Sat, Apr 09, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Sword ladder makes cosmetologist a Taoist master
登一百零八層劍梯 美容師順利考取法師

A sword ladder with a small platform at the top is erected in Hualien County’s Jian Township on April 2. The ladder was built for a ceremony held by Beitian Temple, in which worshipers who wish to become Taoist masters have to climb to the top.
這張攝於四月二日的照片,是一座位於花蓮縣吉安鄉的劍梯,頂部有個天壇。梯子是北天宮為了舉行儀式而搭建,供給想成為道教法師的人攀爬。

Photo: Lin Hsin-han, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者林欣漢

Beitian Temple in Hualien County’s Jian Township held a ceremony to bring blessing to locals last Saturday. A 33-meter-high ladder, about the height of a 12-storey building, whose rungs were made with 108 swords, was erected on the main square. Ten worshipers who applied to take a test to be Taoist masters at the ceremony climbed the ladder’s steps one after another under the supervision of a temple official and a senior Taoist master.

One of the examinees was Lin Ji-chi, a 33-year-old cosmetologist. Lin’s mother is an attendant at the Kanling Temple in Ji-an Township. Lin said that Ji Gong, a divinity who is also known as the “Mad Monk,” had hinted to her mother three to four years ago that she had to take this test. Lin successfully passed her trial last Saturday.

This is the sixth consecutive year that the Beitian Temple blessing ceremony has been held. This year seven men and three women took the sword ladder test. A temple official first climbs up through the “heavenly gate” and onto the dizzyingly high platform at the top of the ladder, where he prays to the gods to grant blessings to local people and throws pieces of paper with auspicious Taoist spells to worshippers on the ground. After praying, he asks the gods’ permission to start the ceremony by casting divination blocks.

After the ceremony, the 10 worshipers who had to climb the sword ladder did so one step at a time, guided by the senior master. After reaching the platform at the top and worshiping the gods, they cast their divination blocks to the ground until they obtained “divine approval,” a sign that they had passed the test. Thereupon they officially became Taoist masters.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. rung n.

梯子橫檔;橫檔 (ti1 zi5 heng2 dang3; heng2 dang3)

例: The legs of a chair are stabilized by the rungs that connect them.

(椅子的腳以連接它們的橫檔固定。)

2. hint v.

示意 (shi4 yi4)

例: Timothy hinted at what he wanted for his birthday by mentioning backpacks as often as possible.

(提摩太一有機會就提起背包,這就是他示意生日想要的東西。)

3. thereupon

adv.

於是 (yu2 shi4)

例: I tried to persuade Rachel not to go the party alone, but she wouldn’t listen and left the room. Thereupon I realized I was wasting my breath.

(我企圖說服瑞秋不要自己參加派對,但她不願意聽就離開了房間。於是我發現我在浪費唇舌。)


The first person to climb the ladder was Chen Pao-chu, a 55-year-old woman. With bare feet, she started to ascend the ladder of swords. She was almost exhausted halfway, and took a rest while holding on to the ladder, but eventually she succeeded in climbing to the top.

Kang Lai-fa, a temple official, said that Chen had passed the test last year but had kept it secret from her husband. Since her secrecy was contradictory to one of the traditional wifely virtues, which is to help one’s husband and teach the children, she was disqualified. That is why she came back from Kaohsiung to climb the sword ladder again this year.

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)

花蓮縣吉安鄉北天宮上週六舉行祈安賜福法會,廣場架起三十三公尺、約十二層樓高的一百零八層劍梯,法會中十名參加登劍梯考取法師資格的信徒,在先鋒官和老道長的引導下,一步步完成儀式登頂。

三十三歲的美容師林濟琦則是「指定考生」,三、四年前濟公就透過她在吉安鄉感靈宮服務的母親,示意要她參加考試,上週六也順利通過考驗。

北天宮祈安賜福法會已是連續第六年舉辦,今年共有七男三女參加登劍梯儀式,由先鋒官經「通天門」,攀上高聳入雲的天壇,奏請上蒼賜福地方,並撒下平安符給信眾,擲筊請示上天應允。

祭拜儀式後,十名參加登劍梯儀式的信徒,在資深道長的帶領下,一步步向上爬,登上天壇祭拜後,還需向地面擲得聖筊才算通過考驗,成為法師。

第一個參加登劍梯考驗的是五十五歲的女性陳寶珠,她赤腳開始爬上劍梯,中間幾度體力耗盡,環抱著劍梯休息,最後仍成功登頂。

北天宮住持康來發說,陳寶珠去年已通過試驗,卻因將此事瞞著丈夫,違反相夫教子原則,被取消資格,這次從高雄再來爬一次劍梯。

(自由時報記者林欣漢)

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top