Spring Autumn Pagodas and Lord Guan Yu
Here are the spring and autumn pagodas. Each pagoda has four floors with octagonal shape. The spring and autumn pagodas belongs to Chi Ming temple which is dedicated to the Lord Guan Yu.
Guan Yu was born in Shan Xi province in China during the Three Kingdom period which is 220 to 260 AD. He led a simple life. As a young man, he made his living by selling bean-curds, thus he is worshipped by bean-curd sellers as their patron god today. He has a photographic memory that he can recite the entire Classics word for word after reading it once. Therefore students who are going to take big exams usually pray to him to bless them with high score. He is also worshipped as the God of Literature by scholars. You can find some images of Lord Guan Yu seated while holding a book.
He was best known for being righteous and just which also got him into trouble in the first place. One day, he saw a local corrupt magistrate who tried to force a poor girl to become his concubine. He interfered but killed the magistrate by accident. He had to flee for his life so he escaped to the mountain to seek refuge. As he was on his journey to the neighboring province, he stopped by a stream to have a wash. To his surprise he noticed a great change in his appearance! His facial complexion had changed from pale white to reddish tint which allowed him to disguise himself and was able to walk through the sentries who were guarding the mountain pass.
When he reached the neighboring Province, he had a chance to befriend Zhang Fei and Liu Bei who shared his noble ideals and virtues. They took the oath of brotherhood in a peach orchard, and sworn as “brothers”. It’s a famous historic event.
Together the three sworn brothers set out and became involved in military pursuits. They displayed great military prowess and fought many battles which is recorded in details in the famous novels of “The Three Kingdoms”. Based on the novel, Guan Yu had displayed his nobility, integrity, loyalty and bravery in many occasions. Despite living at a time of great distress and chaos, he would never be tempted to wealth and power as he remained faithful to his oath that he had taken with his brothers at the peach orchard: “ Be loyal to each other in life and unite in death”.
Unfortunately he was captured by enemies and later executed. His spirit however still wandered around full of resentment. A Buddhist monk found his spirit and enlightened him to let go of the bitterness. To show his appreciation, Guan Yu vowed to be a protector to Buddhism. Hence, his idol is usually found in the hall of most Buddhist temples. He had earned his place in both the Taoist and Buddhist pantheon of deities.
Guan Yu became a god of war and is revered today as a symbol of loyalty, righteousness and bravery. Ironically, he is worshipped both by police force as well as gang members. He’s also worshipped by businesses for his honesty and integrity. Lord Guan Yu is truly everyone’s God.