Monday, September 22, 2008

Formation of Universe

Chinese title: (Opening of the skies and the breaking of the ground)
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(Translated from the Chinese mythology read to me)

Legend has it that the skies and the earth used to be joined together.
The whole universe looks like or rather resembles a big egg. However, the insides of the egg are a mess and darkness eludes the entire environment.

Within the egg, there is a legendary hero.
He is the legendary Pan Gu; the man who possessed extraordinary skills and was, according to legend, the father or creator of the universe.

Pan Gu persevered within the egg before his birth for 18,000 years and when he finally opened his eyes to the world (literally speaking), he realized that everything around him was total darkness.

Pitch black.
In a sudden anger, he took up an axe and started waving it frantically in the air; without any defined motion nor direction and that was where the particles start to separate into proportion. This was said as the actual formation of the universe where the lighter particles grouped together and formed the top of the sky; the heavier particles falling to the earth to form the ground on which we walk on today.

He was elated to see the outcome of his so-called martial art form of swish-swashing as he sees the obvious segregation of the particles which formed the top and bottom.
However, his happiness was short-lived when the skies and the earth joined again in union and in an act of desperation; he held his head high up to hold against the skies and thumped his feet on the ground to hold the earth down.

He stood there this way; determined to hold the two apart and there he remained for another 18,000 years.
At the same time, his head grew a foot a day which distanced the sky the same length as his growth and his feet remained stamped on the ground; which was also a foot in depth each day.

That was how thousands of years passed and skies became as high as possible; where the height cannot be measured within means and the earth sunk in infinite depth.
Pan Gu at the same time, also grew to be a gigantic man where his height is no longer comparable to a normal human being.
Even then, Pan Gu still refused to move from his position and remained rooted to his position; adamant that there he will stay until the situation proved to him that the skies and earth will no longer join as one.

Again, another thousands of years passed and as time goes by, the skies and earth were too far apart which was really impossible to join in union again. It was also then that Pan Gu was at a high point of exhaustion where he really wished for rest in eternity.

He took a step back to look at his works; where the skies and earth are now well defined in distance and he smiled with content and pride at his hard work, while wishing for a good rest.
As our legendary hero laid down to his rest, he closed his eyes to rest and that was where his body undergo the following tremendous transformation.

His left eye became the sun; the right eye became the moon and as he breathed out his last, that became the wind and the clouds in the skies.
His hair became what we see today as the shooting star; while his body limbs (hand, body and legs) turned into mountains and hills. His blood flowed as the river and springs, his veins formed the roads, muscles transformed into the paddy fields, and the flesh and hair became the greens and the flowers, trees and the plains.
His decayed teeth and bones became the stones and rocks; bone marrow became the treasures of the earth – the pearls and the jade. Even his sweat brought the drops of rain and morning dew on the flower and leaves.

With this great and marvelous contribution and works; Pan Gu who had used his strength and might to create the universe and sacrificed his body and every part of his body to instill the natural beauty into it to give it life, he became one of the first hero in the legendary stories in China.
Till today, it is one of the fable which was shared through generations on the creation of the universe.

This was an interesting version of a folklore of how the universe was created.
In my religion, God was the creator of the universe and he did it in 7 days.
I am a believer, but this is an interesting perspective on how the rest of the world and culture view this creation.
Hope you enjoyed the story as much as I do:)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hungry Ghost Festival - A story to share

Gosh, I can't believe it's been months since I last updated this little blog here!~
The reason I started this blog in the first place was due to the weird and intriguing stories from the other side which prompted me to share some that I've heard or in case of any supernatural (something which cannot be proved by science) cases which is interesting for all to read about.

Anyway, this update is about a story I wish to share; which I've heard from a family member.
This story took place in a place in Penang and it was during the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival.
Now, as you know, during this particular month, it is a Chinese tradition and custom to make offerings to those residing in the netherworld.
These offerings can be made in the form of paper paraphernalia, joss sticks, food, and even opera shows.
In Malaysia, the Getai is highly popular.

Wherever there is the mass offering, there the Getai goes.
**Getai is a local word for the street performances on the stage, singing, dancing, etc.

If you observe these areas, you will always notice that there is a long table with all the food and all sorts of offerings and at the end of the table there is a huge and gigantic paper statue sitting there.
The gigantic paper statue is made to resemble the Tai Su Yeah; who is also the guardian deity of hell and is honored to grant peace during the auspicious month of the Hungry Ghosts.

Now to the story, this happened a few years ago in this place in Penang where there was a famous temple to honor the hungry ghosts.
There was a mother with an infant baby in her arms who decided to play her part to honor the dead and to make offerings by burning the paper paraphernalia during that time.
As she was carrying her infant baby and at the same time, she had to burn the paper offerings, she decided to put her little child on the table while she goes around to burn the offerings.

Now it so happens that, after she was done with the burning and praying, she returned to the table and found the baby really quiet as if he was sleeping.
As she touched his hand, she was shocked to find that it was cold and he was motionless and not breathing anymore.
Within minutes, the baby was pronounced dead.

She couldn't understand the reason of his death as he was perfectly normal and health before they came out.

However, according to some of the folks there, the lady made a mistake by placing her boy on the table as it was the offering table!

The offering table holds all the food and offerings for the "brothers and sisters" from the netherworld and it was their understanding that everything there is for "their" consumption.
Furthermore, the Chinese believed that the dead are straight in their minds and will consume whatever that is on that table as they believed it is offered for them.

It was a rather sad story; but that was the story of how the lady wanted to do her bit to pray for her family's peace and harmony and ended having her own little boy made an "offering" as well.

So, according to my grandma and all the older folks, do be careful of what you place on the offering table, there is no turning back and that is why the month is known as the month of the Hungry Ghost.