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臺北市大同區霞海城隍城隍爺(陳美華攝)

城隍爺又名城隍,按其名稱應是衛戍都市之神。城隍雖以城市為名,祂的職能實際上是司法神,主掌人間的道德行為和是非曲直。據康熙時的《重修台灣府志》載「凡我一縣境內人民,倘有忤逆不孝、不敬六親者,有奸盜詐偽、不畏公法者,有拗曲作直、欺壓良善者,有逃避差役、靠損貧戶者,似此頑惡、奸邪不良之徒,神必告於城隍,發露其事。」因此,城隍所代表的並不只是單一神祇,更包含一套完整的神官系統,包括文、武判官;六司;人稱七爺八爺的范謝將軍、牛將軍和馬將軍、皂隸胥隸;召魂、收魂等等。
有研究認為城隍本是自然神,源於記裡蜡祭八神中的水庸神,經過長時的演變之後成為城市神,這類看法較欠缺直接的證據。目前考證最早的城隍神是南北時,在《隋書》、《北齊書》以及唐文獻裡有相關的記載。城隍可能與土地神有某種關聯,流行於長江流域,黃河流域則有少數城隍。關於城隍神有不同版本的傳說,多與歷史人物有關,有些地方傳說城隍原是漢丞相蕭何,有些地方認為城隍是先秦時春申君,也有人認為是漢高祖座下大將灌嬰,或有人認為原是龐玉。除了上述幾位歷史人物以外,還有幾位地方性的人士和龍王,如筠州應智頊、靖州游茂洪,台州臨海縣的龍王等等。這些不同的傳說,更說明城隍的發展除了普遍的層面外,也因應各地方的歷史發展出自己的傳說。即使傳入臺灣,城隍也有著自己的地方故事,例如1935年高雄有一位陳姓市民為兒子設了城隍神像並舉行盛大儀式,是因為他的兒子在溺斃十八年後託夢父親,表示自己已經受天公(玉皇大帝)封為城隍,故需設立神像。此外,各地還有種種不同的感應故事。
城隍在明洪武十二年由明太祖親自下令各地統治普設,成為各州縣的地方神祗,以鑑察人民的善惡而施禍福。此後城隍在中國各地變得更為興盛,成為非常普遍的神祗。臺灣最早的城隍是台南的府城隍,設立於明鄭時。後來歷經清的官祀加上民間私設,全台灣包括澎湖、金門在內,各地大大小小的城鎮都有城隍,以城隍為主神的寺和神約在五十座~九十座之間。各地宇的儀式活動與其它宇相似,諸如繞境、醮儀等活動。此外,由於城隍是司法神,民眾之間遇有紛爭難以排解、或是個人的操守被人懷疑、或是有意悔過時,過去也常有在城隍前立誓的儀式,或是接受神判裁決。遇有重大案件無從得解時,檢警人員也有禱求城隍因而破案的傳聞。有些地方的城隍還因應時代發展出不同的特色,例如台北霞海城隍也成為信眾求賜姻緣的宇之一。
 
關鍵詞:城隍、城隍爺、城隍、司法神
 
考書目
  1. Johnson, David. (1985)"The City-God Cults of T'ang and Sung China," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 45(2): 363-457.
  2. 賴亮郡。2006。〈唐五代的城隍信仰〉。《興大歷史學報》17
  3. 黃柏芸。2006。《臺灣的城隍》。臺北:遠足文化。
  4. 增田福太郎。1999。《臺灣漢民族的司法神-城隍信仰的體系》。台北:古亭書屋。

Cheng huang (城隍), the city god, which means a guardian god of city literally. However, the function of city god is judicial. The city god is in charge of judging people’s moral behavior and the disputes between people. If someone did not obey the doctrine of filial piety, the city god will dispatch some ghosts or lower level gods chasing him or her to be punished. If someone cheated, stole, robbed, or hectored, the city god will get him or her to be punished. How could the city god know people well? There are many ghosts and gods belong to the subordinate of city god. The city god is not just a representative of one god, but a bureaucratic system of gods. There are various gods in cheng huang temple (城隍), including the lower level judge gods, bailiffs gods and captain of ghost army etc. Their duties are organized as the police and judicial system, including inspecting, detecting, chasing, trialing, and punishing process.
        Though the function of city god is clear, the origin of city god is vague. Some scholars thought that the city god originates from a natural god. The evidence is in the Book of Rite (記). According to this scripture, there are eight kinds of god which the emperor, the son of heaven, should enshrine. The god closed to cheng huang is the god of dike or moat. Its name is shui yong (水庸). After a long period of time, it transformed to cheng huang. However, this evidence is not direct and strong enough. Firstly, the spread area of city god is mainly around the Yangtze River basin which is different from the Yellow River basin. The Book of Rite is about the Yellow River basin. Secondly, as the direct evidence reveals, the most direct record about the city god is in the record of Tang dynasty. The closed literature evidence is about Six dynasty (六) and Sui (隋) dynasty which is recorded or rewritten in Tang dynasty. Above all, one thing can be sure is that the city god appeared in Tang dynasty.
        Another aspect of city god is its legend. Most of the stories are related to the historical figures, such as Xiao He (蕭何, 257-193 B.C.), Chun Shen Jun (春申君, ?-238 B.C.), Gnuan Ying (灌嬰, ?-176 B.C.), or Pang Yu (龐玉, ?), a marshal in Han dynasty. The others are about some local people or a dragon king, such as Ying Zhi-xu (應智頊)in Yunzhou (筠州) , You Mao-hong (游茂洪) in Jingzhou (靖州), the dragon king in Taizhou (台州). Regarding to those stories, the city gods not only become a universal god but also localize in relation to local history.
When city god spreads to Taiwan, he developed his own stories also. According to a report in 1935, Kaohsiung City (高雄市), a father asked an artisan to carve a city god’s status for his son who drowned eighteen years ago. The reason is the son’s soul came to his father’s dream and told him that he was be promoted by Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝) to be a city god. The dead son asked his father to carve a city god’s status and held on a parade for him. Then he could be enshrined by citizens. The above is one of city god’s stories in Taiwan.
        The city god became an official representative god is Ming dynasty. The Hongwu Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang (朱元璋), who decreed that all of the subprefecture (州), county (縣) goverment should found the city god temple, then the city god will  monitor citizen doing right and wrong and punish the bad person. The city god’s cult became more flourishing and popular than before.
There are about fifty to ninety city god’s temple in Taiwan, including Kingman (金門), Penghu (澎湖). There are some special religious practices about Cheng huang because of his judicial function. When there is dispute which is hard to solve, some people will come to the city god temple to ask the city god solve it. If someone’s integrity were misunderstood or in question, he or she will come to the city god temple to vow. It is said that there are times when a criminal case is hard to solve or on bottleneck, some policemen or prosecutors go to the city god temple praying for help also. The Taipei Xiahai city god temple (台北霞海城隍) even develops a character like a matchmaker to help people find a right person. What a fancy one is.
 
Keywords: the city god
 
References:
  1. Johnson, David. (1985)"The City-God Cults of T'ang and Sung China," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 45(2): 363-457.
  2. 賴亮郡。2006。〈唐五代的城隍信仰〉。《興大歷史學報》17
  3. 黃柏芸。2006。《臺灣的城隍》。臺北:遠足文化。
  4. 增田福太郎。1999。《臺灣漢民族的司法神-城隍信仰的體系》。台北:古亭書屋。
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