Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sacred Mountains of China

Name : Sacred Mountains of China

Description : The Sacred Mountains of China are divided into two groups.
1) One associated with Taoism and
2) Other associated with Buddhism

The group associated with Taoism is known as the Five Great Mountains, whereas the group associated with Buddhism is referred to as the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism.

The Five Great Taoist Mountains
The Taoist Five Great Mountains are arranged according to the five cardinal directions of Chinese geomancy, which includes the center as a direction:

1. East: Tai Shan , literally Leading Peaceful Mountain, Shandong, 1,545 m
2. West: Hua Shan , literally Splendid Mountain), Shanxī, 1,997 m
3. South: Heng Shan , literally Balancing Mountain, Hunan, 1,290 m
4. North: (Bei) Heng Shan , literally Permanent Mountain, Shanxī, 2,017 m
5. Center: Song Shan , literally Lofty Mountain, Henan, 1,494 m

Alternatively, these mountains are sometimes referred to by the respective directions, i.e., as the "Northern Great Mountain" (Bei Yue), "Southern Great Mountain" (Nan Yue), "Eastern Great Mountain" (Dong Yue), "Western Great Mountain" (Xi Yue), and "Central Great Mountain" (Zhong Yue).

Legend : According to Chinese mythology, the Five Great Mountains originated from the limbs and the head of Pangu, the first being and creator of the world. Because of its eastern location, Mount Tài is associated with the rising sun which signifies birth and renewal. Due to this interpretation, it is often regarded as the most sacred of the Five Great Mountains. In accordance with its special position, Mount Tài is believed to have been formed out of Pangu's head.

The Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism

The Buddhist Four Sacred Mountains in China are:

1. Wutai Shan (literally Five-Terrace (Plateau) Mountain), Shanxi, 3,058 m
2. Emei Shan (literally Delicate-Eyebrow Mountain), Sìchuan, 3,099 m
3. Jiuhua Shan (literally Nine-Glories Mountain), Anhui, 1,341 m
4. Putuo Shan (literally Potalaka (Potala) Mountain), Zhejiang, 284 m

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