Ksitigarbha (地藏王菩萨)Bodhisattva's Birthday Celebration

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Ksitigarbha (地藏王菩萨)Bodhisattva’s Birthday Celebration

September 2

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva’s Birthday Celebration:09 / 02 / 2024

In the Tang Dynasty, there was a monk named Jin Qiaojue(金乔觉), who was closely related to the Silla royal family. He had an extraordinary appearance, standing seven feet tall with immense strength. Drawn to a mountain shrouded in clouds, Jin Qiaojue traveled thousands of miles through difficult terrain, eventually settling in a valley.

In the early years of the Zhide era of the Tang Dynasty, Zhuge Jie, a distinguished person from Qingyang County, and others went up the mountain to enjoy the autumn. When they passed by a stone chamber on the eastern cliff, they saw an old monk, later known as Jin Qiaojue, meditating with his eyes closed, next to a tripod with one broken leg containing rice mixed with a large amount of white clay (Guanyin soil).

Shocked and ashamed by this sight, Zhuge Jie and his companions knelt down and wept, exclaiming, “It is our fault that the monk is enduring such hardship!”

They then rallied the local community to build a new Zen abode for Jin Qiaojue, called Huacheng Temple. After settling in Huacheng Temple, Jin Qiaojue began teaching extensively, attracting disciples and followers. The temple gained renown and became the founding temple of Jiuhua Mountain.

There’s a legend associated with this period, with many variations. Here’s one:

Jiuhua Mountain, once known as “Nine Sons Mountain,” was under the domain of a local lord named Min Gong. Jin Qiaojue requested a piece of land from Min Gong to establish a religious site.

Min Gong asked how much land was needed, to which Jin Qiaojue replied that he needed only as much as his kasaya could cover. Skeptical about the sufficiency of such a small area, Min Gong was astounded when Jin Qiaojue’s kasaya, thrown into the air, transformed into a red cloud enveloping all ninety-nine peaks of Jiuhua Mountain.

Elated, Min Gong dedicated the entire mountain to Jin Qiaojue, which later became one of the four great Buddhist mountains.

As the site expanded, devotees flocked for teachings. Jin Qiaojue taught during the day and meditated at dusk.

Legend has it that at night, sounds resembling those from hell were heard around Jiuhua Mountain, believed to be Jin Qiaojue visiting the underworld to liberate beings.

Because of his deep devotion to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, over time, people believed Jin Qiaojue to be a reincarnation of Ksitigarbha, calling him “Ksitigarbha in disguise,” or reverently as “Jin Ksitigarbha.”

Jin Qiaojue spent seventy-five years in ascetic practice on the mountain. On July 30th in his ninety-ninth year, he passed away peacefully.

His disciples placed him in a vat, and three years later, his body was found undecayed. Hence, July 30th was designated as the birthday of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.



September 2


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