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Phrase & Stories
The Tale of Monk Jigong

The Tale of Monk Jigong

The tale of Jigong evolved from the legend of Daoji, a ZenBuddhismhierarch inSouthern Song Dynasty(1127-1279AD). Tiantai County is believed to be the birthplace of Daoji.

Daoji was born to a comfortable family and as a baby, the abbot Xingkong named him Xiuyuan after seeing he was the reincarnation of the Arhat Xiang Long in a vision. He was an outstanding student and knew all the classics but his parents passed away when he was sixteen. As a result he had to live with his uncle and after three years of mourning he left and traveled around the country. By the time he arrived atHangzhou, he had spent all his money and he decided to be a monk atLingyin temple. The abbot accepted him as his disciple and named him Daoji.

Daoji often disguised himself as an insane monk of boundless virtue and performed many miracles to help the unfortunate and punish the wicked and the unscrupulous as well as using his power to destroy evil spirits and monsters.

In and after his life, there are many stories about him. The tale of Jigong is based on a real story and emphasizes the mysterious supernaturalism with imaginative plots. The tale reflects the social life and Zen doctrines. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911AD), his story became widely known across the country.

Over 800 years, the tale has become an endless literary resource. His story was also made into novels, paintings, sculptures, movies, and TV plays. Meanwhile, the tale surely can play a role in enhancing national morals and ethos.

With the transformation of society, the tale of Jigong is dying out, and the effective measures to protect it shall be taken as soon as possible.


 

 
   
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