南鯤鯓

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1981 / 1月

文‧孟謙 圖‧楊永山


「王爺」是台灣民間信仰的一種,南鯤鯓則是全臺規模最大、香火最盛的王爺廟。有關王爺的由來,眾說紛紜,莫衷一是,但恐怕都是民間的附會傳說。倒是南鯤鯓廟,以健全的財團法人組織,以現代化的觀念,以入世服務的精神,不僅廟宇與庭園修建得極其考究,廟務管理得井井有條,並且積極參與各種公益事業,舉辦各種體育活動,提供場地作為地方政府辦活動之用,以及主辦或協辦其他各種社會性的活動,都在在顯示了這所廟宇已將民間信仰帶往現代化、合理化與內涵豐富的路上走去。


海上沙洲,洲上一廟

台灣西南部的沙洲地形十分發達,每年雨季,八掌溪、曾文溪、將軍溪……等溪流,都會從上游挾帶無數的泥沙,淤積在近海處。如此日復一日,年復一年的,泥沙愈積愈多,逐漸高出水面。初時只露出一點點,時日漸久,就累積成為條形的沙洲,遠望有如一條浮游的大魚。因古人稱大魚為「鯤鯓」,所以亦稱這形似大魚的沙洲為「鯤鯓」。

沙洲形成後,仍有泥沙不斷湧來,慢慢地和陸地連接,便成了海埔新生地。台灣西南部,數百年前史籍所記載的滄海,到今日,往往不只變成了桑田,而且進一步成了熱鬧的市區。我們從許多名為「鯤鯓」的地方如:一鯤鯓到八鯤鯓、上鯤鯓、青鯤鯓……等,便可想見沙積地形的發展。

在這些「鯤鯓」中,以南鯤鯓最為著名,但它不是一個地方,而是臺灣規模最大的王爺廟,不過它當初亦是因地而得名的。

根據南鯤鯓代天府沿革誌上的記載:三百多年前,即明末清初之時,在現在台南縣北門鄉蚵寮西方,距離陸地約三公里的海面上,有一沙洲,名叫南鯤鯓。南鯤鯓平時人跡罕至,唯有在打漁旺季時,一些漁民為了方便出海,才在島上搭草寮過夜。

撈起王船,立廟供奉

清康熙年間,有一天夜裡,漁夫們正在南鯤鯓等候潮水以便出海時,突然看見遠方有一艘華麗的大船,駛向岸來。待第二天,漁夫們再去尋找這大船時,已不見●跡。但他們在岸邊發現一艘小船,裡面放置著幾尊神像,仔細一看是李、池、吳、朱、范五位王爺的神像,這時,他們才明白,原來這是大陸沿海居民迎神驅鬼時,放出海上象徵代天巡狩的王船。

這些漁夫認為,王船停靠此處必有吉兆,於是合力將王船拖起,在南鯤鯓築了個草廟,供奉五位王爺。因為廟建在南鯤鯓,所以漁夫們稱此廟為南鯤鯓廟,稱五位王爺為南鯤鯓王。

至嘉慶年間,由於南鯤鯓沙洲屢遭海潮衝擊,建於沙洲上的南鯤鯓廟有傾倒的危險,於是信徒們共同商議,欲擇地重建。嘉慶二十三年,信徒們終於覓得現址,即臺南縣北門鄉鯤江村蚵寮,將五王爺廟移建於此,為便於識別,仍稱:南鯤鯓廟。

王爺是臺灣民間信徒極多的神明之一,除南鯤鯓外,供奉王爺的廟尚有八百多座,對於「王爺」的由來傳說甚多,莫衷一是,下面僅述說其中的幾種:

有關「王爺」由來,傳說紛紜

(一)有一種說法是:這些王爺是明末最後一次科舉所錄取的進士,明朝不久滅亡了,這些新進士不願降清,全部自殺殉國,玉皇大帝憫其孤忠,封他們為「王爺」。

(二)又據劉枝萬所著「臺灣瘟神信仰」一文中稱:臺灣王爺的傳說,與江蘇省如皋縣香山的「五路瘟神」是相同的。五路瘟神的傳說則是這樣:在唐太宗時代,有五位書生上京趕考,不幸名落孫山,而且又把所攜旅費耗盡,最後在長安街頭淪為乞丐,每日奏樂賣唱維生。

