Fuyou dijiun is well known as Lu Dongbin(呂洞賓
), one of the Eight Immortals(八仙
). He is also called Chunyang zhenjun(純陽祖師), Master of Pure Yang. People more likely call him Xian gong(仙公) or Lu zu(呂祖, Master of Lu). Lu Dongbin is a figure between legendary and reality. He is a disciple of Zhongli Quan(鍾離權). His ambigious prophet, amazing technique of medical and sword are deeply rooted in people’s mind. He is a poet, soothsayer, and exorcist. Briefly, he has two faces of image. One is a handsome and slender divinity and often wear Taoist rob, holding a sword. Another is as an anonymous, showed unpredictable elsewhere.
Where Lu Dongbin came from and when was he born are still riddles. One story of Lu Dongbin is he was born at between Shanxi(山西) province and Shanxi(陝西) province. Another is said that he was born at Xian(西安) or Yongle(永樂) area. Some people thought that he was in Tang dynasty. It is also said that he was in Five Period(五代) or the beginning of Sung Dynasty(宋朝). However, above all, one thing can be sure is the legend of Lu Dongbin going to peak between the 900’s to 1000’s, the Northern Sung Dynasty. The impact of Lu Dongbin’s legend is so huge. A rebel uprised in Bei province(貝州), officials investigated the link between the rebel and Lu Dongbin. Finally, the investigation did not get any result but the legend of Lu Dongbin was unstoppable.
There were many stories about Lu Dongbin. One of them is about Wang Anshi(王安石), a prime minister of the Northern Sung Dynasty, who want to be a disciple of Lu Dongbin. However, because he was sinful, he was rejected. Another is Lu Dongbin was a disciple of Chen Tuan(陳摶
). He learned a magical technique of sword from Chen Tuan that makd him travelled very far in a brief time. Others are major about his anonymous identity. It is said that Lu Dongbin test people’s heart in this way. If a person could recognize him and pass the test, one would get his teaching in person. Most of them, including a Taoist, failed his test because of their greed. Few passed and only one left name, he was a rich named Du Changyan(杜昌言). Another was a shepherd. The other was a businessman. Beside met with Lu Dongbin in person, people could find him by dreaming and reading his poetry. Lu Dongbin was so popular that the famous pavilion, Yueyang Tower(岳陽樓) by Lake Dongting Lake(洞庭湖), kept many poetry attributed to Lu Dongbin’s writing. Even a Buddhist anthology collected his some poetry. An important literature about Lu Dongbin is Yijian zhi(夷堅志), edited and written by Hong Mai(洪邁, 1123-1202). There are many stories about him.
One major factor of Lu Dongbin’s propagation is the Quanzhen School of Taoism(全真教). Quanzhen School was charted by Yuan royal court. Quanzhen School’s major contribution is linking all the discrete groups and organizes of Lu Dongbin’s believer in compounds, villages, and counties together and making them work as a nation-wide group. Quanzhen School venerates Lu Dongbin as one of his patriarch fathers. As a result, Yongle temple became the center dedicated to Lu Dongbin. Finally, not only the northern lineage of Taoist(北宗) regards Lu Dongbin as a patriarch father but also the southern lineage(南宗). In other words, Lu Dongbin is totally adopted by Taoist then. Whether he is real or not does not matter anymore.
In 1981, Taiwan, it was estimated that temples dedicated to Fuyou dijiun were 52. The number is not including the temples and shrines dedicated to Enzhu(恩主, Beneficial Lords). The temples dedicated to Enzhu are majorly practiced in spiritual writing（fuji, 扶乩）. Spiritual writing is also an important ritual related to Fuyou dijiun. The famous temple is Zhinan temple(指南宮), located in Muza(木柵), Taipei. Others are Zhennan temple(鎮南宮) in Fengshan(鳳山), Xingnan temple(興南宮) in Qishan(旗山), and Jinan temple(進南宮) in Wufong(霧峰).
There are some activities and taboos about Fuyou dijiun. Lovers are suggested not to pray to Fuyou dijiun. Because he is naughty and lover can be broken up. Some temples provide cabinet for devotees who want to dream about Lu Dongbin to get a prophecy. Besides, Fuyou dijiun is also the tutelary deity of medical and barbers. There is also a national association of Lu Dongbin, named the Chinese Association of Taoist Chunyang Master(中華道教
Fuyou dijiun, Lu Dongbin, Zhinan temple, Chunyang Master, The Eight Immortals