The Ai Shan scenic spots is located at the junction of the two provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong, which is honored one of the three famous mountains in northern Jiangsu. It has the same reputation with HuaGuo Mt. and YunLong Mt. With the size of 20 square kilometers, and 197.2 meters above sea level, there is an ancient saying of "Top of the country is Mount Tai; Top of Pei (anancient place in Jiangsu Province) area should be Mt. Ai". The mountain is the key mountain of ancient country Xu and an ancient cooking vessel "Ai" had been casted; there is also another saying that a god blessed Ai would be occurred in every sixty years, the locals try to pray for blessing, so it is known as Mt. Ai.Nine peaksconnect one after another and wriggle forward like nine lying dragons;that is why people also call it as Nine-Dragon Mountain.
AiShan scenic spots is famous for its breath-taking landscape. In the spring, the mountain is scattered with pink peach flower and green willow leaves; in the summer, the air is full of the fragrant flavor of locust tree and sweet aroma; the green leaves would turn to red or gray on the autumn, which gives a fantastic view; while in the winter, the pine and cypress shoulders the shinny white flake creating a fantasy snow world. Besides, the Nine-Dragon Mountain is rich in natural and cultural heritage.The thousand acres Peach Garden and Ruyi Lake are of natural beauty scene; Ruyi Avenue and Nine-Dragon Pagoda present the Buddha culture and thoughts; inTiefu Temple and Huayan Temple the bell would ring in the dawn,while at the dusk the drum can be heard; the legend has that Zhang Liang delivering script and Xuze's retirement story. After thousands years' accumulation of history and culture, Mt. Nine-Dragon becomes a resort of both beautiful landscape and sacred place of Buddhism;and with the combination of historic sense and brilliant culture, it becomes a sacred place of Buddhism for blessing and a spiritual homeland of the people surrounding hundreds of kilometers.
Dear Honored guests，good morning, welcome to visit Aishan Mountain Scenic Spots.
Aishan Mountain Scenic Spots. which is located at the junction of Jiangsu and Shandong province, situated in the Tiefu County, Pizhou. It is well-located and easy of access. Jiulongshan Mountain, formally named Aishan Mountain, is one of the three famous mountains in the north of Jiangsu province. As the saying goes, “There are many different sceneries in the same mountain.” it has a superb climate and a great many scenic spots including the site of Aiwangcheng City, Xushu Cavity where Xushu lived in seclusion in the period of the Kingdoms, the ancient battlefield, Heifengkou, in the period of Song dynast, Grandmother Temple in the period of Ming and Qing dynasty, the subordinates temples of Shaolin Temple including Tiefo Temple, Huayan Temple, and Jiulongfo Temple, and the Ruyi Avenue. You can also find some natural landscapes and beautiful legend, such as Phoenix Platform, Jiulong Ridge, Jiulong Gully and the oak forest.
Zhaobi, the traditional architectural style in China, plays the role of preserve the fortune. On the wall we can see five golden characters “Jiu Long Shan Sheng Di”, which literally mean “the holly place, Jiulongshan Mountain”, were written by Master Yicheng, the chairman of Chinese Buddhists Association.
Hanjue The huge architectures standing on the sides of the gate are Hanjue sightseeing stand. Jue is a kind of architecture built outside the city gate or a group of buildings to demonstrate the glory, in which there is a gap. It is 18 meters high and designed by Prof. Qikang of Southeast University, which is the tallest archaized building in the respect of Hanjue. Its elegant sculpt with classic simplicity brings us a visual feast.
Ruyi Avenue, with a length of 958 meters and a width of 12 meters, is an avenue for the tourists to walk on. The basso-relievo in the middle has a length of 518 meters and a width of 3.6 meters and was made of white marble in the artistic form of Han dynasty. In the beginning of basso-relievo, there carved the phoenix and dragon, which are traditional emblems of happiness used in the wedding in China. It also symbolized the fortune and good luck. There are four bats surrounding the dragon and phoenix which symbolize happiness and fortune, for the bat is the mascot of Chinese Buddhism. Lotus, which is also a holly mascot of Buddhism, means a peaceful world. We believe that, the dragon, phoenix, bat, lotus bring a happy life, good fortune and a peaceful world to us. There is holly bottle made of white marble with a height of 1.6 meters standing in the north of the basso-relievo. Being one of the eight treasures of Buddhism, it’s the throat of Fozu, also called “enduringvase”, represents good luck, pureness and fortune. Watching closely, you will find this whole sculpt consists of 69 sets of Ruyi, 69 sets of sacred vessels and 138 different pictures. 9 is the lucky number in Buddhism and there are 9999 lotus surrounding this sculpt which represent three important days of Guanyin, February 19th, September 19th , which were her birthday and enlightenment day respectively. Boundless Propitious Clouds, also called uninterrupted cloud, accompanying with lotus, mean enduring good luck (cloud and luck share the same pronunciation in Chinese). The 138 pictures convey their loyal pursuit for peace, harmony, luck, longevity, fortune, and happiness in the past thousands of years. In the south of the basso-relievo stands a Ruyi made by white marble with a length of 4.7 meters and a tallness of 2.7meters, whose shape is like a huge dragon, which indicates the prosperity of China. The trees along the avenue are ginkgo. As we know the ginkgo is a living fossil in the plants for it has a long life. These trees convey our sincere wish for a long life. We plant some persimmon trees, too. In Chinese, persimmon has the same pronunciation with thing, so there trees mean that everything goes well. Besides this, the yellow poplar trees form s shape of a Ruyi, with the persimmon trees, which mean everything goes well.