唐太宗知情後,即召他們進宮。湊巧張天師也在宮中,唐太宗想試試張天師的法力,乃命這五位落第書生藏身於皇宮地窖內奏樂。張天師誤以為是地下鬼魅作祟,未查明究竟,即揮劍斬殺。唐太宗憐憫他們成了冤死鬼,遂封做神。

殊不知,這五名枉死的書生,心有不甘,成神後來到人間,分五路到處散播瘟疫。老百姓懼怕他們,尊稱他們為五路瘟神。

(三)相傳在唐代有五個舉人,上京去趕考,途中投宿旅店。到了深夜,他們無意中聽見隔壁房間有幾個瘟神在談話,說是次日子時要在五口水井撒瘟藥,危害地方。

這五個舉人得知後,都決定犧牲自己來拯救當地千萬人的性命,於是他們就分別跳進五口有瘟藥的井中淹死了。第二天清晨,村中的人發現五口井中有死人,都不敢汲水取用,才避免了一場大災難。這五個舉人的靈魂升天後,都成了神,大家叫他們「王爺」;有的且呼他們為「五顯靈官」。

(四)是在臺灣最普遍的說法:明朝初年,太祖皇帝朱元璋派遣三十六名能說善道、滿腹經綸的進士,乘了一艘大船,沿海南下,令他們到南洋宣揚大明德威。

當他們航行到臺灣海峽時,不幸遇上大颱風,滔天巨浪卷翻了大船,三十六名進士皆葬身海底。他們遇難不久,海上風停浪靜,天空出現了祥雲紫氣,且時有仙樂之聲,隨風吹送。

明太祖得知消息,認為他們已成了神仙,乃下令建造一艘大船,賜名「王船」。船內供奉三十六名進士靈位,送入大海,指派他們代天巡狩,稽查人間善惡。

明太祖為示慎重,且親筆御書「遊縣吃縣,遊府吃府」八個大字,懸掛於王船內。因此,凡是王船所到的地方,百姓都應殺豬宰羊,燒雞烤鴨,供奉鮮果美酒,大事祭拜。

因為這三十六名進士是死於非命,且當時殺人不眨眼的明太祖又詔令這些冤魂進士可以「代天巡狩」,所以沿海各地官民都以誠惶誠恐的心情,把王船視作神明來祭拜。相傳:倘不加以祭祀,就是對王船不敬,將會遭到瘟疫橫行境內、人畜慘死的懲罰。

民間傳說,難究虛實

以上四種傳說,都在述說「王爺」的由來,但各個故事發生的朝代不同,而王爺的數目亦不等,差異不可謂不大。因為這些都是民間傳說而已,難免會有牽強附會或以訛傳訛的現象。

不論王爺是兇惡的瘟神,或是稽查人間善惡的玉皇大帝使者,信徒祭拜他們,無非是希望能因此避難、祈福、以求平安。

由於王爺有瘟神的說法,因此祭拜儀式中有了「請王爺」的逐疫大典。這種大典通常是在發生瘟疫的地方舉行。古時民間認為瘟疫的流行,是王爺在作祟,便請來道士建醮,大家熱鬧一番,迎神驅鬼,避邪禳災。建醮的最高潮,是將預先造好的一艘王船泊靠海邊,繼把王爺們的神位或塑像搬置船內,接著將這艘船送出海口,這叫做「送王船」,就是要送瘟神出海。

當年「送王船」的習俗以福建最盛,而臺灣與福建僅一水之隔,福建沿海送出的王船,容易隨風逐浪漂來。據清代臺灣志書記載:如有海上漂來的王船泊靠,該地就必遭瘟疫肆虐,必須建醮迎祭,然後另擇日期再把它送出海去。

