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ARC Home > Projects > China projects :
Buddhist Mountains | Mountain of Five Peaks | Sacred Mountain of Emei Shan | ARC's work with sacred mountains - in Chinese | Two major eco-agreements from Chinese Buddhists

Sacred Buddhist Mountains in China

Sunrise lights up a monastery on the mountain of Wu Tai Shan

The four sacred Buddhist mountains of China are believed to be the homes of Boddhisattvas (enlightened beings who have delayed their Nirvana to remain on earth and help others find enlightenment). The mountains are Wu Tai Shan to the north, Emei Shan to the west, the eastern mountain Pu Tuo Shan and Jiu Hua Shan to the south.

These places where earth and heaven are believed to touch, over the centuries became places of pilgrimage for Chinese Buddhists from all over the country. Great monasteries built on their mountainsides became centres of art and philosophy. Many of these monasteries were dissolved during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Yet now, as China’s mainstream religions are reviving, the ones that remain are among the most important places for propagating conservation programmes that fit with local people’s fundamental beliefs.

All four mountains are in beautiful areas, homes for rare and endangered birds, animals and plant species. Yet because they are sacred, paradoxically they suffer from the ravages of tourism and pilgrimage as well as logging and development. ARC and the China Buddhist Association, which represents some 200 million Buddhists, are working towards conservation on Wu Tai Shan to the north and Emei Shan to the west.

This project is run closely with another project to protect and restore the five sacred Daoist mountains of China.

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Related information

Presented on April 15 2006:
ARC's speech at First World Buddhist Conference: in English
"There are many illusions. There is the illusion that we can exploit this fragile world and not pay the cost; there is the illusion that material property is the only worthwhile goal; there is the illusion that human communities can exist without regard to the animals, plants, rocks, and rivers which live beside them."
April 15 2006:
ARC's speech at First World Buddhist Conference: in Chinese
The original, Chinese language version of ARC's presentation to Buddhists - on preserving species, the environment, and on the emptiness of illusion
Asia projects
ARC is working in India, China, Cambodia, Mongolia and elsewhere, helping local faith communities protect their environment