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Sacred Yaowang Mountain and the Stone Inscriptions: Commemorating Sun Simiao

Yaowang Mountain is 2 km east of the county seat of Yaoxian County, Shaanxi Province. The Stone Sculptures on Yaowang Mountain, or Bhaisajyaraja, are located on Yaowang Mountain 1.5 kilometers east of the Yaoxian County seat, in Shaanxi, China. There are 200 stone tablets at Yaowang Mountain, erected during the past dynasties; seven grottoes of the Sui and Tang dynasties; as well as Buddhist statues from the Northern Wei Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty eras. Because Yaowang Mountain is a sacred mountain, many CChina travel agencies particularly arranged Yaowang Mountain to their customers, offering a great chance to them to worship.

Yaowang Mountain was called "Panyu Mountain" in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is 1,100 m above sea level and is formed by five peaks connecting one with another, so it was also called "Wutai Mountain" (Mountain of Five Peaks) from the Song (960-1279) to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The mountain is high but not dangerous, full of green pines and verdant cypresses, with towering ancient trees, being always a famous scenic spot in central China. Its naming of "Yaowang Mountain" has something to do with Sun Simiao, the famous medical scientist of the Tang Dynasty. Sun Simiao (581-682), born in Yaoxian County, was world famous because of his monumental works in medical science such as Qianjin Yaofang (Prescriptions Worth One Thousand Pieces of Gold),Qianjin Yifang (Supplement to Prescriptions Worth One Thousand Pieces of Gold), etc. He wrote thirty books (more than a million words) in his life, and was renowned as "Yaowang" (King of Medicines). Later generations built a Yaowang Temple on Panyu Mountain to commemorate him, hence the name of the mountain. No China vacation deals to Shaanxi China are fantastic enough without visiting the sacred Yaowang Mountain to discover the stone sculptures there.

On Yaowang Mountain, you can find stone inscriptions everywhere, and they chiefly fall into such two categories: steles and stone caves. There are more than a hundred steles, and the most precious one is the group of five steles with Qianjin Yaofang inscribed on them, made in the sixth year (1572) of the Longqing reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which is valuable data for the study on traditional Chinese medicine. The stone caves were all chiseled during the period from the Tang to the Sui Dynasty (581-618), and the extant ones are 7, containing more than 40 Buddha statues. Moreover, among the chain of mountains are preserved 66 statue steles from the Northern Wei (386-534) to the Tang Dynasty, called "Stele Forest of the Medical World". There is a well-preserved Yaowang Temple on the mountain, which was built in the 37th year (1558) of the Jiajing reign of the Ming Dynasty, but kept the architectural styles of the Jin (1115-1234) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties.

To the culture-lovers, they would take Tibet tours would be their first choice to discover the ethnic culture of China, while the history-lovers would pay more attention to the historical sites. In this case, the stone sculpture in Yaowang Mountain has something for the latter.

  1. 2013/01/22(火) 23:08:58|
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