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順天聖母 (Shuntian shengmu)
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臺南市中西區臨水夫人媽順天聖母(陳美華攝)

順天聖母是臨水夫人陳靖姑的稱號之一,臨水夫人陳靖姑的稱號相當多,除了順天聖母之外,還有南中助國夫人、天仙聖母、碧霞聖母、慈濟夫人、奶娘、陳太后、陳夫人媽等等。順天聖母源於清時鳳山縣閩人林天齡,他向官方請求敕封為臨水夫人為「順天聖母」。除了以上的稱號外,也有人認為順天聖母就是註生娘娘,這和祂在傳說故事中誓願祐助產婦有密切的關係。此外,臨水夫人又和李三娘、林紗娘合稱「三奶夫人」,是民間法術的重要傳承人物。種種不同的稱號代表祂廣泛的流行程度和各地豐富的傳說。
陳靖姑根據《八閩通志》記載,乃是唐時人,生於唐大曆二年(767年),出身巫覡家庭,自幼天賦異秉,能預言未來事且精通法術。長大成人後嫁給劉杞,懷孕時剛好遇到大旱災,村民為之所苦,於是陳靖姑打胎為大眾施法祈雨。陳靖姑祈雨固然成功,不幸的是她卻因為脫胎祈雨,大傷元氣而過世了。臨終時發下濟助婦女生產的遺願。後來她又在臨水地方穿著紅衣斬白蛇,行有神話事蹟之後,隨即消失不見。人們四處尋訪的結果才知道她原來是神人所化,於是為之立崇祀。不論祈求天和、驅逐疾疫、祈求子嗣等,都相當靈驗。陳靖姑在宋淳祐年間(1241-1252)被封為崇福昭、惠、慈濟夫人,立有順懿夫人的匾額。上述內容多不見於同時代的正史記載,只是由後人追記成文。推測臨水夫人應該是始於唐末、宋,流行浙江南部、福建等山區的民間信仰
陳靖姑雖是女性神,祂不只有保護孕婦、兒童等功能,也是法術傳統的傳承者,和民間的重要法派「閭山派」的傳承有密切的關係。祂與李三娘、林紗娘合稱為「三奶夫人」。因此,除了民間立塑像奉祀之外,在民間的法術和儀式專家的儀式書裡,也留有相關的記載。
順天聖母除了是重要的女神和民間法術的傳承祖外,也是戲曲、小說、唱本等民間文學裡非常重要的人物,有多部著作以之為主角,例如《海遊記》、《臨水平妖志》、《夫人傳》等等。相關故事大致上都不脫陳靖姑斬殺白蛇、脫胎、求雨等重要的傳說故事。這些故事即使流傳許久,仍不斷推陳出新,例如台灣「明珠女子歌劇團」,還以「泣血蓮花∼陳靖姑」,得到「九十五年度國藝會」的「歌仔戲製作與發表專案優秀劇本」。顯見陳靖姑的影響力。
台灣最早的臨水夫人是高雄大社區的三奶碧雲宮,創立於康熙四十六年,最早是以三奶為始,但這座的詳細時間未見明確的文獻記載。另根據日治資料的訪查記錄中,最早者為台南白河的臨水宮,建於清代的康熙、雍正年間。清代方志中最早者為台南的臨水夫人媽。此外,還有高雄的順懿宮、嘉義東石福安宮、鹿港順興里臨水宮等等。此外,臺北市、南投縣順懿宮、台中市等地也有臨水夫人。臺灣除了歷史悠久的臨水夫人外,新建的臨水夫人也有自已的創舉,宜蘭三星的靖靈宮即號稱有全台最大的陳靖姑塑像。總計全台以陳靖姑為主祀神的宇約在27間以上,尚不包括各種私。臨水夫人的興盛程度可見一般。
       
關鍵詞:陳靖姑、順天聖母、臨水夫人、夫人媽
 
考書目
  1. Berthier, Brigitte. (2008) The Lady of Linshu: A Chinese female cult. California : Stanford University Press.
  2. 李秀娥。1997。〈鹿港夫人媽成神的傳說與類型〉。《思與言》,35(2):187-234。
  3. 康詩瑀。2007。〈台灣臨水夫人信仰之研究 ─以白河臨水宮、台南臨水夫人媽為例〉中壢:國立中央大學歷史所論士論文。
  4. 陳芳伶。2003。〈陳靖姑信仰的內容、教派及儀式探討〉台南:國立台南大學鄉土文化研究所碩士論文。
  5. 魏永竹。1991。〈臨水夫人崇祀在台灣〉。《台灣文獻》,42(1):209-234。

