Religious Texts

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The Chief of the Eight Immortals: Chung Li-Chuan

Published Abril 19, 2012 by jptan2012

Chung-li Chuan, also spelled as Zhungli Quan, is said to be to the chief of powerful Taoist collective immortals – THE EIGHT IMMORTALS. He is also said to be the most ancient of all the Eight Immortals, although some Taoist scholars and priest would argue that it’s actually Lu Dongbin, also spelled as Lu Dongpin.

Chung-li Chuan is believed to have been born during the Han Dyansty, and he is usually depicted as a fat man with big, rounded, bared stomach or belly. His magical implement is a feather fan, which he uses to bestow the blessing of good health. It is also said that he is able to revive the people who are seriously ill to good health by using his feather fan. On top of that, by using his fan he is also able to revive people who’ve died, the only pre-requisite for him to perform this magic is that he has to be absolutely sure that the dead person really deserves to be alive again and that he as a living person he is able to become a blessing to others. Furthermore, his fan is said to be able to change bad luck into good luck.

It is also written in religious texts that when Chung-li Chuan was born, the room where he was born was magically filled with beams of light. It was also said that his parents believed that he was an old soul because he continued to cry for seven days and night, as if complaining about his mortality.

There is a Taoist temple in Taiwan that is dedicated to the Eight Immortals, specifically to Immortal Chung-li Chuan. One devotee shared with me a story about how her daughter who was seriously ill was restored back to health when she prayed to Chung-li Chuan. As a sign of thanksgiving, the woman would always bring a colorful feather fan as an offering Chung-li Chuan every feast day of the Eight Immortals.

The Eight Immortals

Published Abril 18, 2012 by jptan2012

One of the most revered and considered superior beings of Taoist legend are the Paht Tai Shien Cho or the Eight Immortals. It is unclear whether they have really lived at various times because no official record of them has been ever found. Most of the documents found that refers to the Eight Immortals are mostly religious texts and/or oral transmissions of their story.

The 8 Immortals is comprised of six men and two women. They are said to have attained immortality under various and different circumstances, but some Taoist texts states that they all received immortality when they bite into the Peach of Immortality, which is maintained by the Queen Mother of the South, or the mother of the Jade Emperor.

Collectively, they are considered to bring various luck and protection. To some extent they can be compared to the 18 Arhats of Buddhism and/or to the 12 Disciples of Jesus Christ in Christianity. Only the Arhats and the Eight Immortals are much older than the disciples of Jesus Christ.

Both the The Eight Immortals and the 18 Arhats (more on the Arhats on a later post) are said to possess magical and supernatural powers.

Having the image of the Eight Immortals in our homes will deliver protection from negative energies, and they will also bestow good health, good fortune, wonderful opportunities, and various blessings, especially to those who honor them by offering incense, fruits, and flowers.

Each of the Eight Immortal carries a special implement that they use as a tool to help bestow their protection and blessing.

The Eight Immortals are Chung-Li Chuan, which is said to be the chief of the Eight Immortals, Kuo-Lao Chang, Lu Dongpin, Guo-Chiu Tsao, Tieh-Guai Li, Hsian-Tzu Han, , Tsai-Ho Lan, , Hsien-Ku Ho.

I’ll talk about the different immortals in my succeeding posts.

 

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