Statues of clairvoyance and clairaudience uncovered in Dazu Rock Carvings

Updated 2017-03-01 15:53:20 chinadaily.com.cn
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The statues of clairvoyance, clairaudience and the Jade Emperor in the Dazu Rock Carvings in Chongqing municipality.

The statues of clairvoyance, clairaudience and the Jade Emperor in the Dazu Rock Carvings in Chongqing municipality.

What do the mythical figures of clairvoyance and clairaudience look like and what weapons do they use? The answers could be found in the world-renowned Dazu Rock Carvings in Chongqing municipality.

Head researcher of the Dazu Rock Carvings, Li Xiaoqiang, said experts have confirmed that two 1.82-meter-high statues in the grotto in Shimenshan depict clairvoyance, known for his ability to see thousands of miles in the distance, and clairaudience, known for his equally super human skills when it comes to hearing. It is quite rare for them to be seen together in grottoes.

The two mythological generals, dating back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) in 1147, are carved near the statue of the Jade Emperor (the Taoist ruler of heaven and all realms of existence below), who stand beside two servants at each side of the emperor.

The statue of clairvoyance has two big eyes like copper bells and two ribbons are floating at the rear of his head. Wearing armor, the man raises his left hand to his breast, holding a cylinder, while he has a spear in his right hand.

The statue of clairaudience appears to have a damaged head, but his facial expression suggests he is listening attentively. There is a belt crossing over his shoulders, and he holds tight an implement in his right hand in front of his upper body.

The two generals wear little, revealing their toned muscles. From the leg harness and weapons they carry, it is clear that they are major generals of the Jade Emperor.

Li said that the mythological figures of clairvoyance and clairaudience have long existed but statues of them are rare.

Some people wonder what the long implement that clairaudience holds is. Li said some experts claim it is a snake, and some claim it is a kind of "telephone receiver" to help him hear thousands of miles away.

Does that mean the cylinder clairvoyance holds in his right hand is an ancient telescope? Li said that it is still uncertain and research is continuing. He said that the implements were all influenced by the carvers' life experience and imagination at the time.

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