Mount Jiuhua Ksitigarbha / Dizang (the Bodhisattva
of Salvation) is enshrined on Mount Jiuhua.
Mount Jiuhua in Anhui Province, is one
of the four Buddhist shrines, the other three are Mount
Wutai in Shanxi Province, Mount Emei in Sichuan Province,
and Mount Putuo in Zhejiang Province in China.
It is said that Ksitigarbha or Dizang (the
Bodhisattva of Salvation) is enshrined on Mount Jiuhua.
Ksitigarbha is one of the Mahayana Bodhisattvas of Buddhism.
Buddhism relates that after the death of Sakyamuni and
before the emergence of Maitreya, Ksifigarbha was the
Bodhisartva that saved all the living creatures in heaven
and in hell. Like the earth, he was believed to have
possessed an unlimited amount of the best strains of
seeds. Buddhism continues that in the Tang Dynasty (618-907),
the Korean prince Kim Qiaojue came to China across the
sea. He meditated for 75 years at Mount Jiuhua. During
that period, Bodhisattva Dizang was preached, and large-scale
constrtion of monasteries was undertaken. The Song (960-1279)
, Yuan (1279- 1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911)
dynasties witnessed great changes. During the heyday
in history, there were over 300 monasteries with more
than 4,000 monks. Pilgrims came to Mount Jiuhua all
the year round, and was reputedes "the Fairy City
of Buddhist Kingdom". With the elapsing of time,
only 78 monastteries with over 1,500 Buddhist images
left on Mount Jiuhua.
The great poet Li Bai (701-762) in the Tang
Dynasty travelled to Mount Jiuhua three times, and wrote
the wonderful lines on "Nine lovely hibiscus blooms
wringing up, out of blue water in the far-off sky"
Following his example, over 300 scholars of the past
dynasties have left behind more than 500 popular verses.
Here exist waterfalls, springs, peaks and clouds, all
are intoxicating; temples and nunneries built against
the cliffs all possess the style of dwellings of South
Anhui Province. At the shrine, visitors will find beauty
in tranquillity and cordiality in elegance. When visitors
climb up the mountain along the northern route where
the scenery is most beautiful and monasteries and historic
sites are most numerous. Ganlusi (Sweet Dew Temple),
one of the four Buddhist monasteries at Mount Jiuhua,
located half way up the mountain, is now Mount Jiuhua
Buddhist College. Inside the temple, halls are spacious,
Buddha images numerous, and luxuriant trees and tall
bamboo make the environment peaceful and quiet. Looking
from a distance, visit(as see this lovely Taoyan Waterfall
at its best when the river is swollen from seasonal
rains. At this time the water spills over the tiers
with tremendous force, creating a strong breeze that
fans mist into every nook and cranny around the falls.
The view is indeed spectacular.
Encompassing 120 square kilometres, Mount
Jiuhua boasts 99 peaks, of which Tiantai (an elevation
of 1,325 metres), Lianhua, Tianzhu , and Shiwang are
the most magnificent. The main peak of Shiwang towers
1,342 metres above sea level. There are over 300 monasteries
scattered in the clouds and mist at Mount Jiuhua during
the heyday in history. After experiencing many vicissitudes,
only 78 monasteries have been left on Mount Jiuhua.
It is said that Mount Jiuhua ranks first among all the
four Buddhist shrines in China, in terms of the concentration
of Buddhist monasteries, the furnishings in them and
the perfection of the Buddhist images preserved.
Anhui Province carved more inscriptions
into the cliffs of Mount Jiuhua, a famous tourist attraction
and a sacred place of Buddhism in China for more than
2,000 years. But only 40 original inscriptions survived
before 1996. The local government carved about 100 more,
the writing of celebrities, Chinese calligraphers and
Buddhists. The Mount Jiuhua Administration Office set
up a special group to supervise the project, which was
completed by the end of 1998.
Chinese workers started construction on
September 9, 2001 of the world's largest statue of Bodhistattva
at Mount Jiuhua. The copper statue is a 15.5-metre-tall
likeness of the Buddha god of wisdom. The archetype
of the statue is Jin Qiaojue, a prince from the Xinluo
Kingdom (former name for the Korean Peninsular), who,
according to historical records, went to Mount Jiuhua
to become a monk in 719 ane spent 75 years there until
his death at 99. The Luoyang Copper Processing Conglomerate
using imitauon gold copper built the statue.
