Yang City and surrounding areas were hit by drought, and the people in the urban areas could not bear it, let alone the people living in remote mountainous areas. Rumors spread in society for a while. Fortunately, the water price was forcibly suppressed.
On this day, Xie Lingya received a letter from the Municipal Taoist Association. It contained an invitation, and the invitee’s name was: Baoyang Temple.
Once opened, there were several rows of artistic words on the left:
Yang City Rain Praying Ceremony and Drought Fundraising Ceremony
United as one
Fight drought together
Xie Lingya: “…………”
Xie Lingya didn’t know much about what should be called the “mainstream religious circles,” so he felt a little strange when he saw the theme of the event. He sighed: “It seems that when the government is actively providing disaster relief, religious people are not idle either….”
No, they are helping in their own way. Let’s see if it works or not. After all, there is still a fundraising aspect.
Although Baoyang Temple was small, it had been established for such a long time, so it was also a member of the Yang City Taoist Association. However, Wang Yuji rarely participated in activities in the past and had no friendship with his peers.
Looking at the other side of the invitation, it was signed by the Yang City Taoist Association Office. It also stated that with the strong support of the Provincial Taoist Association, the rain prayer ceremony organized by the Yang City Taoist Association would be held at Taihe Temple the day after tomorrow.
Gao Gong of the ceremony was Chen Sansheng, the president of the Municipal Taoist Association and the master of Taihe Temple. He had invited more than ten Taoist priests from various Taoist temples in the province to participate. All member units were invited to come and watch the ceremony. There would also be donations for the people affected by the disaster.
Gao Gong was originally just a person with profound knowledge. In Taoism, this was the title given to a master who presided over large and small rituals. It could also be understood as the highest level of Taoism. As the president of the Taoist Association of this city, Chen Sansheng naturally did his part.
In the past, Wang Yuji, the only Taoist priest in Baoyang Temple, would attend events like this whenever he could. So, people just sent invitations as a routine matter. Now there were no Taoist priests in the temple. After Xie Lingya received the invitation, he decided to go.
It was not that he was keen on entering the group, Xie Lingya just wanted to know about the industry and see if he could find any shadow of his uncle’s future apprentice.
The Dharma Conference would be held for three days, but Xie Lingya only planned to go for one day. On this day, he had to greet people first and ask Sun Fuyang’s wife to help keep an eye on things in the front yard. As for the main hall, it was locked directly.
On the day of the rain prayer ceremony, Xie Lingya went there wearing a T-shirt and jeans.
In addition to Taoist priests, there were many believers watching at the scene, so Xie Lingya’s dress was not out of the ordinary. However, when he showed the invitation letter, the Taoist priest checking the admission qualifications at the door was a little embarrassed. Either no one came from this Baoyang Temple, or a… lay disciple (?) came as a representative.
Taihe Temple occupied a larger area than Baoyang Temple, and it was renovated just a few years ago, giving it a brand new look and grandeur.
Xie Lingya had been looking through Baoyang’s notes these days. He couldn’t help but look at the faces and figures of the Taoist priests he saw on the way, as he used his still very new skills of fortune-telling to observe their talents.
From ancient times to the present, Taoist priests had been able to move between various temples, but this flow was usually between the same school. In modern times, it was even less popular now. Many temples would also invite famous Taoist priests to be the temple masters. This was all normal for the professionals.
For a place with real abilities like Baoyang Temple, it would be more prudent to recruit successors.
Although the top priority for Baoyang Temple was that there was no ordinary Taoist priest who could explain the rules to the believers, but after all, those could be recruited if they had money, but this was not the case for the heirs and masters of the temple.
Because Xie Lingya received an invitation from a member unit, unlike ordinary believers, he could stand closer and watch. He mingled among a group of Taoist priests to watch the ceremony.
Outside the hall, there were crowds of believers. Inside the hall, there were altars, candlesticks, incense burners, vases, and gold embroidered banners and flags. They were all accompanied by bells and drums, which was all very formal.
Looking at Taihe Temple, and then thinking about the situation of Baoyang Temple… where they didn’t even have believers, let alone a monastery. Xie Lingya remembered that when he was a child, his uncle also performed ceremonies, but he did it alone. In the Taoist family, in fact, this kind of ceremony could not even be called a ceremony, it could only be called a casual thing.
