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All posts for the day April 21st, 2012

Lu Dongbin: The Third Immortal Who Happens to be the De Facto Chief of the Eight Immortals

Published April 21, 2012 by jptan2012

One of the most famous immortal in the 8 Immortals is Lu Dongbin (also spelled as Lu Dongpin, Lu Tong Pin, Dongbin Lu), I believe to some extent he is even more famous than Chung Li-Chuan. In fact, there are more records about Lu Dongbin than Chung Li-Chuan, and some Taoist priest consider Lu Dongbin as the leader or chief of the Eight Immortals. However, if you study the story of the Eight Immortals there are records that states that Lu Dongbin is a student or disciple of Chung Li-Chuan, thus the more common belief is that Chung Li-Chuan is the chief of the 8 Immortals and that Lu Dongbin is the de facto leader of the group. In the official counting of the Eight Immortals he usually comes third, but the chronological line-up of their names is not in any way related to their capabilities and hierarchy.

In my post about the Eight Immortals, I mentioned that they are largely considered as legendary beings this is because it is unclear whether they truly lived in the past or not. However, that is not true about Lu Dongbin. Lu Dongbin is a confirmed historical figure.

Lu Dongbin’s real name is Lu Yan during the Tang Dynasty. Lu is his family name and Yan is his given name.  It is largely believed that when he was born, instead of a pungent smell of blood, the room was filled with a very sweet smelling fragrant aroma. Some records states that he has always been an intelligent student with so many academic achievements.

In his older age it is said that he learned the alchemy and Tao under the guidance of Chung Li-Chuan. Some Taoist scripturess states that Lu Dongbin became a very good exorcist of people who are possessed by bad spirits. He is also able to drive aways bad chi, bad luck cause by evil spirits.

It is because of his life as mortal that when he became an immortal he is largely associated with scholastic luck. More than being an immortal that bestows scholastic luck, he is also an immortal that we can call on when we need protection from unseen forces. His secondary power is his ability to heal illnesses.

His implements are the double edged sword that he uses to slay evil spirits and a flywhisk that he uses to cure illnesses.

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