南鯤鯓創例,各地王爺廟紛紛建起

南鯤鯓對漂來的王船,不但沒有再把它送出海,反而建廟來祀奉,而且建廟後,非但沒有瘟疫降臨境內,反而每年風調雨順,五穀豐登,於是香火鼎盛起來。以後,沿海各地發現別處漂來王船,便視若神明,仿照南鯤鯓的先例,建廟祀奉。從此,臺灣的王爺廟就一天天多了起來。

今天,南鯤鯓廟不但是全臺最古老的王爺廟,其規模之大,亦居全臺之冠。南鯤鯓廟的屬地共佔五萬九千一百坪,雖位在北門鄉鯤江村靠海的沙壤上,但過去每年夏季自八掌溪奔瀉而下的山洪,以及臺灣海峽洶湧澎湃的海潮,從未淹進廟內,最多只湧到廟前五步即止。因為有這個奇蹟,使得這座王爺廟更加靈異起來,信徒都認為是廟內王爺法力無邊,所以香火就愈來愈旺。

從臺南市搭往南鯤鯓的客運車,約莫一個半小時,車子就駛入了蚵寮漁村。這時,海風徐徐地吹著,看到了星羅棋布的鹽田;路旁的水溝邊,小孩在撈取俗稱「粉蟯」的文蛤;婦女們蒙著臉,全身包裹在長袖衣褲裡,正在鹽田扒鹽;男人則做些鞏固鹽堤與車水的工作。

到達終點站,立可看到一座建築宏偉的大廟,這就是聞名全台的南鯤鯓代天府了。廟前有一個台灣廟宇罕見的大廣場,是供停車用的,據廟裡管理員說,這個廣場可停三百多輛大型遊覽車,和一百多輛轎車、計程車。但每逢大慶典,由於外地來的香客太多,這樣大的停車場還是不敷使用。廣場旁有兩個大涼亭對峙左右,分別名為鳴鳳亭和舞龍亭,都建築得宏偉壯麗。

廟宇建築,庭園佈置,俱極考究

從庭前望整座廟,可見此廟是由三個單位組成,中間是代天府,右邊是中軍府,左邊是城隍衙。廟頂屋簷裝飾華麗,鳳凰、飛龍在屋頂上神氣昂立。

廟內的建築更是雕樑畫棟,富麗堂皇。據廟內管理員說,廟宇建築所用的石材,全都是以當年由大陸運來的青斗石、白石雕琢砌成的。

廟內除供奉李、池、吳、朱、范五位王爺千歲外,為符合道教多神信仰的原則,於同治年間,更增築后殿,崇祀觀音大士,並雕刻十八羅漢、註生娘娘、福德爺等諸神像。

廟旁有兩棵古榕樹,盤根●鬚,非常威武,據說這兩棵樹是遷廟時種下的,至今也有一百七十多年的歷史了。

最令人嘖嘖稱奇的,是廟後的「虎苑花園」。本來濱海地帶,鹽分濃重,草木難生,但這裡卻是一片沃土,蒔花栽木,十分茂盛,廟方並加以人工造園,亭榭假山點綴其間,頗有一番風景。

由於南鯤鯓神奇傳說屢出,而風景又優美怡人,不但信徒趨之若鶩,就是一般遊客也喜歡來此一遊,因此,南鯤鯓一向是臺灣最熱鬧的廟宇。根據觀光局的統計,民國六十八年一年南鯤鯓的遊客總人數達四百多萬人。

一位有趣的素人畫家

另有一事值得一提的,就是大部份的遊客來到南鯤鯓,都會順道去拜訪一下有名的「鄉土畫家」洪通。洪通是一個未曾受過教育的老人,他大半生都在勞苦的工作,到六十幾歲時,突然心血來潮埋頭作畫,而且一發不可收拾,作品極豐。

由於生活環境的影響,南鯤鯓五王廟的景觀、漁民生活、神話故事和鄉村多彩多姿的民俗活動,都成了洪通繪畫的素材。

他的畫色彩豔麗,畫面洋溢濃郁的鄉土趣味,雖然從未受專業訓練,且是屬於一種童稚情懷的素人畫,但由於有一種純真之美,仍受到各界的讚許。有人曾替他在臺北美國新聞處舉辦畫展,觀眾之多意外地打破了所有畫展的記錄,各傳播媒界也爭相報導。

成名之後,七十幾歲的他堅持不肯賣畫,因為他認為他的心血結晶都是無價的。他依舊回到南鯤鯓老家,埋首作畫,過著清苦的生活。由於洪通的畫及他的行徑特異,引起一般人的好奇,因此,「去看洪通」成了南鯤鯓遊客的另一個重要的節目。

由於南鯤鯓遊客特多,香油錢當然也多過一般廟宇,這麼多的錢,由誰、用什麼方式來處理呢?