The site of Aiwang City
It is recorded in the historical books that, Dayu divided the whole country into 9 states and appointed Zhongxi in the early period of Xia dynasty. There were already dwellers here before he built Xu State. In the 6th year of the period of Western Zhou Dynasty under the administration of the king of Mu State, the king appointed Xuzidan as the Xuyanwang to rebuild the Xu State and treat Aishan Mountain as the Mountain of the State. He made a caldron which is the destiny of the state. In the period of Spring and Autumn, the offspring of Yanwang built a city in the east of Aishan Mountain which is named Aiwang City. According to the Pizhou Annals, the boundary of Xu State stretched from Yanzhou, Shandong in the north to Huai River in the south, and from Huaiyin, Gaoyou in the east to Anhui in the west with a length of 250 li and a width of 500 li. It existed as long as 1649 years consisting Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasty. Xuyanwang, the 32nd of the 44 kings advocate the Benevolent Governance which had a huge influence on the later kings. Xunzi, the ancient thinker, thought him as great as Zhongni, Zhougong, Gaoyao, Yiyi, Yu, Tang, Shun and Yao. The culture of Xu also affected the culture of Lu, Wu, and Yue and was the source of the culture of Huaihai which was dependant from the culture of Yellow River and Yangtze River. It is said that, the origin of the man whose first name is Xuzhou is Pizhou, for the capital of Xu State was found in Lixu, Pizhou. In the 1950s, the local government found a lot of quadrels，bronzes, coins, potteries, and antler when they dug the Fairy Lake. They also found a underground passage made of bluestones in an orchard of Bandiancun. This site brings us back to the ancient Aiwang City.
Tradition says that, after the collapse of this old city, it would recur every 60 years. There was an old man living in Zaolincun, one night, he planed to go to Picheng County and sell some broomcorn. Soon after he arrived at Aiwang City, and he felt tired and fallen asleep unconsciously by the road. Suddenly the old city reappeared, but the man thought he had arrived at Picheng and walked approach to the inner county. It was very strange that he found every store were closed and nobody in the street. When he was at the end of the street, he found a house without wall and a pan on the cooking bench. He laid his broomcorn on the ground and took the pan away. As this old farmer walked out of the city, he found this city disappeared suddenly. In fact, it was just a dream, when he waked up, he found himself still lying by the road and his broomcorn still on his side with a pan. Finally, he realized he come across the reappearing of the old city happened in every 60 years.
Auspicious Clouds Square
Next to the Ruyi Avenue is Auspicious Clouds Square, whose area is 1200 square meters. Watch closely and you’ll find it looks like the petal of a lotus. In the middle of the square stands the second largest hand-made trilith in the country—Six Paramitas Gate. This gate, with unique design and fine workship, is 16.8 meters in height and 41.7 meters in width and is made of 2000 tons of granite. This gate (also called the Gate of Wisdom) presents the culture of Han dynasty and is covered with the picture of the cultural relics found in Xuzhou.
