four famous mountains

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Four sacred mountain sites that serve as major centres of pilgrimage in Chinese Buddhism. The four are: Mt. Wu-t'ai in Shansi province (identified with the Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī); Mt. O-mei in Szechuan (Samantabhadra); Mt. P'u-t'o, an island off the coast of Chekiang (Avalokiteśvara); and Mt. Chiu-hua in Anhui (Kṣitigarbha). These four formed a pilgrimage circuit, and their symbolism expanded as time went on. For example, they became emblematic of the four cardinal points, the four fundamental elements, and so forth.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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