Wànniánsì Émeishān

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1. Audio is '高山流水 Tall Mountain, Flowing Stream' played on Pipe Zither, Qin and Bamboo Flute.

It is often difficult to determine when old temples in china were established. They seem to have been built, allowed to fall into ruin or destroyed over and over again. And the names were frequently changed. One account has Wanniansi being founded in 409, the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Dong Jin 东晋. Another interesting account relates that in 399 the brother of Hui Yuan 慧远, Hui Chi慧持 came to Emeishan and built this temple, naming it the Puxiansi 普贤寺. The name was changed to Baishuisi 白水寺 in 876 in the Tang Dynasty. In the Song 宋 it changed again to Baishui Puxiansi. In Ming Dynasty 1600 it changed to Shenshou Wanniansi 圣寿万年寺. But all seem to agree that it has always been dedicated to Puxian, Emeishan's patron saint. Puxian, riding on his white elephant is housed in a brick and plaster stupa shaped building which is the crown jewel of the temple.

In the second month of 720 it is said that Li Bai came to Emeishan a stayed half a year. The Wanniansi claims Li Bai's poem Ting Shu Seng Jun Tan Qin 听蜀僧濬弹琴 was written here. Su Shi's poem Baishuisi 白水寺 is also about this temple.


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