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The Qingyang Taoist Temple

The Qingyang Taoist Temple was originally built in the 25th year of Zhaowang's Reign of Zhou Dynasty (c.a. 1000 B.C.E.) under the name "Qingyang Si" (Black Ram Market).  A thousand days after Laozi had left China to the west through the Hangu Pass, it became the place of Laozi's second incarnation and in here he helped Yin Xi the Supreme Perfected to transcend the world.  In Shuzhong Guangji ( Broad Records of Shu), by a late Ming scholar Cao Xuequan (1574–1646), it says, "According to Shuji (The Records of Shu), Laozi left to the west through Hangu Pass and composed the Dao De Jing  for Yin Xi , the commander of the pass.  Before he left, he told Yin Xi to find him in the Qingyang Si of Chengdu a thousand days later.  When that day came, Yin Xi met him at a dignitary's mansion (whose family name was Li ) as expected and Laozi imparted him Jade Fascicle Gold Script and named him Wenshi.  Comment: Qingyang Taoist Temple is now located 5 li (1.7 miles) southwest of the Chengdu city.  There is a bronze ram as big as an elk.  On the 25th day of the second lunar month every year, people came from different places to commemorate the meeting between Taishang Laojun (Most High Lord Lao) and Yin Xi."  Therefore, The Qingyang Taoist Temple is nowadays the sacred site attributed to Taishang Laojun.  And on his birthday every year (the 25th day of the second lunar month), there is a magnificent ritual ceremony for celebration.

The temple was named Qingyang Guan (Abbey of Black Ram) in the Three Kindoms Period (220–280) and was renamed Xuanzhong Guan (Abbey of Mysterious Center) in Tang Dynasty (618–907).  By the time of emperor Xizong's exile to Sichuan in the first year of Zhonghe Reign (881), he visited the temple and sponsored an jiao (Offering) to the deities.  In order to express the gratitude for "Most High (Lord Lao)'s pacifying the disturbances of the Zhonghe Reign" , the emperor renamed the temple into Qingyang Gong (Palace of Black Ram) and sponsored grand halls and buildings.  Destroyed and rebuilt multiple times through the following hundreds of years, the temple didn't survive the war in late Ming nonetheless.  However, during the sixth to tenth year of Kangxi Reign (1667–1671), Zhang Dedi, the Governor of Sichuan Province, sponsored the rebuilding of the temple, which is recorded in the "Records of the Stele of Rebuilding of Qingyang Wanshou Gong." (1671).  Most of the current buildings were built during the Tongzhi and Guangxu Reign (1862–1874; 1875–1908).  The entrance of the temple is called "Shanmen" (mountain gate), followed by a cluster of buildings, including "Lingzu Dian" (Hall of Patriarch Spirit), "Hunyuan Dian" (Hall of Chaotic Origin), "Bagua Ting" (Pavilion of Eight Trigram), "Sanqing Dian" (Hall of Three Purities), "Doumu Dian" (Hall of Mother of the Dipper), "Shuofa Tai" (Terrace for Explaining Dharma/Law), "Jiangsheng Tai" (Terrace of [Lord Lao's] Incarnation), "Yuhuang Lou" (Pavilion of Jade Sovereign), "Tangwang Dian" (Hall of Tang Emperors), etc.  The temple covers an area of 79 mu, which equals about 52,000 square metres.

In the eighth year of Qianlong Reign (1743), An Hongde , the prefect of Huayang County, and Xia Shao , the prefect of Chengdu County, sponsored the renovation of the temple and invited Master Wang Yicui , who is the disciple of Zhang Qingye (styled name Daoist Men of Changzhou) in Wuhou Ci (Temple of Marquis Martial), to hold the post of abbot.  At that time, with disciples gathering and the pure rules restored, the Qingyang Taoist Temple became a great temple, even grander than it ever was.

During the Kangxi Reign (1662–1722), Erxian An (Hermitage of the Two Immortals) was built at the back garden of the temple.  Master Chen Qingjue  from Taizi Po of Wudang Mountain  was invited to hold the post of abbot.  In the tenth lunar month of the 41st year of Kangxi Reign (1703), Emperor Kangxi wrote two tablets personally, bearing the inscription "Erxian An" and "Dantai Bidong" (Jasper Cavern of the Cinnabar Terrace), and conferred Chen Qingjue the title "Bidong Zhenren" (Perfected of Jasper Cavern).  That's how the Bidong lineage of Longmen (Dragon Gate) Branch of Quanzhen
(Complete Perfection) School was established in Erxian An.  In the 29th year of the Daoguang Reign (1849), the Qingyang Taoist Temple was restructured from a private temple into a public one, as known as a Shifang Conglin (Monastery of Ten Directions).

During the Guangxu Reign, the abbot Song Hui'an received a set of ritual gowns and a begging bowl from Baiyun Guan (Abbey of the White Clouds) in the capital.  With the opening of the altar, the abbot began to transmit the threefold precepts, "Chuzhen Jie" (Beginning Precepts of Perfection) , "Zhongji Jie" (Precepts of Central Ultimate), and "Tianxian Dajie" (Great Precepts of the Celestial Immortals) to taoists, which ended in 1947.  And in the 18th year of the Guangxu Reign (1892), Yan Yonghe , the abbot of Erxian An, together with He Longxiang  from Jingyan and Peng Hanran from Xinjin , initiated the republication of Daozang Jiyao ( Essentials of the Daoist Canon) based on the original copy edited by Jiang Yuanting  from the private collection of Yan Lingfeng , a famous bibliophile in Chengdu.  This project took almost 15 years and was accomplished in 1915.  The printing boards of Chongkan Daozang Jiyao (New Edition of the Essentials of the Daoist Canon) and other texts, such as variant taoist scriptures, talismans, ritual memorials, authenticating certificates of precepts, and the famous Guangcheng Yizhi (Compendium of Guangcheng Liturgy), had been housed in the Bidong Shufang (Library of Jasper Cavern) of Erxian An, before they were transferred to the Qingyang Taoist Temple for preservation in 1961.

Because of some historical reasons, Erxian An belonged to the Cultural Park at one time.  Under the effort of our abbot, the main part of the Erxian An was nevertheless returned to the Qingyang Taoist Temple in 2002 and underwent a major renovation.

Address:Qingyang Taoist Temple Nine West Section 2, First Ring Road,Chengdu 610072,Sichuan  Province P.R.China

Tel/Fax: 028-87766584

(This information is provided by The Qingyang Taoist Temple)