The Six Paramitas in Buddhism is carved on the side of the gate, Dona (giving),Sila (precepts) ,Ksanti (patience) ,Virya (perseverance) ,Dhyana (concentration) and Prajna (wisdom). The Six Paramitas are the standards to judge whether you learn the wisdom and soul of the Buddhas. Dona means being selfless and showing great compassion to others. Not only donate some property but also tell others the wisdom of life, including how to live, to makes life more meaningful. Sila (precepts) consists of the regulations and commandments for Buddhists and the basic behaviors and conducts in society. Buddhism forbids the taking of life and stealing, which leads the folk to obey the nature rules and ethics. Before Shakyamuni’s nirvana, his disciple asked him how to spread Buddhism. He answered, “follow Sila” which showed the importance of Sila. Ksanti (patience) is suffering the pain and humiliation. He who can suppress a moment's anger may prevent a day of sorrow. Virya (perseverance) means the nazarite’s perseverance, which hits back at someone who thought Buddhism to be negative, gloomy, and world-weary. Dhyana (concentration) suggests that we should treat everything with a peaceful mind. Only beat these five Paramitas in our mind, can we attain the last Patamita, Prajna (wisdom). Finally we would know the value of life and the meaning of life.
This stone gateway is an evolvement of Lingxing Gate, for Emperor Han Gaozu decided that they should offer sacrifices to the stars before they offer sacrifice to God. It was also a kind of building that honor the ministers and some who was very loyal. Made by 269 chunks of stones in different sizes, this Six Patamitas Gate has 7 doors and 8 door leaves with a base of 1.3 meters high which was sank 1.5 meters deep in the ground. The main beam has a length of 9 meters, which weights over 30 tons.
There are 26 lion made in stone surrounding the gate, which had existed in the period of Han dynasty. These solemn lions are also the symbolization of bravery in Buddhism. We describe the preaching of Buddha as Lion Roar, which indicates the widespread Buddhism.
Seven Steps Lotus is extending beside the Gate. Shakyamuni,whose original name was Siddhartha Gautama, was the price of a small state in India. It was said that he was so smart that he could walk and speak when he was born. He took 7 steps and a lotus bloomed beneath each step. He pointed to the heaven and the earth and said, “I am king of the world.”Here, we wish all of you good luck.
Now we’ve arrived at Propitious Square, which has a shape of a lotus, with the eight auspicious Chinese motifs carved on the ground including Chinese knot, double fish, aquarius, peony, umbrella, Dharma-cakra (Falun),white whelk, and Dhvaja(victory flag). The Chinese knot is also called propitious net, which implies infiniteness. The original meaning of this kind of net was love and devotion. The Buddhism believed that the pearl of wisdom and insight can be dragged from the ocean. The double fish implies the eyes of Buddha, which can travel in the water freely. The double fish also means regeneration. The golden fish has insight and can see through the dirty water. The aquarius is the throat of Buddha, which is also called enduring vase, with pure water, gems and the feather of peacock in it. This kind of vase is one of the dharma-vessels and indicates the good luck, peace and fortune. The lotus is the tongue of Buddha. It stands from the mud but keep clear, that’s why it indicates the final goal and purity of Buddha dharma. The lotus has five different colors and the white lotus is the most precious. In the ancient India when the nobility went out, the servant put up an umbrella to shade. In China symbolized the power. Dharma-cakra was a powerful arm in the ancient India. Sakyamuni preached as loud as the sound of the white whelk. The white whelk symbolized the enduring influence of Sakyamuni. Dhvaja is a kind of flag.
On the eastern hathpace there stands a big-sized bronze sculpture called “a hundred of children play with Maitreya”. A hundred of children aging from 3 to 6 divided into 12 groups are play happily on the body of Maitreya. They are so naughty bur Maitreya doesn’t care at all.
In the west of the square stands the fingerprint of Buddha which has a function of reassuring the folk. In Chinese “the hands of Buddha”has the same pronunciation of “happiness and long life”. We believe that we would enjoy a happy life after touching his hands.
There are 16 prayer wheels surrounding the sculpture. Prayer wheel is a kind of dharma-vessel used in Buddhism in Tibet, which looks like a barrel in different sizes. The folk believe that they can change their destiny by rotating the prayer wheel.
Still Heart Pool
A pure white lotus is blooming in the middle of the pool with the clean water flowing on it. The lotus is the holly flower in Buddha. Still Heart Pool is a place you can return to innocence and you can feel the true beauty and essence of life.
Let’s wash our hands in this pool and let all the bothers washed away. Now, we are on the way to visit the next destination-- Buddha Footprint Altar.
Gem Square and Buddha Footprint Altar
With a Buddha footprint made by bronze carved in the middle of the sculpture, the White Lotus basso-relievo made by white marble was set in the middle of the square. Buddha was very low profile when he was alive. He just left a pair of footprint in Capricorn State, India after his nirvana and told his disciples that this pair of footprint symbolized him. Since then, the disciples treated it as the holly article. Now, let’s play an interactive game. Cast a coin to the center of this footprint and make a wish.
