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新北市新店區天聖觀太上混元道府神農大帝(陳美華攝)

神農大帝有許多不同的稱呼,包括炎帝神農氏、先農、先帝爺、五谷先帝、五谷仙帝、藥王、藥仙、藥王大帝、開天炎帝、五穀王(五谷王)、五穀仙、五穀大帝、粟母王、田祖、田主等等。神農大帝是三皇五帝之一,在中國最重要的傳說是神農嘗百草,而祭祀神農氏的活動早於秦漢,如《詩經˙小雅》曰:「琴瑟擊,以御田祖,以祈甘雨。」按《毛傳》解,「田祖」即是神農大帝。又《史記》〈三皇本紀〉,神農氏繼承女媧氏,姓姜,人身牛首,「斲木為耜,揉木為耒」,教導百姓耕作,所以號神農氏。除了農業發展的象徵外,其實神農還代表了許多重大的文化社會轉變,他設立市場機制供大家交易,發展商業;演繹八卦為六十四卦;發展醫學、音樂;製作蜡祭等等。後來周天子的八蜡祭即與神農大帝有關,八蜡包括「先嗇、司嗇、農、郵表畷、貓虎、坊、水庸、昆蟲」等,其中的先嗇即是祭祀神農氏。因此,神農大帝不只和農業有關,也和醫藥、土地等相關,既是農業神也是醫藥神。
臺灣的神農信仰發展早於鄭成功來台,1646年時人們已在今台南市區神農街的街尾興建「開基藥王」,塑像祭祀藥王神農大帝,根據資料統計,1918年時,全臺有60座主祀神農的宇,1981年時有112座,目前可能在150座上下。神農的發展說明神農信仰並沒有因為社會的工商業發展而停滯。按照各地神農的分佈情形,還有神明會或公會的活動狀況,不論都市和農村都有相當數目祀神農大帝,顯見神農大帝也不受農神性格侷限,被不同地區的信徒信仰,且相當活躍。例如羅東中藥商於1980年成立「羅東中藥商神農大帝會」;高雄中藥商公會每年神農大帝聖誕舉辦登山、捐血等活動;神農信仰的影響力對社會也頗有貢獻,例如嘉義中正大學大部分的建校用地,即是由民雄的五谷王所捐贈。
神農氏的造型相當特殊,大致可分兩種,一種是帶有草根性和神祕的趣味,造像高額若頭角崢嶸,戴著樹葉頸飾,袒胸露臂、腰著裙或樹葉,手持稻穗或草藥,赤腳。另一種是表現帝王氣象,著帝王衣冠、蓄長鬚。造像的臉部顏色有 「紅」、「黑」、「綠」三色。上述造型都和神農大帝的傳說,農業和醫藥職能有關。
農曆四月二十六日為神農大帝聖誕,各地的神農宇多有相關活動,也成為地方重要的節慶。例如三重先嗇宮的活動有「三重埔大拜拜」的稱號,其它地方發展「神農文化季」活動,包括陣頭、繞境、擲比賽等,桃園龍潭龍元宮發展「賽豬公」等等。目前也成立有「中華神農大帝協進會」,作為神農信仰的聯誼組織。相較於中國大陸各地並未普遍祭祀神農大帝,臺灣神農信仰的發展可說是非常興盛且獨樹一幟。
 
關鍵詞:神農大帝、五谷仙帝、藥王大帝、五穀王、五谷王
 
考文獻
  1. 司馬貞。<三皇本紀>。收於《史記會注考證》。台北:樂天出版社。1972。
  2. 余光弘。1982。〈台灣地區民間宗教的發展〉。《中央研究院民族學所集刊》,53:67-105。
  3. 范咸纂輯。1961。《重修臺灣府志》。台北:臺灣銀行經濟研究室,頁249-266。
  4. 謝貴文。2009。〈臺灣的神農大帝信仰──兼談後勁鳳屏宮〉于《高雄民間信仰與傳說故事論集》台北:秀威資訊。
  5. 鍾宗憲。1994。《炎帝、神農信仰 》(北京:學苑出版社)。

