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Lu Dong-bin

by Micha F. Lindemans
One of the eight immortals, the Ba Xian, of Chinese mythology. He was born in 798 CE in Northern China. The members of his family were civil servants. As a young man he traveled to Mount Lu in the south where he met a fire dragon who presented him with a magical sword that enabled him to conceal himself in Heaven.

On a journey to the capital he met Zhong Li-quan, another immortal. Lu fell asleep and dreamt that he had been promoted to a high official post and possessed enormous wealth. All was well for fifty years until his family was banished and exterminated. When he awoke from his dream he decided to forgo an official career and follow Zhong into the mountains. At the age of 100 he still had a youthful appearance and was capable of travelling 100 miles in a matter of seconds.

Lu Dong-bin considered compassion to be the essential means of attaining perfection. His sword was not a tool for killing enemies, but for conquering ignorance, aggression, and passion. Through his example Lu had a decisive influence on the development of Taoism, and is venerated by the school as the teacher of its founder.

The name of Lu Dong-bin in traditional Chinese format.
The name of Lu Dong-bin in traditional Chinese format.

Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Lu Tung-pin
    Lu Yan

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