On the sides of this square stand two Jingzhuang with a height of 7.7 meters. Jingzhuang is a kind of stelae on which carved the lection. Due to the introduction of Buddhism from India, especially in the middle period of Tang dynasty, the lection was originally written on the cloth. In order to keep the lection for a long time, they carved the lection on the stone. Jingzhuang consists three parts: the top, the body and the foundation. You can also find some lection and joss on the surface of the body.
Ruyi Flat Roof
The airscape of Ruyi Avenue and Auspicious Clouds Square is like a Ruyi, which form a bigger Ruyi with the plat form on the water in the north. The Ruyi Flat Roof located in Ruyi Lake has an are of 10800 square meters, which consists of an elliptical square and three moon-shaped small squares(Sanyuan Square). These three small squares are located in the east, north and west of the centre square respectively, which means sincere wishes to the country.
Nine Dragons Tope, a traditional big-sized musical fountain sculpture on the theme of Buddhism, is located in the middle of the flat roof. It consists of the main tope of 37.7 meters high and 8 dragons in the height of 9.7 meters. The total are of the sculpture made by bronze reaches up to 3000 square meters. Under the base, there s a sculpture made in white marble called Eight Dragons Leading the Water, on which are Eight Guanyin indicate the Eightfold Path. The one with a Ruyi in her hand pointing to the Ruyi Avenue is called Ruyi Guanyin. The one beside her is Dishui Guanyin. The Guanyin holds Diamond Sutra is called Jingang Guanyin. The Buddhism thinks that you can be on the right path by reading the lection. He can bless your children. Nanhai Guanyin, with a fire wheel in her hands which symbolizes the peace. Chilian Guanyin is in the east of Pingan Guanyin with a lotus in her hand. Songzi Guanyin is holding a cute baby. The last Guanyin is very special for she does not sit as agrvely as others. That’s why we call her Zizai Guanyin. In the middle of the main body stand the white elephant and Sakyamun. The white elephant is the mount of Sakyamun. There are also phoenix and dragon protecting Sakyamun, which symbolizes the harmony and completion with the eight dragons and eight phoenixes on the base. The top was decorated by baldachin, which symbolizes the gravity of Buddhism. The eight Guanyin and Sakyamun can be turned around by engine. The fountain will started to spray water when the music of Buddhism begins. The climax would appear after 3 minutes and 6 seconds when the water sprayed from the main fountain reaches its full height and the lotus starts to turn around. The golden Buddha and eight Guanyin would appear which is really a visual impact. After 3 minutes and 2 seconds’ turning, Buddha and Guanyin appear at the same time. Eight streams would come from the mouths of the dragons and fly into the sky. It makes an illusion that Buddha comes from the sky led by the water dragons. According to the command of Buddha we only have 7 minutes and 2 seconds to worship him and make wishes. Buddha and Guanyin would soon disappear after that.
Aishan Mountain—Jiulongshan Moutain
Jiulongshan Mountain, which was formally named Aishan Mountain, was famous of its Ay Tsao covering the mountain. As we know, being a kind of herbal medicines, Ay Tsao can drive out illness and evil influence. What’s more there was an old love story about Ay Tsao. According the The Book of Songs, there were a man and a woman who always gather the healing herbs together. Day by day, they fell in love. It seemed like 3 years even they hadn’t met for one year. Due to thousand years of geographic movement, there formed nine ridges. Once upon a time, the climate here was very dry for a long time, in order to change the situation the little son of Dragon King made a rainfall which annoyed his father was driven out from the heaven. He fallen into nine pieces and each piece became a ridge. Huikeduan, a poet in the period of Qing dynasty, once described this beautiful mountain in one of his poems.
Nv Wa Mends The Sky
The sculpture on the left is Nv Wa Mends The Sky. It was a brick and tile factory years ago, after whose collapse we built up this sculpture instead. According the legend, Gonggong, the Water Sprit, destroyed Buzhoushan Mountain which supported the heavens after Pangu’s creation of the world, which resulted in a huge flood. Nvwa and the thearchy created 36501 color stones to mend the heavens and the rainbow.
The massif with a height of over 10 meters on the right is called Phoenix Stage. We named this massif according a legend that there once landed a phoenix. There is also a beautiful legend about Phoenix Stage which is related with Liubang. His mother had not given birth to a baby when she was 12 months pregnant, which made her father very worried. One day, her father met a Taoist who gave him a note on which written“drink the phoenix dust if you want to have a boy”. After three day’s travelling he found the Phoenix Stage in Jiulongshan Mountain and took some dust and spring water. Soon after his wife drunk the water with the dust, she gave birth to Liubang. In fact, this stage was the site of the Taoism temples a long time ago. In the early period of Qing dynasty, there were Yuhuang Temple, Xuandi Temple and three Dust Temples and Zisun Hall under the stage. Besides, in the period of Shunzhi, there was a sculpture of Xuandi weighted 800 kilograms and a huge bell and chime stone. What was more, there was a tailor-made drum hung in the hall for more than 200 years. Yuhuang Temple and Grandmother Temple existed till early post-Liberation days.
