Tianshi Temple

On September 5, 2011, in Historical Relics, Popular Provinces, Sichuan, Temples, by Jack Li

Tianshi Temple (Taoist Master’s Temple), also known as Changdao Taoism Temple, is the major temple complex in Qingcheng Mountain. Legend holds that Zhang Daoling, the founder of Tianshi Daoism, practiced Daoism doctrines and cultivated himself here, which gives to the name Tianshi.

Sanqing Hall is the main building of the Temple. It was a multi-eave pavilion-like house on the top of a hill, built in 1923. There are nine steps leading up to it with six marble pillars in the front yard. The horizontal inscribed board over the front door inscribed “crimson platform and emerald cave” by the Qing Emperor Kangxi. The couplets along the door says, “One gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, and three gives birth to everything” and “human follow land, land follow sky, sky follow Taoism, Taoism follow nature” on each side, which are central concepts of Taoism. The Hall houses for three supreme gods of Taoism: Primus the emperor of heaven, Lingbao God and Moral God. Taoists believes the three are creators of the universe. Another major building is the Sanhuang Hall housing for the god Fuxi, the agricultural god and Yellow Emperor. The statues are seated statues measuring 1m tall carved in 723. Taoism considers Yellow Emperor and Lao Tse as chief masters. Legends hold that the Yellow Emperor had been learning Taoism after Ningzifeng who later assisted him to win the battle against Chuiyou. The Yellow Emperor went up into heaven after he finished learning and practicing Taoism principles. That’s why the statue of Yellow Emperor was housed in the Hall and there is also a Yellow Emperor Hall built in remembrance of him. The landscape in around Tianshi Temple is quiet and delicate. There stand three chunks of rocks in the east inscribed “eliminate evils”. Given to the legend that Zhang was stopped by a vast chunk of rock on his way to fight against evils. He then chopped it into three smaller ones.

Qingcheng Mountain

Jack Li

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