Guigu Xianshi (鬼谷先師) is also called Guiguzi (鬼谷子), known as a mystical thinker of the Spring and Autumn period. It is said that he was a hermit who was a disciple of Laozi. He lived at ghost vally, Guigu, so he was named Guiguzi. His surname actually is Wang (王) and name Xu (詡) in Jin (晉) state. He had been to Mountain Yun Meng (雲夢山), and got the medicine which could last a person’s live forever. He is regarded as a Daoist divine immortal.
Guigu Xianshi had four famous disciples. Su Qin (蘇秦) and Zhang Yi (張儀) were his disciples before they became the prime minister of Yan (燕) and Qin (秦). Guiguzi predicated that they were ambitious of profane carrier and not suitable to cultivated themselves to Dao. However, they would become the Prime Minister in any state of the six in the Warring state period. As the predication, both of them became a prime minister eventually. There were other famous disciples among Guiguzi’s . They are Sun Bin (孫臏) and Pang Juan (龐涓). Sun and Pang learned the warcraft from Guigu Xianshi and became excellent general in Wei (魏) and Qi (齊) separately. However, Pang had been trap Sun in Wei state because of his jealous of Sun’s talent on warcraft. He accused Sun falsely and made his feet cut as punishment by King of Wei. As a result, Sun fled to Qi state and became a general. Finally, Sun defeated Pang and made him committed suicide.
Summing up above legends about Guigu Xianshi, Guigu Xianshi is supposed to be a fangshi (方士) alike figure who is specialized in the teaching of Huang Di and Laozi which is the prototype of philosophical Daoism.
Another famous story is also in relation of Guigu Xianshi. It is said that Qin shi huang (秦始皇), the first emperor who unified China, enslaved people to construct a grand palace for him. However, the construction work was so heavy and many people died. Some birds held a magical herb with the mouth and put them on the dead bodies’ face. Those dead person surprisingly got rebirth. Then Qin shi huang sent messenger to ask Guigu Xianshi about what the magical herbal is. Guigu Xianshi told Qin shi huang that the herb is Yang-shen zhi (養神芝), the ganoderma named Yang-shen. It was grown on an island, Fu zhou (福洲) , at East China Sea. In order to last his life and empire forever, Qin shi huang dispatched Xu Fu (徐福) to get the herb back. However, Xu Fu never came back and Qin shi huang was dead. Only Guigu Xianshi got the herb and became a Daoist immortal. It is said that he lived in Hua shan (華山), Mountain Hua. Guigu Xianshi is also enlisted in Tao Hongjing’s Zhenling weiye tu (真靈位業圖). In other words, Guigu Xianshi is regarded as an important immortal in Daoist pantheon.
In Taiwan, there is only one temple dedicated to Guigu Xianshi which is named the Memorial hall of Guigu Xianshi. Guigu Xianshi is also regarded as the trade god of diviner or fortune-teller.
Keywords: Guigu Xianshi, Guiguzi