Phoenix Stage is surrounded by the mountains and forests; in the front is the Bamboo Garden, oak forest and persimmon forest. In the north are located the Jiulong Gully and Jiulong Ridge. It is the only access to the inner part of the mountain. A lot of tourists are gathering here when the tourist season comes. The sculptures on the stage are the Chinese Zodiac and Zhangliang Receiving Book from Huangshigong, which is a well-known story in China. After the king of Qin State destroyed Han State, Zhangliang, a nobility of Han State settled in Pizhou. One day he was strolling on Yi Bridge and ran into an old Taoist. The old man dropped his shoe deliberately and ordered Zhangliang to pick it up which really annoyed him. Being well-cultured, he kept down his anger and picked up the shoe. The old man reached out his foot and wanted him to wear the shoe for him. When Zhangliang was wondering, the old walked away and ordered him to wait for him on this bridge five days later. Zhangliang said yes with doubt. Five day pasted away, when he arrived at the bridge and found the old man is waiting for him already. The old Taoist criticized him for his being late with anger and commanded him to meet five days later. Zhangliang arrived again when day dawned. To his surprise, the old man had waited for him for a while. As the last time, Zhangliang came home and was ordered to come to this bridge in another five days. Zhangliang arrived at the bridge in the midnight; the old man came out and gave him a book satisfactorily. He said,“ this book would help him succeed. I am a yellow stone of the Guchengshan Mountain, Jibei. You can come to meet in 13 years.” The book was none other than The Art of War. Finally, Zhangliang helped Liubang build up the state. For the old man was nameless and was “a yellow stone of Guchengshan Mountain”, we named him Huangshigong.
The forest on the left is Oak which is a kind of tree growing in the north of the country. However these oaks are in good situation which proves that the climate here is very ascendant.
Long Lasting Albizzia Julibrissin
Albizzia Julibrissin is adored by the folk for it symbolizes happiness. This tree has a life of over one thousand years. According to the folklore, Xueli, the general of Tang dynasty, once tied this horse to this tree. Since then, the officers and demos treat it as the holly tree. It is still prosperous and come into flowers in every may. The pale yellow flowers are very attractive. This tree is under special care by us.
The stream, whose downstream flows into Fairy Lake is called Jiiulong Gully. This gully runs from the west to the east through the Heifengjou and Heifeng Pond. We can enjoy a beautiful view along the bank.
Three Oddness and One Special
There are three oddness in Aishan Mountain: mountain, water, and cavity. The mountain and the stone here are very ordinary. But it’s odd that the mountain is covered by the clouds before the rain begins to fall. It’s an omen before the rain. The spring here is rich in minerals and microelement, which tastes very well and is good to our health. We have bottled the spring and sell them in the city. It is cool in summer and warm in winter in the cavity. The one special is the chasm; the nine chasms are just like nine dragons lying on the ground.
Nine Dragons Ridge
Look at the nine ridges extendding from the east to the west is the most famous scenic spot—Nine Dragons Ridge. The specialness of these ridges is that they are not mixed with detritus even they are located deeply in the mountain. The south sides of the ridges are connected with the mountain and the north sides are extending to the Jiulong Gully. The ridges have heights of ranging from 10 meters to 30 meters and lengths of hundreds of meters. There is a canyon lying between every two ridges in which grow many trees. It’s really an amazing experience of walking on the ridge.
Besides the Fairy Lake, there are also many legends and stories about Nine Dragons Ridge including Juxiatai, Qixianchi, Xianguchi, Xushudong and Heifengkou.
Dragon Stele Pavilion
This is a valuable land with a good geomantic omen nurture the residents here. We called these two steles on which carved dragons Dragon Stele. They are both granted by the emperor of Qing dynasty. The first one is granted by Emperor Chiaching to his teacher, Wangxiwen, who was born in a village behind Aishan Mountain. Emperor Qianlong appointed as the teacher of the prince. He was very strict with the prince. The prince was very lazy and spent a lot time on playing. But the emperor took it for granted and asked him why he was so strict. He answered ,“only knowledge can make him a respectable emperor”which really impressed Qianlong. Qianlong granted him this Dragon Stele after his death. The second stele belongs to Zhangwang, who was a famous general in Qing dynasty. He was born in Zhangzhuang, Tiefu, and skillful at martial art. Emperor Guanxu granted him a stele after his death too. Watch closely and you’ll find some differences between the twp steles which shows the emperor different attitudes to the civil servant and military officer.
