Dingsi, at night, at Zi Ke, he collapsed in the Yangxin Hall.
This is a very simple record of the death of Emperor Shunzhi in history. Logically speaking, the death of an emperor must be written down in a big way. Why was Shunzhi’s death so briefly mentioned?
It is precisely because of this that people began to have various theories about the cause of Shunzhi’s death, such as death from illness, becoming a monk, committing suicide, etc. But the more common theory is that because of the death of Concubine Dong E, Fulin was so disheartened that he gave up the throne and chose to become a monk. Of course, the public believes this statement more because it has sufficient factual basis.
Two portraits of eminent monks, Waking Chi and Xing Chi
In August of the 17th year of Shunzhi, Concubine Dong E died of illness. Fulin fell into pain, so he came up with the idea of becoming a monk. Although the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang intervened, Fulin had to agree to grow his hair, but he had already accepted the influence of Buddhism in his heart…
There is a Baiyun Temple in Minquan County, Henan Province. It was built during the Zhenguan period of the Tang Dynasty. At that time, the entire temple covered an area of 500 acres and had more than 1,000 various buildings. Together with Luoyang Baima Temple, Songshan Shaolin Temple, and Kaifeng Xiangguo Temple, it was also known as the four famous temples in the Central Plains. .
A few years ago, when Minquan County was conducting a census of cultural relics around Baiyun Temple, they discovered two ancient paintings from a villager’s home. It is said that they were portraits of two eminent monks who achieved enlightenment at that time. Because of the passage of time, the portrait has become extremely damaged and the cash withdrawals on it cannot be seen. Only two old monks sitting upright can be seen. However, the details of one of the portraits surprised the staff because there was a dragon head on the chair behind the old monk, which meant that he was sitting on a dragon chair.
So a question arises here. No eminent monk in history would have received such special treatment as being a dragon chair. Even Yao Guangxiao, who rebelled with Zhu Di, did not have this qualification. Therefore, the identity of this monk sitting on a dragon chair and wearing court boots is suspicious.
In order to clarify this question, the staff asked the villagers for the name of the monk in the painting. According to the person who preserved the portrait, this was a former great monk named “Xingchi”. “Xingchi” is homophonic to Emperor Shunzhi’s nickname “Xingchi”. When looking at the portraits of Emperor Shunzhi, the staff found that the monk in this album was very similar to Emperor Shunzhi.
Five-clawed dragon, royal guard of honor
In order to clarify these issues, the staff went to Baiyun Temple to inspect. The previous Baiyun Temple was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, and was later rebuilt by the local government. Although many classic buildings were destroyed, some old things were still found. The staff In the warehouse of the temple, I discovered that there were flying five-clawed dragons on the glazed tiles of the main hall that had been demolished.
The five-clawed dragon is an auspicious beast that was exclusive to the ancient royal family. Those who are qualified to use the dance-clawed dragon as a pattern decoration in architecture can only be the imperial palace, or enemies with more royal connections. There is only one possibility for Baiyun Temple to use such a pattern, that is, it is a royal temple. In order to confirm, the staff went to Baiyun Village to find out the status of the hall among the older generation. Many elders in the village knew Elder Xingchi, and they all swore that Elder Xingchi was the Emperor Shunzhi.
They even said that the gilt pagoda and the five-clawed golden dragon glazed tiles in the temple were gifts given to Baiyun Temple by Kangxi for royal use. It is said that Shunzhi lived until the 49th year of Kangxi and passed away here at the age of 73. The inscription on the tombstone of the second-generation abbot of Baiyun Temple, Monk Xingxing, also records that he was recalled to Beijing many times by Kangxi to be rewarded, and Baiyun Temple could also enjoy the royal guard of honor and pomp.
Although there is no detailed explanation of what kind of royal ceremony and pomp, what kind of person can allow a temple to receive such honor and treatment? Is it really because Emperor Shunzhi became a monk here that the level of this temple has been improved so much?
“Always rewarded in court”
In addition to the above evidence, garden staff dug up a broken stone tablet while planting trees in Baiyun Temple. On the stone tablet was an imperial gift tablet personally written by Kangxi for Baiyun Temple in the 49th year of his reign. On it were written four large characters: “Dang The hall always rewards you.”
These four can also be pronounced as “often rewarded in the hall”, and “tang” in ancient times refers to the parents’ high hall. If this is the case, the Gaotang in the inscription is Kangxi’s father Shunzhi. Moreover, it was the 49th year of Kangxi’s reign when he bestowed this stele. According to locals, monk Xingchi lived in Baiyun Temple until he was 73 years old. Therefore, experts infer that the inscriptions on this stone tablet were given to Baiyun Temple by Kangxi after Shunzhi passed away.
From Mount Wutai in Shanxi to Baiyun Temple in Henan
According to folklore, Emperor Shunzhi became a monk in Wutai Mountain, Shanxi Province. According to the above evidence, how did he come to Baiyun Temple?
It is said that whether a temple is famous or not mainly depends on whether there are eminent monks. There is a saying that “Jigong in the south, Yuantong in the north, and there is Lao Foding in the Central Plains.” These are the three living Buddhas in Chinese history, and monk Foding and Emperor Shunzhi Has a great origin.
According to the local chronicles of Minquan County, the Yellow River burst in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. The Yellow River flood not only destroyed countless people’s homes and buried their fields, but also destroyed the Baiyun Temple. In order to rebuild this thousand-year-old temple, men and women from Minquan County went to Wutai Mountain in Shanxi Province in the 26th year of Kangxi to ask monk Foding to come out to help abbot rebuild Baiyun Temple. Shunzhi, who practiced in Wutai Mountain, was a follower of Foding, so he came with him. Arrive at Baiyun Temple.
With eminent monks and abbots like Fo Ding and special figures like Emperor Shunzhi, it was easy to rebuild Baiyun Temple, and it quickly became a famous temple with great popularity. After that, Foding and Shunzhi stayed in Baiyun Temple together. Shunzhi passed away in Baiyun Temple at the age of 73 in the 49th year of Kangxi.
The above long article has said so much, but the summary is: If the records of Minquan County and the evidence of Baiyun Temple are true, then we can infer from this that Emperor Shunzhi did become a monk in Mount Wutai, Shanxi, and passed away in Baiyun Temple, Henan. Died of smallpox.