But it was clear that his uncle had real abilities and was also very pious. Xie Lingya thought sourly, if they worked hard, they could build a temple with more than seven people in the future!
After the ceremony began, a Taoist priest in red led the crowd out with yellow paper in his hand. He was very young, he looked like he may be in his twenties, and he had a particularly handsome face. He was dressed in a bright red Taoist robe, but he did not look tacky at all, instead he was just like an immortal.
He didn’t have long hair, but he was wearing a turban. At this moment, his cold eyes were looking down at the yellow paper in his hand, his expression as calm as water.
It stood to reason that the Gao Gong who was presiding over the ceremony would wear a red Taoist robe embroidered with Tuanhe, while the others would wear yellow.
Xie Lingya was a little surprised and chatted with a Taoist priest next to him: “…Guanzhu Chen is so young?”
The Taoist priest initially wanted to ask, “Are you sick?” But he turned around and saw that Xie Lingya was quite good-looking and his temper was gone. “Guanzhu Chen is temporarily busy, so Taoist Master Shi Changxuan from the provincial capital will serve as Gao Gong.”
Baoyang Temple was so marginalized in the association, so Xie Lingya naturally didn’t know about the on-the-spot substitution.
Xie Lingya asked shamelessly: “Is he famous? From which Taoist temple?”
The man looked at Xie Lingya in disbelief, “Did you sneak in?”
Xie Lingya: “…”
So was he really famous?
The Taoist priest seemed to have heard Xie Lingya’s thoughts and said, “You should have known that he didn’t grow his hair. He is a Taoist priest from the Zhengyi Taoist tradition, he is a Taoist priest who does not live in a Taoist temple! The inheritance of Taoist Master Shi is a family tradition!”
Xie Lingya: “…”
It was a matter of life and death, but common sense was not enough to pass with just cram school.
At this time, Shi Changxuan had already unfolded the yellow paper and started reciting. His voice was clear, his words were loud, and he had a wonderful sense of rhythm. The scene quickly became quiet.
“Since May, the rain has been scarce, the fields have dried up, and the people are in panic. I would like to set up an altar today to chant sutras and pray for rain, and hope that the gods will show mercy to the people and send down sweet rain…”
“This document records the host, location, time, content, etc. of the ritual. It must be burned and presented to the gods.”
There were other Taoist priests in the back holding eight flags, walking through them according to the directions of the five elements, and inserting the flags into the bottle after three times. Because the people present were all Taoist priests or believers, most of them watched it carefully.
Xie Lingya didn’t pay much attention to the ceremony. He was staring at Shi Changxuan. The more he looked at him, the more he felt that his face was good. He couldn’t feel the bones in his body, but this man was capable of performing high-level tasks at a young age. He also knew that his homework was good. So, his root bone was probably not bad.
As soon as he heard that this man was a Taoist priest from the Shi Residence, and that the Taoism was inherited from his family, he was a little bit ready to make a move. He felt that this man could be included in the investigation target!
——In addition to the tutors they bring in, Taoist priests could also learn knowledge from their teachers. The more teachers you worship, the better you could learn. However, due to sectarian opinions and self-preservation, there were fewer and fewer people who could combine the strengths of each school.
The philosophy of the successive masters of Baoyang Temple was that they were willing to learn more knowledge and did not mind how many disciples there were. Unfortunately, people like them were in the minority after all.
But if it was a family tradition, he was more likely to be amenable to his request!
Although the Wandering Taoist priest could not be a Temple Taoist priest, Xie Lingya didn’t mind adding a few more outstanding disciples to his uncle. His uncle was so unlucky that he didn’t have any disciples. It would be good to have more people burning incense for him in the future. Of course, the premise was that the apprentice must have good foundation and good character, otherwise there was no point in accepting him.
Unfortunately, after staying at the Dharma conference for a whole day and eating two fast meals, Shi Changxuan was either doing things or being surrounded by people all the time. Xie Lingya didn’t even have a chance to chat and hook up, so he could only go back with a little regret.
He didn’t know if it was a coincidence, but on the third day after the rain prayer ceremony was held, sweet rain fell from the sky, and people in the drought-stricken areas cheered for joy.
Although the water supply gradually returned to normal after the rain, the well in Baoyang Temple had already become famous.
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