Penglai(蓬萊) is a fairy mountain that lies between reality and imagination. Legend has it that Penglai is located in the Bohai Sea, resembling clouds when seen from afar.
In Chinese #mythology, Penglai(蓬莱/蓬萊) is depicted as a suspended pavilion above the sea,supported by a cluster of auspicious clouds. It’s the palace of the immortals,all made of gold and jade,and the birds and beasts are all white.
It is stated in《列子》that there are five fairy mountains in the sea: First is Mount Taiyu, second is Mount Yuanjiao, third is Mount Fanghu, fourth is Mount Yingzhou, fifth is Mount Penglai.’ Penglai is just one among them.
Its mountain height circumnavigates thirty thousand miles, its top is nine thousand miles in breadth, and the distances between the peaks are seventy thousand miles. Read More “Penglai(蓬莱/蓬萊)’s Story”
There is an interesting theory about the structure of the mystical mountain, Penglai(#蓬萊) being a pot.
In WangJia(王嘉)’s ‘Records of the Unearthed Tales《拾遺記》’, Penglai ‘s structure is described as resembling a pot, alongside two other mystical mountains, Fangzheng and Yingzhou. These three, collectively termed the ‘Three Pots(三壺) ‘. The Three Pots symbolize three sea-bound mountains. Fanghu(方壺) represents Fangzhang(方丈), Ponghu(蓬壺) signifies Penglai(蓬萊), and Yinghu(瀛壺) embodies Yingzhou(瀛洲), all shaped akin to vessels.
This pot-like imagery signifies a contained world, each potentially holding its own universe within. Read More “The Structure of Penglai(蓬萊)”
It portrays one of the “Three Mountains in the Sea”, the shape of a square jar as a floating vessel in a vast sea, surrounded by towering peaks forming an island in the sea, with several Taoist temples situated atop them.
Another illustration for the mysterious floating mountain, Penglai, in Chinese mythology.
This painting continues the tradition of previous immortal mountain artworks. The towering emerald-green mountains reaching into the clouds, the pavilions hidden among the irregular pine forests, and the bridge symbolizing the passage to the immortal realm, serving as a connecting and linking symbol – these typical elements of the immortal mountain paintings are all referenced by the artist.
To the east of Penglai(蓬萊) , there is a country called Yuyi, where golden mists frequently appear. The immortals say that this mountain often floats within the mist, sometimes rising high, sometimes hanging low.
Many buildings stand on the mountain, their windows usually facing towards the bright direction when the mist disperses, and all facing north when the mist vanishes.
~鐘毓龍 《上古秘史》, in the Qing Dynasty
I think the earliest record of that is in 《拾遺記》, will talk about that in the next thread. Read More “Tales of Yuyi(郁夷國)”
To the west of Penglai(蓬萊) , there is a country named Hanming, where people use bird feathers as clothes and quench their thirst with dewdrops. They spend their days climbing high places to fetch water, using stairs made of precious materials like gold, silver, and crystal. Here, there are both icy and hot waters, and those who drink them can live up to a thousand years.
The original description in 《拾遺記》 is more fascinating , see image.
The Emperor asked Li Shaoweng, how to get to the floating mountain.
‘First, offer to Taiyi(太一); only then can one ascend to the heavens. Only after ascending to the heavens can one reach Penglai(蓬萊).’
Li Shaoweng from Qi, aged two hundred, had the appearance of a youth. His creations in various forms were all effective. The Emperor greatly believed in him, appointed him as the General of Wencheng, and treated him as an honored guest. Inside the Ganquan Palace, he painted images of various gods including Taiyi for worship. Read More “《蓬萊仙境》張大千”