Temple of All-Embracing Heaven on Mt. Mian (Jiexiu, Shanxi)

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Lying in Jiexiu city, Shanxi Province, Mt. Mian is 160km away from the provincial capital, Taiyuan. A northern branch of Taiyue mountain, it is 2500 meters high in altitude. According to legend, in the Spring and Autumn and period, Jie Zitui of the Jin State and his mother were secluded and were cremated here, so the mountain is also called Jie Mountain.


Many temples were built on Mt. Mian in history, but most were damaged till recent times. In 1995, Mr. Yan Jiying, a local lay Daoist, collected a great sum of money and started to restore Daoism in Mt. Mian. Till present, he and others have built over 60 halls and 600 statues, ranked as the highest scale of restoration in the country.


The most conspicuous aspect of Daoism on Mt. Mian is the scenic area around the Temple of All-Embracing Heaven ( 大羅宮 Daluo Gong ). The Palace of All-Embracing Heaven is the highest immortal realm of Daoism. According to legend, the Temple of All-Embracing Heaven was first built during Emperor Xuanzong's reign, during the Tang Dynasty. The original construction was destroyed during wars. The present Palace of All-Embracing Heaven, 110 meters in height, is an archaic 7-storey construction. With a built area surpassing 30,000 m2, it is the biggest Daoist temple in China.


The main hall of the Temple of All-Embracing Heaven is dedicated to the Heavenly Lord of Namelessness ( 無名天尊 Wuming Tianzun ), the Primordial Sovereign of the Infinite ( 無極元君 Wuji Yuanjun ), and the Venerable Ancestor of the Great Creation ( 洪鈞老祖 Hongjun Laozu ). The major side halls include the Hall of the Gods of Wealth ( 財神殿 Caishen Dian ) (Zhao Gongming as the Martial God of Wealth ( 武財神 Wu Caishen ) and Bi Gan and Fan Li as the Civil Gods of Wealth ( 文財神 Wen Caishen )), the Hall of Salvation from Misery ( 救苦殿 Jiuku Dian ) (for The Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery ( 太乙救苦天尊 Taiyi Jiuku Tianzun )), the Hall of the Three Officials ( 三官殿 Sanguan Dian ) (for The Three Great Emperor-Officials of Heaven, Earth and Water ( 天、地、水三官大帝 Tian Di Shui Sanguan Dadi )), the Hall of Original Years ( 元辰殿 Yuanchen Dian ) (for the Sixty Supreme Year Stars ( 太歲星辰 Taisui Xingchen ) ), the Hall of the Big Dipper ( 斗姥殿 Doumu Dian ) (for the Primordial Sovereign of the Big Dipper, the mother of all stars ( 斗姥元君 Doumu Yuanjun ) ), the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清殿 Sanqing dian ) (for The Primeval Lord of Heaven in the Heaven of Jade Clarity ( 玉清元始天尊 Yuqing Yuanshi Tainzun ), The Heavenly Lord of the Numinous Treasure in the Heaven of Highest Clarity ( 上清靈寶天尊 Shangqing Lingbao Tianzun ) , The Heavenly Lord of Dao and its Virtue in the Heaven of Supreme Clarity ( 太清道德天尊 Taiqing Daode Tianzun )), the Hall of Constellations ( 星宿殿 Xingxiu Dian ) (for the Twenty-Eight Constellations ( 二十八宿 Er’shi’ba Xiu )), the Hall of the Numinous Heaven ( 靈霄殿 Lingxiao Dian ) (for The Jade Emperor ( 玉皇大帝 Yuhuang Dadi ), The Great Heavenly Emperor ( 天皇大帝 Tainhuang Dadi ), the Great South Pole Emperor of Longevity ( 南極長生大帝 Nanji Changsheng Dadi ), the Great Emperor of the North Pole Star of Purple Subtlety ( 紫微大帝 Ziwei Dadi ) and The Imperial God of Earth ( 后土皇地祇 Houtu Huang Diqi ) ).


Besides the Temple of All-Embracing Heaven, Daoist temples on Mt. Mian include the Divine Palace of the Three Grottoes ( 三洞神宮 Sandong Shengong ) , i.e. the Palace of Pervasive Perfection ( 洞真宮 Dongzhen Gong ), the Palace of Pervasive Mystery ( 洞玄宮 Dongxuan Gong ), and the Palace of Pervasive Divinity ( 洞神宮 Dongshen Gong ).