The Legendary Tale of China’s First Emperor Qin Shi Huang and His Bizarre Quest for Immortality

Let’s face it, mortality is scary and no one wants to die in this world. This has led to a quest for immortality for thousands of years by humans till even today. Attachment to the material world, relations, and loved ones are some of the reasons that make death our biggest fear. The fear of being completely obliterated from the world into nothingness. This is why many of us do not want to die!

Qin Shi Huang was the most powerful ruler of ancient China, responsible for building the Great Wall. Known for his victories in Battle, he was the first emperor of United China and created the magnificent terracotta army of soldiers which is a spectacle even today. But was he happy? The answer is a big NO; he was constantly haunted by the specter of his own mortality so much so that this emperor’s quest for immortality became legendary for the things he did in trying to achieve it.

10 He ordered all his scholars to make an elixir for immortality

He started his crazy mission by burning all the literature of history, poetry and politics so that people would not know anything of the past and wanted them to concentrate on just preparing the elixir for youth and life. He even employed several alchemists to create a magic potion and when they failed he ensured they suffered severe punishment. He ruthlessly buried 460 scholars ALIVE!

elixir for immortality

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9 He sent 6000 virgins to the mountains of Heaven

His quest for immortality was definitely pushing him to the edge as he travelled to Zhifu Island where he met a man who claimed to know the secret of eternal life. His name was Xu Fu. He promised that the elixir was in the mythical Penglai Mountains, home of the great 8 immortals and the pathway to God. But according to Xu Fu, these immortals would demand a sacrifice of 6000 virgins. Unfortunately the king complied with the con man’s wishes and supplied him with 6000 virgins. Once XU Fu set sail with the Emperor’s given fortune, he never returned. The story is regarded as true because on Shifu island the emperor etched the words “ arrived at FU and carved the stones “ which can be still be seen today.

mountains of Heaven

Image Source: www.kienthuc.net.vn

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