QUERY> Buddhism and Mt. Geling 葛嶺 in China

A. Charles Muller's picture

[Cross-posted from H-Asia]


by George Klonos

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

Categories: Query

I would guess this is a reference to Mount Katsuragi (also called Yamato Katsuragi 大和葛城山). This and Mount Kongo are in the same mountain range and both key spots for Shugendo practice - not far from Ominesan and other Shugendo areas, all connected by old pilgrimage routes there