The Temple of Emptiness (Chongxuguan) , Guangdong

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The Temple of Emptiness ( 沖虛觀 Chongxu Guan ) is located to the south of the Zhuming Grotto at the northern piedmont of Mt. Luofu in Guangdong Province. Its former address is the southern temple, which is named Duxu, one of the four temples built by Daoist Ge Hong of the Eastern Jin dynasty. After Ge Hong ascended to immortality, the temple was changed into the Shrine of Ge Hong to honor him in the first Yixi year during the reign of Emperor Andi of the Jin dynasty (1087). In the Tianbao years during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty (742-756), it was enlarged and renamed "Shrine of Immortal Ge". Then it was given the name "Temple of Emptiness" by the emperor in the second Yuanyou year during the reign of Emperor Zhezong of the Song dynasty (1087). The temple was repaired during subsequent dynasties. Now it is one of the national key temples.

This ancient temple, surrounded by verdant pines and cypresses in a quiet environment, consists of the prime of the scene of Mt. Luofu. Standing in front of the temple is the Immortal Assembling Bridge. Inside the temple there are five lines of buildings, namely the Hall of The Numinous Official ( 靈官殿 Lingguan Dian ), the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清殿 Sanqing Dian ), the Hall of Great Immortal Huang, the Hall of Patriarch Lü, and the Hall of Immortal Ge. Besides, there are over 100 attached buildings, such as small houses for Daoists.

The Hall of the Three Pristine Ones is the main hall. It was built during the Guangxu era of the Qing dynasty. The hall primarily is the place of worship of the spirits of the Three Pristine Ones, and secondarily the four Perfect Sovereigns ( 真君 Zhenjun ), i.e. Zhang Daoling, Ge Xuan, Xu Xun and Sa Shoujian. On the two sides are established delicate shrines, the shrine for The Heavenly Lord of Universal Transformation Whose Voice of Thunder Resonates with the Origin of the Nine Heavens ( 九天應元雷聲普化天尊 Jiutian Yingyuan Leisheng Puhua Tiabzun ) on the east and that for The Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery ( 太乙救苦天尊 Taiyi Jiuku Tianzun ) on the west. The whole hall is richly and splendidly ornamented in green and gold.

Worshiped in the Hall of Great Immortal Huang is the disciple of Ge Hong, Huang Yeren (Huang Chuping). It is said that when Huang Yeren refined elixirs on Mt. Luofu with his master, Ge Hong, one day he went out on business, and when he came back, his master had already ascended to immortality. Later he found an elixir his master had left between pillars and ate it. Then he became an earth immortal and was always alive. It is said that he used to rush about in mountains and Champaign and treated the common people widely. Therefore, there are lots of pilgrims seeking him in the southeast.

The Hall of Patriarch Lü worships Lü Dongbin, one of The Eight Immortals ( 八仙 Baxian ). It is said that Su Dongpo once encountered Lü Dongbin on Mt. Luofu, who cured his son Su Guo of his eye disease.

The Shrine of Immortal Ge worships the sitting statues of Ge Hong and his wife Baogu. Baogu is the single daughter of Baojing, the prefect of the Southern Sea. She accepted paternal teaching in her childhood and was adept at medicine, especially moxibustion. She was famous for treating warts and tumors and was called Immortal Lady Bao ( 鮑仙姑 Bao Xiangu ).

There are many of Ge Hong's relics in the Temple of Emptiness. They have been introduced in the item "Mt. Luofu", so no more details are to be given here.