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The reason why Li Shimin didn’t go to Mount Tai to enshrine the Zen

Feng Chan is the most grand sacrificial ceremony in ancient Chinese society. As early as the ancient Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties, there was already a legend of Feng Chan. The so-called sealing is the power of building earth as an altar and repaying the sky; Zen is the power of removing the earth for soil and repaying the earth.

The ancients believed that Mount Tai was the highest among the mountains and was “the first mountain in the world.” Therefore, the emperor of the world should go to the highest Mount Tai to worship the emperor, to show that he was ordered to the sky. It also stipulates that only when dynasties change, the country changes hands, or after a long period of chaos, the world is peaceful, can the world be conquered, report to the world the great achievements of reorganizing the world, and at the same time express acceptance of the destiny and rule the world. Therefore, Feng Chan is not only a grand ceremony to worship the heaven and the earth, but also a necessary means for the ancient kings to establish the legitimacy of the dynasty.

In the long historical river of China, countless emperors have come and gone, passing through the long night of history like meteors. According to records, since the Qin Shihuang unified the world, there have been only six emperors who have held the Zen ceremony in Mount Tai: Qin Shihuang Yingzheng, Hanwu Emperor Liu Che, Han Guangwu Emperor Liu Xiu, Tang Gaozong Li Zhi, Tang Xuanzong Li Longji, and Song Zhenzong Zhao Heng. . In addition, although many emperors have also set out to formulate the ceremonies of enshrining Zen, in the end they still failed to do so due to reasons of one kind or another. The most regrettable of these is Tang Taizong Li Shimin.

In the hearts of many Chinese people, Emperor Taizong Li Shimin of the Tang Dynasty is a well-deserved emperor. He reigned for 23 years, with outstanding literary rule and excellent martial arts, and he created the famous “rule of Zhenguan” in Chinese history. No matter from which point of view, he is absolutely qualified to go to Feng Chan. However, it was such a powerful Tang Taizong who was unable to make a career in the “Five Discussions of Conferring Zen” during his reign.

The reasons for the failure of Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty to grant Zen are very complicated. Generally speaking, in the early years of Zhenguan, he rejected the request of the ministers to grant Zen, mainly considering that the country had just recovered from the war in the late Sui Dynasty. At the same time, some people believed that there were also some of them. Li Shimin was worried that he was seizing power through the “Xuanwu Sect”, and he was afraid that he might be dissatisfied because of Feng Chan.

In the middle period of Zhenguan, as the regime of Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty became more and more stable, Feng Chan’s mind gradually became urgent. However, because it was too long before the Qin and Han dynasties, the relevant etiquette was undocumented. In the end, too much effort was wasted in formulating etiquette. Eleven years have been delayed to the fourteenth year of Zhenguan.

In the fourteenth year of Zhenguan, Emperor Taizong finally made up his mind, but soon after his decision was met with the change of the comet, he had no choice but to cancel the original plan of consecrating the Zen. However, after the 21st year of Zhenguan, the discussion of Feng Chan revived, Tang Taizong made up his mind again, but was forced to cancel it again because of the border war and the floods in Hebei.

Through the above reasons, it is not difficult for us to find out. It’s not that Li Shimin, a hero of a generation, didn’t want to go to Mount Tai. For the emperor, it also represented a great honor. The fundamental reason that eventually prompted him to give up the title of God was that he was in awe, which made him dare not go to Mount Tai. . So what does he fear as the supreme ruler of the ancient empire? The editor believes that what Li Shimin fears is actually the fate.

In ancient China, although there were no Western-style religions and gods, the ancients also had awe. This kind of awe meant to admire the heavens and the earth. Since the Spring and Autumn Period, the Chinese people’s view of destiny has undergone tremendous changes. Heaven and earth are the foundation of all things, and the people are the foundation of the nation.

In this sense, to be grateful to the world is to be grateful to the people, and to respect the world is to respect the hearts of the people. You see, every time Emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty held the ceremony of Feng Chan, either a comet appeared, or a natural disaster and war occurred. In ancient society, this was where the heavens warned. Tang Taizong, who was in awe of the heart, naturally did not dare to act against the heavens. Therefore, the awe of the genius was the real reason why he did not dare to enshrine Mount Tai.

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