Mt. Weibao Daoist Temple (Weishan, Yunnan)
Mt. Weibao, or Mt. Wei, is situated in Dalizhou Huishan Yi and Hui Autonomous County of Yunnan Province. According to the general records of the mountain, The Five Pecks of Rice Tradition ( 五斗米道 Wudou Midao ) founded by Zhang Ling of the Eastern Han dynasty once spread to this region, where many stories about Celestial Master ( 天師 Tianshi ) Zhang still go round to this day. In the period of the Three Kingdoms, Meng Huo’s brother Meng You got books of immortality from an extraordinary person and settled on Mt. Weibao to aid the people with Magical Arts ( 方術 Fangshu ). Besides, local legend has it that The Supreme Venerable Sovereign ( 太上老君 Taishang Laojun ) once enlightened the founder of the Nanzhao, Xinuluo on Mt. Weibao, and for this reason the imperial descendents of Nanzhao built the Hall of the Venerable Sovereign on the mountain in the Tang dynasty. Also, it is recorded in Chapter six in the Brief History of Dian by Xie Zhaozhe of the Ming dynasty that Du Guangting, an eminent Tang Daoist, once propagated teachings on Mt. Weibao. Furthermore, the story goes among the people that Lü Dongbin once drifted to Mt. Weibao and disseminated doctrines there. Between the end of the Ming and the beginning of the Qing dynasty, a good many Daoists went to Mt. Weibao, being hermits there and cultivating themselves, taking in disciples and spreading teachings.
Moreover, in addition to the already existing hall and temples, such as the Mountain-Inspecting Hall, the Wenchang Temple, the Mountain Spirit Temple, and the Dragon King Temple ( 龍王廟 Longwang Miao ), they set up over twenty new halls and temples, including the Green Cloud Temple, the Jade Emperor ( 玉皇 Yuhuang ) Pavilion, the Hall of the Three Officials ( 三官殿 Sanguan Dian ), the Hall of Three Masters, the Hall of the Three August Ones ( 三皇 Sanhuang ), the Kui Star Pavilion, the Big Dipper ( 斗姥 Doumu ) Pavilion, the Infinity ( 無極 Wuji ) Hall, the Emerald Cloud Temple, the Cloud and Crane Temple, the Dao Origin Temple, the Hall of the Spirit of Wealth ( 財神 Caishen ), etc. In the Qing dynasty, Daoism on Mt. Weibao developed to great prosperity. It attracted the largest number of worshippers in history, and hundreds of Daoists entered into the religion for cultivation on this mountain, which became a Daoist sacred site.
The existing temples on Mt. Weibao are compactly and neatly arranged, double-eaved and standing high, shaped with evident features of ancient buildings of the minority nationalities and local characteristics. The mural paintings in the temples involve rich and varied subjects, and the images are lifelike and vivid.
The Mountain-Inspecting Hall is the main hall on Mt. Weibao. It was so named because it was said that the Supreme Venerable Sovereign once honored Xinuluo, founder of Nanzhao, as Mountain-Inspecting King. The local fellowmen of the Yi nationality hold Ancestor Worship ( 祭祖 Jizu ) ceremonies twice a year in this hall. In the period of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty, the local people initiated the Temple Fair ( 廟會 Miaohui ) of pilgrimage to Mt. Weibao, which lasted half a month---- from the first to the fifteenth day of the second lunar month. This activity gradually declined in the period of the Republic of China. In recent years, with the implementation of the policy of freedom of religious belief and the development of the tourist industry, the Temple Fair of Mt. Weibao has been rejuvenated, and meanwhile, the traditional concert of Cavern Scripture Music ( 洞經音樂 Dongjing Yinyue ) and the Yi nationality’s singing festival on Mt. Weibao have been revived.