南鯤鯓代天府管理委員會是一個組織嚴謹的民間團體。這個委員會是由北門鎮、學甲鎮、將軍鄉、佳裡鎮、七股鄉、西港鄉六個鄉鎮依人口比例所選出的信徒代表所組成。信徒代表任期四年,名額為五十一名,他們的職權包括了:選舉罷免管理委員及監查委員;製定及修正各種章程;審核預算、決算及事業計畫;審核借款最高限度等等。

組織健全,廟務積極推展

由於信徒代表人數較多,分居各地,於是再從信徒代表中選出十五名管理委員,負責管理,監督平時的廟務,他們都是名譽職,並沒有薪俸。

管理委員會分總務、營繕、財務三組,「總務」負責處理文書、採購、香客招待等事;「營繕」負責處理建廟工程、花圃建造與整理等事;「財務」則負責處理整個廟的收支。三組各雇有職員若干名,常駐廟內,處理日常事宜。

由於組織完備,南鯤鯓的發展較其他廟宇有計畫且迅速得多。同時,基於「正人心,勉人遷善,祈求國泰民安」以及「取之於社會,用之於社會」的原則,南鯤鯓利用香油錢做了許多社會公益事業。

南鯤鯓代天府管理委員會總務組長吳相茂說:「我們去年的香油錢大約是新台幣一千八百多萬元,除廟宇維護費用及職員薪水的支出外,其餘的錢都有計畫的用於慈善事業及推廣全民體育活動上。」

除每年固定參加的各種冬令救濟、敬老活動外,去年南鯤鯓也捐了二百萬元充當自強愛國基全。在推展體育活動方面,經常主辦棒球、排球、手球、桌球等的比賽活動。

由於香客年年增加,遠來遊客亦愈來愈多,投宿成了一大問題。管理委員會鑑於此,於民國五十五年,建了一棟三層香客大樓,命名為「富美莊」,民國六十二年底,又興建一棟四層樓的香客大樓,命名為「◎}樓」,免費供遊客投宿休息。這兩棟大樓設備現代化,可同時容納三千多人住宿。

參與社會,常辦理各種有意義的活動

一般廟宇的遊客都有旺季、淡季,南鯤鯓亦不例外。每年陰曆七月,臺灣民間俗稱「鬼月」,禁忌遠遊,因此到香客大樓投宿的人較少。南鯤鯓管理委員會為物盡其用,便將大樓出借做為國民兵訓練場地,水、電完全免費供應。如此,南鯤鯓代天府不但是民間信仰的中心,更成為當地政府推展各項活動的好幫手。

我們在南鯤鯓訪問時,一個「鹽分地帶文藝營」正在那裡舉行,這是由自立晚報社和南鯤鯓廟共同主辦的。這個活動除邀請文藝界人士專題演講、座談,以探討臺灣沿海地帶文學的淵源流變外,並有民俗歌舞表演、書法展、國畫展,及極為罕見的道教神像人物畫展和嗣漢天師府三十六道天師符展。

走在佈置整齊的會場,看見廟宇管理人員忙碌地接待從各地來參加活動的客人,而大家這樣熱心支持這裡的活動,令人感覺到,今日的南鯤鯓,已帶領我們的民間信仰,逐步走向一個現代化、合理化,且有內涵的宗教道路上去。