The Precious Hall of the Bodhisattva
It is located on Shenguang Ridge west of
Huachengsi Monastery. In the hall there is an incarnation
pagoda housing Bodhisattva Dizang. Buddhism has it that
in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Korean prince Kim
Qiaojue came to China across the sea. He meditated for
75 years at Mount Jiuhua and passed away, or achieved
nirvana at the age of 99. Because he looked very much
like Bodhisattva Dizang described in Buddhist legends
after his death, he was believed to be the incarnation
of Bodhisattva Dizang, and was called gold Bodhisattva
Dizang by the people of later generations. An incarnation
pagoda (Dizang Pagoda) was built for worship. The place
holding the pagoda was then called the Hall of the Incarnation.
Crossing the Jiuhua Street, visitors see a flight of
straight, precipitous steps leading directly to the
Precious Hall. In front of the hall there is a horizontal
board hanging above, carrying the words "First
Mountain in the Southeast" At the centre of the
hall stands a seven-storey pagoda made of red wood.
Top of the pagoda is decorated with a golden parasol,
and inside the pagoda are eight small chambers on every
storey with over 100 statues of Dizang in the chambers.
Big statues of Dizang can also be seen in front and
behind the pagoda. On both sides in the hall stand gilded
status of ten Hell-kings in different gestures? The
floor of the hall is paved with white marble, its roof
is covered with iron tiles, and the hall is surrounded
by exquisite stone pillars, carved, and painted corridors.
Another horizontal board at the back of the hall carries
the pledge of Dizang. Aceording to the monks, onks,
on the anniversary of Dizang's nirvana, Chinese and
foreign pilgrims come to worship and give alms.
Accommodating 5,000 people, the Centenarian
Palace was built at the edge of a precipice on the East
Peak and visitors can witness the incarnation of Monk
Wuxia, which has existed for over 400 yeats but is not
yet decayed. Monk Wuxia copied Huangyangjin Buddhist
Scripture into 81 volumes in 38 years with the blood
of his tongue and fingers mixed with gold powder. Buddhism
has it that Manjusri or the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, or
Wenshu in Chinese, is the left attendant of Sakyamuni.
His birth place is said to be on Mount Wutai in Shanxi
Province, North China. As the left attendant of Sakyamuni,
he is in charge of wisdom, usually shown riding a lion.
Standing side by side with Wenshu, Samantabhdra or Puxian
/ the Bodhisattva of Universal Benevolence is the right
attendant of Sakyamuni, Mount Emei in Sichuan Province,
Southwest China, has been known as the place where he
gained enlightenment. He is often shown riding an elephant.
Guanyin or Avalokitesvara is the left attendant of Amitabha
Buddha. She appears as one of the Three Western Sages
headed by Amitabha Buddha. Guanyin is described as a
Bodhisattva of Great Mercy, who helps the needy and
relieves the distressed, cures the disabled and saves
a sinking vessel whenever they call her title Bodhisattva
Guanyin. Guanyin, usually standing or sitting on a lotus
flower with a treasure vase full of dew held in her
right hand, was introduced into China with Mahayana
Buddhism and was first known as "Guanshiyin."
In the Tang Dynasty the Chinese character "shi'
was left out because it happened to be part of the name
of the reigning emperor -- Li Shimin (599-649, ruled
626-649). Thus Guanyin became the usual name. Buddhism
has it that Guanyin has 31 different images with 32
incarnations. Many of the images are female ones. As
early as the Northern and Southern Dynasties, the female
image of Guanyin appeared, and became quite popular
in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Guanyin has many names:
the White-Robed Guanyin, Dragon-Head Guanyin, Fish-Basket
Guanyin, Water and Moon Guanyin, Medicine-Bestowing
Guanyin, etc. Sometimes Guanyin stands on a lotus flower,
godhisattva Guanyin gained enlightenment on Mount Putuo,
on Zhoushan Island, Zhejiang Province, East China. Guanyin
in female image is often depicted holding a tiny chinaware
flask in her hand. In the Hall of Guanyin, these goddess
images sometimes sit amidst burning red candles. On
her three birthdays, lots of aged pilgrims come in and
kowtow before them with offerings of incense. Her birthdays
fall on the 19th day of the 2nd, the 6th and 9th lunar
months, said to be the time for the Bodhisattva to achieve
Nirvana or ascend to the Buddhist Western Happy Region.
At Mount Jiuhua, there are now over 600 monks and nuns
in 94 temples.
and Xidi Village