Seeking information on Buddhism and Mt. Geling 葛嶺 in China.

George Klonos's picture

Dear List Members,

I am currently reading an eighteenth-century hagiography of En no gyōja 役行者, the founder of Shugendō 修験道 mountain asceticism in Japan. In the text, the author mentions a mountain called Geling 葛嶺:

“In the northeast there is a mountain called Kongō 金剛. On the mountain resides the Bodhisattva Hōki 法喜菩薩. One thousand and two hundred people accompany him and hear his sermons…That is why Kongōzan 金剛山 is another name for Geling 葛嶺 (Ge Peak?).”

A paragraph later, En no gyōja visits China.

Unfortunately, I do not have access to a library at the moment. One possibly relevant mention I found on the internet is that Ge Hong 洪 is said to have written his alchemical treatises there (Ge Hong's Baopuzi was familiar to Shugendo authors). The only other reference I could find was to "Ge Hill" (Geling) in Hangzhou (in Duan Xiaolin’s The Rise of West Lake: A Cultural Landmark in the Song Dynasty. Univ. of Washington Press: 2020). It mentions the existence of religious sites along the “Ge Hill route.” I am looking for Buddhist or Daoist associations with this landmark.

Many Thanks

George Klonos

Independent Researcher

Hello George,

The landmark is Daoist related. In "Ge Ling," there is a Daoist monastery called 抱樸道院, named after Ge Hong's "Bao Pu Zi" 抱樸子.

You may also check "西湖夢尋·葛嶺": “ 葛嶺者,葛仙翁稚川修仙地也。仙翁名洪,號抱樸子,句容人也。從祖葛玄,學道得仙術,傳其弟子鄭隱。洪從隱學,盡得其秘……” (西湖夢尋/QWMJP8MLW80C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=%E8%A5%BF%E6%B9%96%E6%A2%A6%E5%AF%BB&printsec=frontcover).

I am not expertise in Daoism, but shall you find much more Daoist references
for "抱樸" or "抱樸子."

Hope it helps,

Dear George,

This place name (葛嶺) comes up in an eighteenth-century text (戸隠山代權現縁起, 1736?) I've been working on as shorthand for Katsuragi-san 葛城山, which you'll recognize as En no Gyōja's home turf.

Incidentally, there are Daoist references in this text that construct associations between En and Daoism (particularly 天師道). I'd be curious to hear from others if 葛嶺 doubles as a reference to a Chinese site as well.

Best wishes,

Caleb Carter                                                      
Assistant Professor, Japanese Religions and Buddhist Studies
Kyushu University, Faculty of Humanities

Dear George,

You might want to look at 《釋氏稽古略》T49.2037.833a12-23. It is about a 布氏侍 = 布毛侍 who wants to become a Buddhist monastic. The passage ends:《釋氏稽古略》卷3:「建伽藍於喜鵲寺之東葛嶺之西塢曰招賢(傳燈錄)。」(CBETA, T49, no. 2037, p. 833, a22-23)


Dear List Members,

Many thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions regarding my query. It seems that Geling carries Daoist (via Ge Hong) rather than Buddhist connotations as a place. The only mention in the Buddhist Canon is in the passage that Dan Lusthaus quoted from the Brief Study of the Ancients and Buddhists (Shimin jigu lue 釋氏稽古略, T.2037).

Best Regards
George Klonos