〔圖片說明〕

P.34、P.35

圖1-3:南鯤鯓廟位於台南縣北門鄉,廟裡供奉的是李、池、吳、朱、范五位王爺,是全台歷史最久、規模最大的王爺廟。

P.36、P.37

圖1:南鯤鯓廟頂一角。圖2:南鯤鯓廟後有一個漂亮的花園,這是其中一角。圖3-5:南鯤鯓廟內雕樑畫棟,極盡中國傳統建築之美,據說這些古材都是當年從大陸運過來的。

P.38、P.39

圖1:座落於廟前的舞龍亭。圖2,3:南鯤鯓代天府管理委員會,時常在廟裡的禮堂舉辦各種社會性活動,「道教神像畫展」是其中的一種。圖4:後花園草木扶疏,是供信徒及遊客休憩的地方。圖5:這棵老榕樹,是遷廟時種植的,時至今日有一百七十多年的歷史了。

P.40、P.41

圖1:本來濱海地帶大多因鹽分濃厚,草木不易生長。而南鯤鯓的「虎苑花園」卻是一片沃土,花木茂盛,被稱為一項奇蹟。圖2:香客在廟裡祭拜後,都會順道到廟後花園一遊。圖3:一位算命先生在「虎苑花園」裡做生意,一襲長袍加上各式道具,引來許多遊客圍觀。圖4:住在南鯤鯓廟旁的「鄉土畫家」——洪通,最近突發奇想,買了高中生的帽子和制服,穿戴起來,自稱要開始唸書了。圖5:這是洪通的作品之一,充滿了童稚、樸拙的趣味。

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Nankunshen Temple


During the rainy season, large streams flowing from the Central Mountain Range bring down mud and debris which clogs estuaries on the western coast of Taiwan. Over the years, this residue has collected to form an offshore bar which viewed from afar looks like a huge whale. It is therefore traditionally known as "Kun Shen," among people in the area.

Much of this tidal area has been drained and now forms some of the most fertile land in southwestern Taiwan. Of all the tidal bars that have been reclaimed, Nankunshen is perhaps the most famous, mainly because of the large scale wan-yieh or "Nobleman's Temple" is sited on it.

Origins: The bar at Nankunshen was first deposited 300 years ago three kilometers off the coast at Peimen in Tainan County. At first the population consisted of a few fishermen who erected thatched huts in the area.

An old legend describes how fishermen waiting for a suitable tide to take them out to sea suddenly spotted a luxuriously decorated boat nearing the coast. Next morning they found a small boat containing the statues of five noblemen. Surmising that the craft had been cast adrift by people on the mainland who were welcoming the immortals and trying to drive off evil spirits, local people built a temple for the statues at Nankunshen, and the five noble men became patron saints.

During the reign of Emperor Chia Ching of the Ching dynasty, it became apparent that the original temple was too frail to last long. Worshipers therefore decided to build the new temple at its current site at Peimen.

Wan-yieh: The wan-yiehs are among the most widely followed Taoist deities in Taiwan. It is estimated that there are at least 800 temples throughout the island devoted to them, including the wan-yieh temple at Peimen. According to one story, the wan-yiehs were among the 360 scholars who were massacred during the reign of Emperor Hsuantsung of the Tang dynasty. Another account says that they were included in the 360 scholars who passed the examination to become officials just before the Ming Dynasty was overthrown. Rather than surrender to the Manchus, they committed suicide, and were later deified to redress the wrongs done to them.

Another legend has it that the wan-yiehs were the five gods of pestilence. During the reign of Emperor Taitsung of the Tang Dynasty, five scholars who failed to pass an official examination played music in the streets to eke out a hand-to-mouth existence. Eventually, they were appointed to the court of Emperor Taitsung. One day, to test the magical powers of Taoist master Chang Tien Shih, the emperor invited the five scholars to play music in the cellar. Mistaking them for evil spirits, the master killed them all. In remorse over the error, the emperor honored the scholars as immortals. The scholars, however, were not placated and spread pestilence wherever they went.

A later story gives an entirely opposite view, however. The story has it that the five scholars, on their way to the national capital, overheard the gods of pestilence living in the next room say that they planned to poison the wells in the small town where they were staying. The scholars decided to sacrifice themselves by throwing themselves into the wells. The next day, when the people found their bodies, they refused to drink the water and were therefore spared. On hearing the story of the sacrifice, the local people decided to honor the scholars as immortalized wan-yieh.

