Roushendian Temple, Jiuhuashan
(June 22, 2012)

(1) Here's the approach to the courtyard at Roushen Dian, with the bell tower in the foreground, the drum tower back-left, and the main hall peeking past the tree on the right.

Because I was posting pictures until early this morning (I went to bed at 4!) I slept in a bit, and headed out around 10:30. I walked up the road from my hotel and climbed lots of stairs on the hill behind to reach Roushen Dian, which means "Hall of the Flesh Body." What on earth could that mean?

(2) Here's the main hall (shot from a strange angle, to avoid the crowds). Inside is the answer to the question of the strange name.

(3) Remember the Korean monk whose presence on Jiuhua Shan started the Dizang connection? It's said that his body is in this pagoda. It's unusual, in that the pagoda is inside the main hall of the temple, in place of a statue.

(4) Bronze statues like these grace all four sides of the pagoda platform; eight more sit inside the curtained recesses.

(5) At the back of this hall stand the Ox and Horse Headed Hell guardians. They are also found in the hall downstairs (literally!)...

(6) Down the hill behind the main hall (you can see its roof at the top of the picture) is this, what I can only call a "Hell Hall."

(7) In its proper place is a large statue of Dizang with his attendants (I'll have to tell you their story sometime).

(8) Flanking the Dizang statue are two large assemblages of figures. This one shows Amitabha Buddha with his followers in the Pure Land, those who are lucky enough to avoid hell. (One monk first identified this as Shakyamuni Buddha; it took some doing to convince him that that mightn't be so, until finally a senior monk came over and straightened him out.)

(9) Inside the hall there are numerous figures not usually found in Buddhist temples, like the Ox and Horse Headed Guardians we saw upstairs, repeated here. (It's all because of Dizang's association with hell). And these hideous fellows are guides to lead you into Hell; you can start with "Black and White Wuchang" if you want to do some research about them. I can honestly say I don't ever remember seeing them in a Buddhist temple. The more-common "Ten Judges of Hell" line the sides of this part of the hall.

(10) In a hall next to the Hell Hall is this crazy man. Wang Ling Guan is a Taoist protector of temples who also punishes evil-doers. Typically carrying a sword on Jiuhua Shan, he more commonly has a whip. He speeds around on a fire-wheel to catch miscreants. Be careful!

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Last Updated August 14, 2019

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