Upon request, here are the Introduction for the 2 Immortal Boys – Releasing of Spiritual Talismans (發符童子) & Retrieving of Spiritual Talismans (收符童子).
Besides that, must Thank Taoist Bro Edwin Tan from Geylang for the contributing of the Pictures.
So who are these 2 Immortal Boys?
According to Mantras & Scripture Records, these 2 Immortal Boys are actually part of the Spiritual Protectors/Assistants that being summoned in Taoist Lv Shan Sect (道教閭山宗派) during Rituals/Ceremonies.
Even though in here, their Titles only tell us that they are In-charge of Releasing & Retrieving of Spiritual Talismans, but actually, they do have a wider range of Tasks to look into.
So what are their Background?
According to the Chanting Records, both of them are Disciples of Lv Shan Fa Zhu Master Long Xuan (閭山法主龍玄祖師).
Both of them were both in Late Part of Yuan Dynasty, starting of Ming Dynasty (生于元朝末年/明朝初期).
Immortal Boy of Releasing Spiritual Talismans (發符童子) was known as Zhong Qian (鐘謙), hometown in China Hokkien Province, Quan Zhou City (祖籍中國福建省泉州市).
Immortal Boy of Retrieving Spiritual Talismans (收符童子) was known as Liu Gui (劉貴), hometown in China Hokkien Province, Fu Zhou City (祖籍中國福建省福州市).
Since young, they were sent to Taoist Monastery due to they were orphans. After years of training and learning, both of them were being equipped with the knowledge of Spiritual Skills, including the Releasing & Retrieving of Spiritual Talismans.
One year, while they were being advised to assist one of their Seniors to subdue a Demon in the nearby County, both of them were being killed by the Poisonous Gas and on the spot, Master Long Xuan had to summon their Souls back to the Celestial Realm for Cultivation. This day was the 3rd Day of Lunar 4 Month (農曆四月初三日) and so, till today, we Lv Shan Priests will still conduct a simple Ritual dedicating to the both of them on this day to mark their Credits.
In Ming Dynasty, after Lv Shan Sect was being more recognised and properly formed (at that time was known as Officially Jing Ming Zhong Xiao Dao 淨明忠孝道), most of such Spiritual Characters were being introduced to the Public and also the Taoist Followers.
In Qing Dynasty, these 2 Immortal Boys were being group together with the one of the 12 Disciples of Immortal Mother Li Shan (黎山老姆), known as Sun Kun (孫坤) or Li Yu (黎玉) to form the Spiritual Group known as San Tong Zi (三童子).
By then, these 3 Immortal Boys were being appointed to take charge of the Spiritual Tasks of Releasing of Spiritual Talismans, Retrieving of Spiritual Talismans, Ushering in & out of the Appointed Positive Energies during Dotting Ceremony, Issuing of Spiritual Armies, etc.
PS: Another combination of San Tong Zi (三童子) is, Releasing of Spiritual Talismans (發符童子), Retrieving of Spiritual Talismans (收符童子) & Protecting Urn (顧爐童子).
So where can we find their Titles during Chanting?
Their Titles can easily be seen in Mantras that are related with Issuing of Talismans, especially Rituals/Ceremonies that are related with Folks Lv Shan Culture or Sintua Medium Culture.
Usually their Titles will be placed together with San Shi aka The Three Spiritual Masters (三師) to form the Spiritual Group known as San Shi San Tong Zi (三師三童子).
So who are the San Shi?
For the San Shi, there are quite a number of Combination, in here, I will only mentioned the 2 more Popular Groups:
1 – Master Long Xuan (龍玄祖師), Master Wan Fa (萬法祖師) & Master Bian Hua (變化祖師)
Master Long Xuan, one of the Spiritual Masters in Lv Shan Lineage.
Master Wan Fa, one of the Spiritual Masters in Lv Shan Lineage that in-charge of certain groups of Spiritual Skills.
Master Bian Hua, one of the Spiritual Masters in Lv Shan Lineage that in-charge of Multiplying the Spiritual Energies or so-called Enhancing.
2 – Master Long Shu (龍樹祖師), Master Xuan Tian (玄天師相) & Zhang Gong Fa Zhu (張公法主)
Master Long Shu, one of the Common Spiritual Masters in the Lv Shan Lineage that in-charge of Talisman Skills. He was being imported into the Lv Shan Lineage due to his popularity and also his well-known Spiritual Skills. In Tibetian Buddhism, he was one of the Highest Spiritual Masters that the Followers will honour for Blessing.
Master Xuan Tian, one of the Official Taoist Deities that being well-known for Imparting Spiritual Skills. In Commoner Taoist Culture, Xuan Tian was known as the one that in-charge of giving the Authorities to the Taoist Priests of releasing Taoist Skills.
Zhang Gong Fa Zhu, one of the Taoist Deities that in-charge of the Authority of the Five Thunders (五雷).
In the future, while you are out in any Temple Events or Sintua Celebrations, do keep a close “hear out” for the Chanting of Mantras, you will be able to find the Titles of San Shi San Tong Zi (三師三童子) being mentioned during the Ushering in of the Energies for Mediums or while Drawing of Talismans.