Presently visiting China again, Veena writes about an interesting story she heard that is related to Lao Tzu.
China brings some wacky moments. One of the friends contributing is an endearing guy called Ya Jun, about 36 years old, who is interested in just about everything (loves the British Queen) but especially anything historical or ancient.
Last night at about 8pm he showed up in my primitive abode bursting with some news of Lao Tzu. He knows my interest in him. Through our respective translation apps on our phones he told me the story about a strange looking edifice, called LaoJun Tai, at a location which for over 2500 years has been associated with Lao Tzu. The place is where Lao Tzu was supposedly born – in Zhoukuo, Luyi County (eastern Henan province), which is about 270 km south east of Song Mountain. The present temple was built about 1200 years ago.
The story goes that during the Sino-Japanese war, in 1938, the Japanese, on learning of the precious significance of LaoJun Tai, decided to destroy it. They shelled it with explosives (unsuccessfully), so then dropped 13 bombs on it, NONE of which exploded. They then gave up and left the temple alone.
In 1980, one of the military personnel involved in the destruction mission, a Mr Taro Meichuan, returned to LaoJun Tai and told the locals how he and his Japanese cohorts were so amazed that none of the bombs exploded, that they concluded that the temple’s sacred energy was strong enough to prevent the destruction attempt. In awe they decided to give up and leave the place.
The locals were so touched by the story told by Taro Meichuan that they had it inscribed on a white pillar in commemoration (now encased in glass to protect it).
An aside to the story is that one of the bombs, carefully buried out of harm’s way at the time, was later uncovered and taken away to be denotated by bomb experts. The bomb exploded immediately. Nothing wrong with it!
Also, to honour the event, locals put fake bombs around the Temple to show where they fell but failed to explode.