Elderly monk narrates Eight Immortals Cave story: Tending the last temple

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Located in Changbin Township, Taitung County, Eight Immortals Cave was formed by tidal erosion thirty thousand years ago. During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, the caves provided the ideal place for locals to take sanctuary from strong storm winds battering the coastal region. Locals placed the first statue of Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, in one of the caves in 1935, thus beginning the establishment of Eight Immortals Cave, which originally comprised of eight cave temples from a total of thirty marine caves. Today, however, the last remaining temple is housed in the second cave, called Cave of the Tide's Roar (Chaoyindong (潮音洞)). Back in 1961, when the now 93-year-old resident monk, Lai Xian-de (賴先德) moved into the cave with another monk, Wu Zhi-yeh (吳枝葉), they not only began tidying up the cave, building a footpath, and gradually familiarizing themselves with the geological environment, but also learned about soil and water conservation and how to live in harmony with the mountain. For the last 46 years since receiving official residence in 1971, Lai Xian-de has been the temple caretaker and a resident of Eight Immortals Cave.

In 1973, the National Property Administration (國有財產局) registered the Eight Immortals Cave as state-owned and informed the temple that as long as it paid taxes or compensation for occupying the land it would not be removed; the Cave of the Tide's Roar has continued to pay all fees as requested. In 2004, however, Taitung County Government suddenly began a series of actions to recover the state-owned land and the media began to report on the archaeological value of the Eight Immortals Cave, producing a flurry of reports denouncing the temple for illegally occupying the land. Demolition action began in June 2011, and since then seven of the eight temples have been cleared from the site. Lai Xian-de said: “Staying in the temple gives people the opportunity to worship, and through this cultivates virtue in many people.” It remains to be seen whether a harmonious relationship can be found between the existing inhabitants and this cultural and archaeological site, but any such scheme of coexistence is certainly worth pondering.

Elderly monk narrates Eight Immortals Cave story: Tending the last temple 

URLhttps://www.peopo.org/news/319557

(以下是中文對照)

聽老師父說八仙洞故事─留住最後一間洞內廟

八仙洞位於台東縣長濱鄉,三萬年前形成的海蝕洞地形,日治時期即是東部居民躲避風災的最佳屏障,約民國24年開始有先民在八仙洞內放置觀音像、建立廟宇,三十幾個海蝕洞中,相繼建成共八個洞內廟。第二洞潮音洞是目前僅存的洞內廟,民國50年起,現年93歲的廟公─賴先德師父,就和另一位吳枝葉師父,開始一擔土一擔土的整理洞窟、開闢山徑,逐漸熟悉山上地質環境的同時,也學習水土保持,與山共存。從正式入戶口的民國60年至今,已居住46年,他的身份不只是廟方,也是居民。

民國62年國有財產局將八仙洞土地登計為國有,並告知廟方只要繳稅金或支付佔用土地賠償金就不拆,潮音洞也依此繳交。民國93年,台東縣政府突然開始一連串討回國有地行動,媒體也開始報導八仙洞考古價值,並一面倒的指責廟方佔地。拆除行動從100年到105年6月,其他七間洞內廟已全部拆除。賴先德說:「留住廟,總是希望能讓人拜拜,拉住人不要變壞。」潮音洞的未來,如何能連結現存的居民、現存洞內文化與考古遺址?共存方案值得深思。

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Elderly monk narrates Eight Immortals Cave story: Tending the last temple

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