Ferric Buddha Temple
The Ferric Buddha Temple is located along the mountain in the forest. Being one of the famous temples in northern Jiangsu and Sounthern Shandong, it was built in Yuan dynasty. It was said, this region was flooded and the folk live a hard life. There came a copper Buddha and a ferric Buddha. The ferric Buddha jumped into the water and stopped the flood. The folk built a temple and placed the ferric Buddha in it. This temple has been restored twice in the past 700 years. The original temple was ruined in the Culture Revolution. In 2006, Ferric Buddha Temple was rebuilt by Songshan Shaolin Temple and the local merchants according to the size of Shaolin Temple and assigned it as the subordinate temple of Shaolin Temple—Ferric Buddha Temple, or East Shanlin Temple. Ferric Buddha Temple, with a total building area of 8000 square meters, has 5 stories of halls including Shanmen Hall, Tianwang Hall, Daxiong Hall, Qianfo Temple, Ferric Buhhda Temple, two side halls (Guanyin Hall and Dizang Hall) and some subordinate building, which makes it the biggest temple in Jiangsu. This temple is governed by Monk Shiyanhong, the disciple of the Abbot Shiyongxin of Shaolin Temple. Its rebuilding reproduces the mien of the famous temple.
There are three doors(Kong Door in the middle, Wuxiang Door in the east, and Wuzuo Door in the west)in front of us which symbolize the three extrications in Buddhism. It’s a really hard way for the Nazarites to practice Buddhism. Only by painstaking practice can the disciples reach the last bourn. When we stride over the doorsill which symbolizes the shoulders of the Buddha, we are in the area of Buddha.
The laughing Buddha with a naked belly sitting in the middle of the hall is Maitreya. He is a Chinese-characterizing Buddha, whose original image was mendicant Monk Budai, or Qici. He always had a big smile on his face and carried a bag to collect donation. The folk finally realized that he was the embodiment of Buddha and built the sculpture of Maitreya. According to the legend, he practise Buddhism in Doue Temple in Fenghua, Ningbo.
It is recorded in Sutra, Maitreya is not Buddha, but just a kind of Bodhisattva. For he is the
successor of Buddha, we also call him Buddha-to-be. Milo is his family name; his surname is Ayiduo. He is the nobility of the house of Brahman in ancient India.
Weituo was one of the guardian generals under the sway of Emperor Zengzhang. The generals in heaven planed to burn the body of Sakyamuni and collected the sarira in a tower. Suddenly an evil hiding aside stole the sarira when the generals were not looking. Weituo ran after the evil and took back the sarira, which impressed the generals. He was thought the person who could protect Buddha, whose image was a young general wearing armour with
a pestle in his hand.
In the beginning, Buddha order Maitreya and Bodhisattva Weituo to govern a temple respectively. A lot of articles were stolen in the temple governed by Maitreya due to his tolerance even it was very popular. In the contrast, Weituo’s temple was not welcomed for he was too harsh. After hearing the compliant made them, Buddha ordered them to govern a temple together with different responsibilities: Maitreya is in charge of greeting guests and Weituo is in charge of protecting the temple. From then on, the temple was under smooth operation. That’s why we place Weituo behind Maitreya.
36 Steps Lotus
This was the access by which we the emperor entered the temple; now it is opened to the public. Everyone can walk on it now. A step with a lotus, and wish you good luck in your whole life. At the end of the path there is located the Nine Lotus Platform. According to the Sutra, everyone is practicing Buddhism when he’s alive. Nine Lotus Platform is the highest level in the process of practicing Buddhism, which also symbolizes the lustration, luck, and fortune.
The death of Sakyamuni is called nirvana in Buddhism. This sculpture reproduces his nirvana with a comfortable looking on his face. He was lying on the left side of his body with one foot on the other. He laid his right face on the right hand with his left hand on the left leg. With a perfect work this sculpture presents the calm looking on his face before Sakyamuni’s nirvana naturally and truly.
It is the basic hall in this temple which oblates Hengha Generals and the Four Heavenly Kings.
There is a unusual phenomena here, you can smell a special aroma in front of the hall. The aroma is stronger inside. For the sculptures of Hengha Generals are made of camphor which has a special aroma naturally.
