Since the 2019 Ky Hoi Lunar New Year festival, Con Son relic site has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors from all regions each day.
Gieng Ngoc at Con Son relic site is attractive to tourists
After having gone sightseeing and offered incense to Buddha, most of them went to Gieng Ngoc (Gemstone Well) at the foot of Ky Lan (Kylin) mountain (behind the ancestral shrine of Con Son pagoda) to ask for drinking water.
Surrounding Gieng Ngoc, the visitors heard staff members of the Management Unit of Con Son – Kiep Bac Relics introduce the construction history, meaning, effects of the water source, etc.
"Whenever attending festivals and enjoying spring at Con Son, I must go here to perform the water asking ritual and drink a few sips. I am not a superstitious person but always feel refreshed and relaxed when drinking water from this sacred land," Nguyen Minh Tam from Hai Duong city shared.
Having enjoyed spring at Con Son and drunk Gieng Ngoc water for the first time, Pham Van Dinh from Son Dong district (Bac Giang) said: "The well is located in a quite high and sloping position but water is always full, clear, and strangely sweet. Con Son is a convergent land of holy chi; therefore, this water source must be very rare and precious."
According to a representative of the Management Unit of Con Son – Kiep Bac Relics, Gieng Ngoc is a source of important spiritual significance at Con Son relic site. This is the meeting point of spring water from Ky Lan mountain.
Legend has it that in the primitive age, Avalokitesvara chose Con Son as one of her staying places on earth. Living beings of all species there sincerely built an Avalokitesvara worshipping cottage at the foot of Con Son mountain and respectfully offered incense and flowers all day long, making Avalokitesvara so touched that she poured holy water to form Gieng Ngoc for living beings to purify themselves.
In the 13th century, Venerable Huyen Quang, the 3rd patriarch of Truc Lam Zen cum head of Con Son pagoda, had many large and magnificent works built and hundreds of Buddha statues sculpted at Con Son.
However, he still worried because the pagoda lacked a tranquil water source for rituals and statue bathing.
The story is that on one lunar July 15 evening, after having performed a Vu Lan ceremony (ceremony to express gratitude to one's parents), patriarch Huyen Quang returned to his contemplation room to rest and dreamed of a snowy-haired and bearded male fairy leaning against a small-bamboo stick and calling himself "God of the long mach (good layer of earth) of Con Son pagoda."
"I know your wish is finding a precious water source for Buddha worshipping, purification...," the fairy told patriarch Huyen Quang, then took him to the beginning of Con Son mountain behind the pagoda and pointed at a sparkling gemstone under a bush.
As soon as patriarch Huyen Quang reached out to pick the gemstone up, he was waked up by the sound of the pagoda bell.
In the morning, the patriarch told monks and nuns the strange dream. Then, they climbed up the mountain together to see where the gemstone was. After bush clearance, a limpid water source tasting sweet, cool, and incredibly refreshing appeared.
Patriarch Huyen Quang returned to the pagoda, performed a ceremony to express gratitude to the god for giving the precious water source, and then ordered deepening, enlargement, and construction of a stone embankment to form a well named Gieng Ngoc.
For more than 700 years, Gieng Ngoc water has been full and clear like a kylin's eye.
Scientists assess that this is the cleanest water source in Chi Linh, meeting standards of natural mineral water.
Gieng Ngoc water is used to serve rituals at Con Son pagoda and pilgrims coming for worshipping and asking for water to wash away the dust of life and pray for health and peace.
Since restoration and upgrading, Gieng Ngoc area has been clear, clean, and beautiful, creating favorable conditions for visitors.