One of the most popular stories describes how the Emperor Taitsu of the Ming Dynasty sent 36 scholars on a boat to publicize the benevolence and power of China. As they sailed in the Taiwan Straits, a typhoon capsized their vessel and the men aboard were drowned.

After immortalizing the scholars, the Emperor ordered the construction of huge boat to contain their tablets. Thereafter, people would worship at the boat with gifts of fruit and wine wherever it moored. It is said that those who failed to revere the scholars would be killed in a pestilence.

As the wan-yiehs are regarded by some as gods of pestilence, a custom arose, particularly in Fukien province, of sending out a boatload of wan-yiehs to drive off evil spirits. According to custom, people finding the boat must hold a worship service before sending it to sea again. The fishermen at Nankunshen, however, decided to keep the boat and build a temple for the permanent worship of the scholars. After the original temple became popular all over Taiwan, and thousands of people came to worship there, the number of wan-yieh temples on the island quickly multiplied.

The temple: Covering an area of 2 million square feet, the wan-yieh temple at Peimen is the oldest and largest of its kind in Taiwan. A spacious square flanked by two ornate pavilions can accommodate up to 300 buses and cars at a time. The temple building has three compounds, with phoenixes and dragons perched on the roof. Made from stone brought over from the mainland, all the pillars and walls in the temple are carved with historical figures, animals and plants.

As numerous gods are worshiped by Taoists, the temple houses statues of the Goddess of Mercy, the 18 arhats, the goddess of fertility and other deities as well as the five noblemen. The Hu-yuan Garden at the rear of the temple was originally a stretch of wasteland. To the northwest of the temple can be found the Hai-shan (sea-mountain) Temple set in the middle of the Kun Lake, and reached by an arched bridge. With this attractive setting, it is no wonder that the number of visitors amounted to more than 4 million last year.

Folk artist: Famous folk artist Hung Tung, who did not even start painting until he was more than 60 years old, is one of the temple's lures. Established in the temple compound, Hung uses the building together with traditional stories, rural festivals and other rustic activities, as the themes of his paintings. His strong use of color and lack of technical skill give Hung's works a primitive and traditional flavor. The old man's eccentric behavior and distaste for worldly wealth are a secondary attraction for visitors.

Administration: To organize temple affairs and approve budgets, a 51-member administration commission has been organized. Members are selected from six nearby towns--Peimen, Hsuehchia, Chiangchun, Chiali, Chiku and Shikang--in proportion to population.

The commission uses cash donated by worshipers to promote philanthropic and sports activities. In addition to distributing relief parcels to the needy and aged in the winter, the temple donated NT$2 million (US$55,000) last year to the national self-reliance fund. In 1966, the temple allocated NT$2 million to build a three-storey lodge nearby which can accommodate 3,000 people at a time. The commission also sponsors lectures on the arts and literature, discussion forums and exhibitions to further its constructive role in society.

[Picture Caption]

Nankunshen Temple, located close to Peimen in Tainan County, houses the five wan-yiehs (noblemen). It has the longest history and largest scope of all the temples of its kind.

1. Roofs of Nankunshen Temple. 2. A corner of the temple garden. 3.-5. The refined carvings on the pillars and roof of the temple illustrate the beauty of traditional Chinese architecture. It is said that all the stone slabs are imported from the Chinese mainland.

1. Wu Lung (dancing dragon) pavilion located in front of the temple. 2 & 3. The management commission of the temple sponsors an exhibition of Chinese calligraphy and paintings of Taoist priests. 4. Visitors to the temple enjoy a walk round the garden. 5. The 170-year-old banyan tree planted in front of the temple.

1. The Hu-yuan Garden at Nankunshen was originally a salt flat. As if by miracle, it has been transformed into a fertile land filled with luxuriant plants. 2. After worshipping in the temple, the faithful take a walk in the garden. 3. A fortuneteller draws a large crowd of onlookers. 4. The legendary folk artist Hung Tung recently donned the costume of a high school student and declared that he would start his studies again. 5. Hung's paintings are marked by a childlike enthusiasm.

 

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