According to Buddhism, they were originally Devarajas who were the leaders of the team which protected Sakyamuni. There are Chinese- characterized into two Vajra Powerful Lords under the influence of Granting Titles to Gods, a fairy tale book in China. General Heng, whose original name was Zhenglun, was a general of Emperor Shangzhou. His teacher is Duezhenren who taught him a skill called “Qie Zhong Ee Qi”. His nose could made a loud sound which can suck the souls of the enemies can defeated them. General Ha, with a original name Chenqi, can release a king of yellow gas to kill the enemies.
We can identify them from the shape of their mouths. When we say the word Ha, we open the mouth, in contrast, we close the mouth when we say Heng.
Four Heavenly Kings
It was said that, there was a mountain called Jiantuoluoshan Mountain in the center of the world. On each apex there was a heavenly king protecting the mountain. The Four Heavenly Kings together brought favourable weather to guarantee a good harvest year and the world’s peace.
Virudhaka, named Piliuli, is with a sword in his hand which is used to protect Buddha. Dhrtarastra, whose name was Duoluone, is a merciful king with a lute in his hands, with which he can reclaim the folk.
Dhanada was named Pishamen. His umbrella can control the evils and protect the fortune of the folk.
Virupaksa, whose job is converting pagans to Buddhism with the dragon in his hand. He was named Piliubocha.
Since the Ming and Qing dynasty, the names and treasures of Four Heavenly Kings were changed according the book named Granting Titles to Gods.
Daxiong is an honorific title to Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. The three Buddha that oblated in this hall is Sanfang Buddha.
The middle one is Sakyamuni with his two assistants (Puxian Bodhisattva and Wenshu Bodhisattva) by his sides. The ritual compliment in Sakyamuni’s hand is Golden Elixir Pill which can light up every corner in the world.
Amitabha, the hierarch of Western Paradise, is holding a lotus. His assistant (Dshizhi Bodhisattva and Guanshiyin Bodhisattva) are standing beside him. They are called Trinity of Western Paradise. The Western Paradise is the biggest Pure Land in the world of Buddha, where there’s no pain and all the residents there are enjoying a happy life. Buddha will bring us to Western Paradise as long as we say “Amitabha” sincerely.
The east one is Liuliguang Buddha, a pharmacist, with a 7-storied tower in his hand. Riguang Bodhisattva and Yueguang Bodhisattva are standing on his sides. The world of Jingliuli is a pure land of Buddhism. Liuliguang Buddha once made wish that he would change this world into a perfect one.
On the sides of the hall stand the Eighteen Disciples of the Buddha. In fact there were only 16 disciplines at the beginning. Luohan is a kind of Buddha inferior to Buddha and Bodhisattva. It’s the third level in the process of practicing the Buddhism. You can be in a state of eternity once you become a Luohan. Who are the missing two disciples of the Buddha? There are some different opinions.
Some believes that they are Monk Qingyou and Monk Xuanzang, while some thinks they are Jiaye and Monk Budai. Emperor Qianlong assigned Jiaye as the 17th disciple and Milo as the last one. In Tibet, they think the mother of Sakyamuni and Milo are the last two disciples.
Daozuo Bodhisattva, the guardian of Buddha, is sitting beside Sakyamuni.
Guanyin Hall: It’s located on the left of Daxiong Hall to oblate Guanyin, a kind Bodhisattva who is holding a bottle with magic water and a baby in her arm and standing on a turtle to pray for happiness for the humanbeing. It’s said that Guanyin has great magic power, people always pray to her for fortune and child.
A. Acoording to the ancient fairy tale, there’s a turtle underground which can turn the earth upside down when it moves, so Guanyi stands on it to ptotect the people.
B. The original image of Guanyin was a pretty girl named Miaoshan, the daughter of King Miaozhuang. She decided to become a nun and was driven out of the palace. Later her father was deadly ill ,so she dressed up in an old monk to visit him and told him that there’s nothing but her daughter’s hand and eye can cure his illness and .This depressed the king very much but the monk said that he could ask a fairy on Xiangshan Mountain for help. Unexpectedly the fairy cut off her own eyes and hands to treat him. When the king realized that the fairy was actually his own daugter he was quite regretful and pray for her., his deeds was so moving that Miaoshan reagained her eye and hand. At last the king became a Buddhist either.
4. Thouand Budda Hall
The sculpture of Budda Sakyamuni surrounded by 999 scuptures of other Budda which is the scene of Sakyamuni giving lessons to others.
Three fold Body of a Buddha
Dharma body, i.e. Dharmakaya - its own essential nature, common to all Buddhas.
