The Eight Immortals - The Great Auspiciousness
Taoist religious, the Eight Immortals or Pa Hsien is one of the
most popular subjects of Eastern representation. For most Chinese
people, the theme of Eight Immortals represents eight factors
in their daily life: men and women, the old and the young, the
rich and the poor, the noble and the lowly. Also the number, Chinese
believe that eight is lucky number, eight was originally deemed
auspicious by the Cantonese, since in Cantonese eight reads as
'Fa' or 'Pa', which means grace and make a great fortune in the
Li Tie-Guai (Li Tieh-Kuai) of the Iron Cruth. He is depicted as
a lame beggar carrying a double gourd. Legend explains his lame
state as his spirit would frequently leave his body to wander
the land and the heaven. One day, his body was found and thought
to be dead. It was burned traditionally. When he returned from
his journey to find his body gone, he entered the first body he
found? that belongs to a lame beggar.
2. Zhong-Li Quan (Chung-Li Chuan), a smiling old man always beams
with joy, he was rewarded with immortality for his ascetic life
in the mountains. This is the familiar Fat Man with his bare belly
showing. He always carries a fan and sometimes a peach. He has
appeared on earth at various times as the messenger of Heaven.
3. Zuang Guolao (Chang Kuo-Lao), an aged hermit with miraculous
abilities. He owned a donkey which could travel at incredible
speed. The personification of the primordial vapor which is the
source of all life.
4. Cao Guo-Jui (Ts'Ao Kuo-Chiu) the finest dressed of the eight
immortals, he is always shown wearing formal court dress and carrying
castanets or a jade tablet of admission to court; patron deity
5. Lu Dong-Bin (Lu Tung-Pin), a hero of early Chinese literature.
Renouncing riches in the world, he punished the wicked, rewarded
the good and slew dragon or demons with a magic sword upon his
back. In his hand he carries a fly brush. He is said to have traveled
the earth for over 400 years for slaying dragons.
6. He Xian-Gu (Ho Hsien-Ku) female Immortal, He Xian-Gu carries
a magical lotus flower, the flower of open-heartedness or peace.
She is represented as an extremely beautiful maiden, and is remarkable
as occupying so prominent a position in a cult in which no system
of female asceticism is developed.
7. Lan Cai-He (Lan Ts'ai-Ho), the strolling singer, either a woman
or a young boy, shown with a flower-basket; patron deity of florist.
8. Han Sizng-Zi (Han Hsiang-Tsu), a scholar who choose studying
magic rather than preparing for the civil service. This is the
happy Immortal that is always seen playing a flute. It is said
that Han could make flowers bloom with just his will, and soothe
wild animals with his music
addition, the things the Eight Immortals always held in their
hands -- castanets, fan, stick, sword, calabash, duster and flower
basket -- were popularly found and used by ordinary people in
later period. It shows that the Eight Immortals are very close
to the daily life of Taoist believers as well as to ordinary Chinese