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Ksitigarbha is one of 4 chief bodhisattvas in Buddhism. The other three are Samantabhadra¡BManjusri and Avalokitesvara. It's said that Ksitigarbha was assigned by Gautama Buddha to watch over the living beings after the fall of Gautama Buddha and before the rise of Maitreya Buddha. He also vowed to rescue all miserable souls in hell before he could achieve Buddhahood. Therefore in East Asia, Ksitigarbha was reverenced as guardian of the deceased. In Qing An temple, you can see the statue Ksitigarbha was riding on a mythological creature named as "DiTing" (literally translated as "Listening"). It's said that creature DiTing could hear any tiny voice or whisper from any living beings in this universe, then tell who or which was good or evil.


Avalokitasvara¡BAmitabha Buddha and Mahasthamaprapta were reverenced as guardians of Sukhavati (Land of Bliss). Avalokitasvara was the most beloved bodhisattva in Taiwanese folk religion, always associated with compassion and mercy. It's said that Avalokitasvara was watching over the living beings all the time. If someone fell in danger, as long as he prays to Avalokitasvara, Avalokitasvara would answer his prayer.
before 1976

Mian Ran

Mian Ran used to be the chieftain of Preta (literally translated as hungry ghost), featured with wrathful face. He was assimilated by Avalokitasvara and determined to reform himself as disciple of Buddhism. Therefore in Taiwanese folk relight, Mian Ran was regarded as one of Buddhistic Dharmapalas.
before 1976

Rulers of ten purgatory courts

In Taiwanese folk religion, hell is a purgatory place governed by ten respective rulers (similar as Yama). Each ruler managed a court (from first to tenth) which imposes judgment and punishment to the deceased who committed different sins (or karma) in pre-existence, for example, such as adultery¡Bgluttony¡Bindolence¡Bbetrayal¡Bmurder ¡K etc. After the deceased done with their punishment, they would be sent to tenth court to transmigrate to next life.

before 1976