Shen Nong dadi (神農大帝) is also called Shen Nong shi (神農氏), Wugu Xiandi (五穀先帝), Xiandi (先帝), Yaowang (藥王), Tianzu (田祖) and Shen Nong etc. He was listed as one of the high gods in the court of Han dynasty. It is said that Shen Nong taught ancient Chinese practicing the agriculture. That is why he is called Shen Nong, the Divine Farmer. However, Shen Nong who is regarded as an important cultural hero in Chinese history, just left only one achievement is impossible. It is said that Shen Nong is the first to taste various kinds of herbs to discriminate between beneficial and harmful ones. Besides, he founded the market to make the ancient Chinese trade goods, and multiplied the Eight Trigrams (八卦) to the Sixty-four Trigrams (六十四卦). Summarily, Shen Nong is not only the cultural but also the agricultural god and the medical god.
From Zhou dynasty, the worship to Shen Nong dadi was regarded as a national rite. The worship to Shen Nong is called Xian-se (先嗇).
The temple of Shen Nong was founded quite early in Taiwan. In 1646, the settlers from Fujian province had already built a temple of Shen Nong which is named with Kaiji Yaowang miao (開基藥王), the First founded temple of Yaowang, located in one end of Shen Nong street, Tainan city, today. According to statistics, in 1918, there were about sixty temples dedicated to Shen-nong dadi. In 1981, there are 112 Shen Nong dadi ‘s temples. Today, it is estimated about 150 temples even Taiwan being not an agriculture society anymore. Apparently, Shen Nong is not confined by his agriculture character and still as an important and popular god today. It is because of there are still many traditional Chinese medicine merchants regarded Shen Nong as patron god of trade. When it is the birthday of Shen Nong, the guilds of traditional Chinese medicine in elsewhere often hold a festival for Shen Nong dadi. The temple of Shen Nong dadi is also an important association in society. In Jia-yi county (嘉義縣), most of the campus of Zhong-zheng university (中正大學)is donated by the Wugu wang miao (五谷王) located in Minxiong (民雄).
        The outlook of the statue of Shen Nong dadi is very special. Most often, the Chinese popular gods are dressed up in ancient official clothing. One kind statue of Shen Nong dadi is like a farmer. He has a high forehead and big eyes. His upper body and feet are naked and he wears a garland made of leaves on his neck and a skirt or grass skirt, hands spikes of rice or herb medicines. One of three kinds of color is painted on his face. They are red, black, and green. They are all in relation to the legend of his tasting various kinds of herb medicine. Another kind of his statue is a general one that is closed to an emperor who wears a dragon robe (龍袍) and a Chinese crown.
        In Chinese lunar calendar, the April, 26th is the birthday of Shen-nong dadi. Shen Nong dadi’s birthday celebration became a local festival in some places. For example, the temple of Shen Nong dadi named Xianse temple (先嗇宮) in Sanchong (三重) takes place a festival every year becomes a local major occasion called ‘Sanchong da bai bai’ (三重大拜拜). There is also an association of Shen Nong dadi named Zhonghua Shen Nong dadi Xiejinhui (中華神農大帝協進會) which is an association to maintain or to create the relationship between different temples of Shen Nong dadi. Comparing to mainland china, where the worship and temple of Shen-nong dadi is rare, in Taiwan, the worship of Shen Nong dadi seems more popular and flourishing.
 
Keywords: Shen Nong dadi, Xianse, Yaowang, herb medicines
 
References:
  1. 司馬貞。<三皇本紀>。收於《史記會注考證》。台北:樂天出版社。1972。
  2. 余光弘。1982。〈台灣地區民間宗教的發展〉。《中央研究院民族學所集刊》,53:67-105。
  3. 范咸纂輯。1961。《重修臺灣府志》。台北:臺灣銀行經濟研究室,頁249-266。
  4. 謝貴文。2009。〈臺灣的神農大帝信仰──兼談後勁鳳屏宮〉于《高雄民間信仰與傳說故事論集》台北:秀威資訊。
  5. 鍾宗憲。1994。《炎帝、神農信仰 》北京:學苑出版社。
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