of guarding the city, out of admiration for Guo Shouzhen, summoned him to pray for rain. After his prayers were answered, he chose to build the Three Teachings' Hall at that place. Guo Shouzhen was a disciple of Li Changming, the Master of Commandments ( 律師 Lushi ) of the seventh generation of the Dragon Gate Sect. He had cultivated assiduously in the Eight Treasures' Cloudy Light Cave of Tiesha Mountain in Benxi, and was an illustrious personage. He was invited to Fengtian to illustrate the teachings at the ritual altar, thus founding the Supreme Clarity Temple and becoming its founder. As time went on, the Supreme Clarity Temple underwent several vicissitudes and has been renovated several times. The present sites were all rebuilt in the 1980s.
Since the Supreme Clarity Temple was formed in conformity with the system of temples, there have been ten abbots, namely Sun Baoyi, Zhao Jianren, Zhang Yuanxuan, Wei Yongcai, Ge Mingxin, Ji Zhiyin, Jin Chengze, Zheng Zongwu, Yue Chongdai and Tian Chongqu. Among these abbots, Ge Mingxin had great influence and made an outstanding contribution. After his death, he was interred in a tower specially built in Wuliang Temple of Mt. Qian.
The Supreme Clarity Temple was approved of as a provincial key historic relics protection unit and is a national key Daoist temple. Thanks to the government's concern, it has played an active function in the founding of the Daoist associations of both the city and the province.
In the "years of turbulence", the Daoist priests of the Supreme Clarity Temple were dispersed. Factories and schools occupied the premises. The sound of Wood Blocks ( 木魚 Muyu ) and bells died out, and the traces of Daoism almost disappeared. After chaos was dispelled and peace was restored, the Supreme Clarity Temple revived like a dry tree reviving in spring. The government provided funds to renovate it, and the profound intelligence of Daoism was once more instilled into the heart of each person in the temple. Everyone wishes the reform and opening policy will bring more fortune to the Supreme Clarity Temple.
Now there are eight halls in the Supreme Clarity Temple. They are: the Venerable Sovereign's Hall dedicated to The Supreme Venerable Sovereign ( 太上老君 Taishang Laojun ), the founder of Daoism, which contains the deities for protecting Skills, namely Wei Tuo and Wang Lingguan; the Jade Emperor's Hall for the worship of The Great Jade Emperor ( 玉皇大帝 Yuhuang Dadi ); the Hall of the Three Officials dedicated to The Three Officials (or Three Origins) Yao, Shun and Yu; Emperor Guan's Hall for the worship of Emperor Guan ( 關帝 Guandi ), Guan Ping and Zhou Cang; the Hall of Numinous Officials ( 靈官殿 Lingguan Dian ) for worshipping the Numinous Officials Wang and Zhao, deities for guarding Skills and protecting mountains; Patriarch Guo's Hall, dedicated to Guo Shouzhen, the founder of the Supreme Clarity Temple, and great Immortals which guard Skills; Patriarh Lű's Hall in which are enshrined Patriarch Lű, Patriarch Liu and Patriarch Ji; and Patriarch Qiu's Hall for the worship of Perfect Man ( 真人 Zhenren ) Qiu Chuji, the founder of the Dragon Gate Sect. The first and fifteenth days of each month of the lunar calendar are the dates for offering sacrifices to the divinities. On these days, the believers burn incense, bow in salute, present petitions and pray. Their gathering causes an extraordinary atmosphere.
Address: 16 West Shuncheng Street, Shenhe District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, China (postal code: 110013)