Shuntian shengmu is Chen Jinggu (陳靖姑), also known as the "Lady of Linshui" (臨水夫人). Chen Jinggu has many titles. Shuntian shengmu (順天聖母) is one of them whom was named by Lin Tianling (林天齡), a citizen in Gaoxiong (高雄). He asked authourity to title Chen Jinggu as Shuntian shengmu.
Regarding to the Bamin tongzhi (八閩通志), Chen Jinggu was a medium in Tang dynasty. She was born in 767. It is said that she had the talent to predicate future events and is also good at Daoist and popular religion rituals. When she was adult, she was married with a man named Liu Qi (劉杞). Not long after she was preganant, there was a harsh drought. Because Chen Jinggu was well known as a kind and powerful medium among villagers, she was asked for help by them. In order to accomplish this mission, she induced abortion by herself without noticing anyone and held on a ritual. Finally, it was rained. However, Chen Jinggu was too exhausted to be dead. Before she was dead, she vowed that she would protect pregrant women, baby and children forever as her last wish.
After she was dead, it is said that in Linsui, she was seen by villagers who witnessed her spirit killed a white snake demon. After that, she left a mysterious message as the hint of her homeland. When the villagers found her homeland, they realized she was Chen Jinggu’s iphany. People began to worhip her to pray for pretection and blessing. The temple dedicated to Chen Jinggu was established. 
In Song dynasty, about 1241-1252, Chen Jinggu were be titled as Ciji furen (慈濟夫人), the Lady Ciji. A banner inscribed Shunyi furen (順懿夫人) was also hung in the temple.
However, above content were not recorded in the comtempory literatures. They were be recorded by later generations. On speculation, Chen Jinggu was a deity in popular religion at first. The worship of Chen Jinggu originated from the boarder between Zhejiang (浙江) and Fujian (福建) in Tang or Song dynasty.
Chen Jinggu is not only regarded as the patron goddess of women and children, but also a patriarch enlisted in a school of popular religion. The school is Lushan Fapai (閭山法派) which is a ritual school in popular religion spreading around Fujian (福建), Jiangxi (江西), and Taiwan. Its rituals were influenced by Daoism and Tantra Buddhism and mixed with Wu (巫), an ancient tradition in Chinese popular religion. In this school, besides Chen Jinggu, there are still two important ladies. They are Lin Sha-niang (林紗娘) and Li San-niang (李三娘). Chen Jinggu, Sha-niang (林紗娘) and Li San-niang (李三娘) are called Sannai Furen (三奶夫人).
 Chen Jinggu is also an important character in tradition drama. In some plays, such as the Hai You ji (海遊記), Linshui Pingyao zhi (臨水平妖志) and Furen chuan (夫人傳), Chen Jinggu’s life stories are the themes. Those plays are in relation with Chen Jinggu scarifying her own unborn baby and herself to save villagers, killing the demon white snake, and Sannai Furen searching for the great Master Xu Xun (許遜, 239-374). Apparently, Chen Jinggu is very popular goddess.
In Taiwan, early temple dedicated to Chen Jinggu was established in 1707, Gaoxiong (高雄). However, the evidence is not concret. Regarding to official investigation during Japan reign, the first temple is Linshui temple (臨水宮) in Tainan (台南). Besides, there are still many temples dedicated to Chen Jinggu , titled Shuntian shengmu elsewhere in Taiwan. It is estimated about twenty seven temples.
 
Keywords: Shuntian shengmu, Chen Jinggu, Lady of Linshui
 
References:
  1. Berthier, Brigitte. (2008) The Lady of Linshu: A Chinese female cult. California : Stanford University Press.
  2. 李秀娥。1997。〈鹿港夫人媽成神的傳說與類型〉。《思與言》,35(2):187-234。
  3. 康詩瑀。2007。〈台灣臨水夫人信仰之研究 ─以白河臨水宮、台南臨水夫人媽為例〉中壢:國立中央大學歷史所論士論文。
  4. 陳芳伶。2003。〈陳靖姑信仰的內容、教派及儀式探討〉台南:國立台南大學鄉土文化研究所碩士論文。
  5. 魏永竹。1991。〈臨水夫人崇祀在台灣〉。《台灣文獻》,42(1):209-234。
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