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Trace of Dizang

Jin Qiaojue (696-794), gnerally called Jin Dizang, first named Qiaojue, his formal name was Shouzhong, after he became monk, he was given a religious name Dizang. He was born in the Jinzhou, old Xinluo(today Qingzhou city in South Korea), his father was Jin Xingguang, later called King Jinde, his mother was Queen Zhen. He once served as envoy in the Tang Dynasty, and was appointed Shuwei. He was a strange-looking man with an extra bone in the neck, tall and strong. He was ugly but naturally kind. He became a monk when at 24. Buddhism in the Tang Dynasty was very influential, attracted lots of monks from Japan, Xinluo, Gaoli and Baiji to come to China to study buddhism. When Jin Qiaojue first came to South of the Yangtze River, the moment he landed himself, he was taken aback at the beautiful peak shape in lotus in Mountain Jiuhua. He decided to cultivated himself in the deep mountain where there was no inhabitant. He led a hard life, drinking spring water and eating a kind of white clay. Although biten by poisonous insect, he would sit still and calmly. He once came out of the mountain to write sutra to fill his will. Having finished, he came back and still stayed there till a local gentleman Zhuge Jie found him incidentally. Zhu was ashamed for not having treated the once Xinluo Prince well, so he wanted to start a whip-round for a temple for the monk. At that time, the whole Mountain Jiuhua belonged to Ming Ranghe, who was a devotee to buddhism. When asked, he was very willing to donate the area. He asked Jin to choose a place as he liked, Jin said a place as a cassock was enough, then he covered the whole area with his cassock. Ming was surprized but very happy to came across a real Bodhisattva. And he even made his son a monk whose religious name was Daoming. Later he himself became a monk and a disciple to his son Daoming. When the temple was built, lots of scholars, especially those from Xinluo, concentrated in the mountain to follow Jin. But the life there was very harsh and bitter, they had little to eat except the white clay, soon they were reduced to bags of bones. When the king of Xinluo got to know this, he supplied a lot of food. In the night of 30, July of Chinese traditional calendar (794), Jin summoned all his disciples, and then died, at the age of 99. Even the knell sounded sadly and birds seemed to cry for his death. His body was kept in a big jar, which after 3 years was as fresh as he were still alive. For he resembled Dizang Bodhisattva in looks, people believed acturally he was, as a result, Mountain Jiuhua became the place to worship Dizang Bodhissattva, along with Mountain Putuo, Mountain Wutai, Mountain Emei, it is called one of the great four mountains of buddhism in China, a sacred place for going on pilgrimage. Every year on 30, July, Mountain Jiuhua is thick with the smell of joss sticks, because lots of people believe in it.

07-10-18 22:35
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