Retribution body, i.e. Sambhogakaya - a body of bliss, which he receives for his own use and enjoyment.
Response and transformation body, i.e. Nirmanatkaya - he can appear in any form whenever and wherever necessary for the sake of crossing over others
5. Iron Budda Hall
It is the biggest indoor sculpture of Budda in China with the height 16.8m. The palm of left hand is outward which means satisfing all the human’s demands, the right one synbolizes being free from hardship.
This sticking up platform is located in a half-round shaped valley on the south-eastern slope of Aishan. It’s surrounded by mountain on three sides and facing Longya River to the south, which makes it a place with good FengShui. It’s recorded in the folklore that eight fairies passed by here on the way to visit Guanyin from Penglai Island. They stayed here drinking and playing for several days.
Seven Fairy Pond
It’s located on the northern slope of Aishan Mountain. It’s said that eight fairies always gathered on the Juxian Platform at day time and had a bath in the evening. The water in the pond is fresh and clear wchich makes it a natural and romantic bathplace for the local youth.
During the period of Three Kingdoms, Xu Shu, counsellor of Liu Bei ,though prisoned by Cao Cao,he would never help Cao Cao, That’s the origin of an old Chinese saying, Xu Shu would never say a word in Cao’s Camp. Later Xu escaped and lived in a beautiful cave in Aishan Mountain till he died.
1300 years ago, Emperor Tangtaizong led his army to defence the invaders, the two sides encountered here and fought fiercely. Nowadays many villages of Chen Lou Town are named after this battle and also there’s site of taining ground here.
Have you ever heard of the story of Zhuan Zhu and Yaoli. During the Warring States Period, Wu Zixu promised Jiguang, the cousin of Liao,the king of Wu State to murder the king. He employed warrior Zhuanzhu to murder the king and helped Jiguang gain the power. Three sons of Liao escaped to Pizhou, one of them was called Qing who planed to revenge for his father. Wu Zixu employed another warrior Yaoli. He gained trust from Qing and killed him. It’s said that Qing’s soul still stayed here after death and blew black wind frequently, that’s why it’s called Black Draught.
Located on the top of the main peak of Jiulongshan Mountain, Grandmother Temple was built in Tang dynasty and was rebuilt in the period of Zhengde and Jiaqing in Qing dynasty. In the past years in has been restored for several times due to the wars. Liuyong, or Liuluoguo, the prime minister of Qing dynasty once made the ancestor worship here and rebuilt the temple. There were three steles on which were carved“ Taishan Mountain is the peak of the state and Aishan Mountain is the peak of Pizhou”. The temples and steles were ruined in Culture Revolution. According to the historical books, February 15th was the marketing day of this temple, when the residents here came here to made a wish and enjoy the beautiful view of spring. After the collapse of the temple, the temple was moved to Picheng County.
It’s situated in the northwest side of the main peak of Jiulongshan Mountai. Being a temple with a long history, Yanhua Temple has a high reputation. There are about 100 monks living here and thousands of people practicing Buddhism. It was originally built in the period of Zhenguan of Tang dynasty. His magnificent scale makes it a famous temple in Jiangbei district. Wangxiwen, the teacher of Emperor Jiaqing was in charge of the restoration in the period of Jiaqing and recorded this project on a stele which still exists. In the early period of Liberation, this temple fallen into pieces. In the beginning of this century, Pizhou Buddhism Association decided to rebuild this temple. In the hall there are a lying Buddha and sculptures of the Eighteen Disciples of Buddha donated by Burma Buddhism Association. This lying Buddha is made of a block of white marble. Its perfect workmanship makes it very rare.
Wanglong Pavilion, Aiwang Pavilion, Tingsong Pavilion
These three pavilions are to the east of the temple. The location of Wanglong Pavilion is the best for the visitor can enoy the scenery of Seven-fairy Pond and Nine-dragon Mountai.
Aiwang Pavilion is 12.8m high with 3 floors. You can enjoy the scenery of peach garden to the, east, overlook Dongshigou to the south and villages to the north.
Tingsong Pavilion is on the northern mountain. Here you can hear the sound of pine when the wind blows it.
The beautiful views of Aishan Mountain cultivates the local culture. This is the original place of a font called Longfenghuaniao(literally means dragon, wind, flower and bird), which a beautiful font invented by the peasant.
After today’s tour we have enjoy the beautiful views and human landscapes. No matter how high the mountain is, its name will spread far and wide if there is fairy. We are expecting your visiting again and wish all of you a happy life. Thank you!