Myths and Legends of China
Page: 45Many fierce battles ensued. At first these went in favour of the Chin-kang, thanks to their magical weapons and especially to Mo-li Shou’s Hua-hu Tiao, who terrorized the enemy by devouring their bravest warriors.
Hua-hu Tiao devours Yang Chien
Unfortunately for the Chin-kang, the brute attacked and swallowed Yang Chien, the nephew of Yü Huang. This genie, on entering the body of the monster, rent his heart asunder and cut him in two. As he could transform himself at will, he assumed the shape of Hua-hu Tiao, and went off to Mo-li Shou, who unsuspectingly put him back into his bag. Page 123
The Four Kings held a festival to celebrate their triumph, and having drunk copiously gave themselves over to sleep. During the night Yang Chien came out of the bag, with the intention of possessing himself of the three magical weapons of the Chin-kang. But he succeeded only in carrying off the umbrella of Mo-li Hung. In a subsequent engagement No-cha, the son of Vadjrâ-pani, the God of Thunder, broke the jade ring of Mo-li Ch’ing. Misfortune followed misfortune. The Chin-kang, deprived of their magical weapons, began to lose heart. To complete their discomfiture, Huang T’ien Hua brought to the attack a matchless magical weapon. This was a spike 7½ inches long, enclosed in a silk sheath, and called ‘Heart-piercer.’ It projected so strong a ray of light that eyes were blinded by it.
Huang T’ien Hua, hard pressed by Mo-li Ch’ing, drew the mysterious spike from its sheath, and hurled it at his adversary. It entered his neck, and with a deep groan the giant fell dead.
Mo-li Hung and Mo-li Hai hastened to avenge their brother, but ere they could come within striking distance of Huang Ti’en Hua his redoubtable spike reached their hearts, and they lay prone at his feet.
The one remaining hope for the sole survivor was in Hua-hu Tiao. Mo-li Shou, not knowing that the creature had been slain, put his hand into the bag to pull him out, whereupon Yang Chien, who had re-entered the bag, bit his hand off at the wrist, so that there remained nothing but a stump of bone.
In this moment of intense agony Mo-li Shou fell an easy prey to Huang T’ien Hua, the magical spike pierced his heart, and he fell bathed in his blood. Thus perished the last of the Chin-kang. Page 124
The Three Pure Ones
Turning to the gods of Taoism, we find that the triad or trinity, already noted as forming the head of that hierarchy, consists of three Supreme Gods, each in his own Heaven. These three Heavens, the San Ch’ing, ‘Three Pure Ones’ (this name being also applied to the sovereigns ruling in them), were formed from the three airs, which are subdivisions of the one primordial air.
The first Heaven is Yü Ch’ing. In it reigns the first member of the Taoist triad. He inhabits the Jade Mountain. The entrance to his palace is named the Golden Door. He is the source of all truth, as the sun is the source of all light.
Various authorities give his name differently—Yüan-shih T’ien-tsun, or Lo Ching Hsin, and call him T’ien Pao, ‘the Treasure of Heaven,’ Some state that the name of the ruler of this first Heaven is Yü Huang, and in the popular mind he it is who occupies this supreme position. The Three Pure Ones are above him in rank, but to him, the Pearly Emperor, is entrusted the superintendence of the world. He has all the power of Heaven and earth in his hands. He is the correlative of Heaven, or rather Heaven itself.
The second Heaven, Shang Ch’ing, is ruled by the second person of the triad, named Ling-pao T’ien-tsun, or Tao Chün. No information is given as to his origin. He is the custodian of the sacred books. He has existed from the beginning of the world. He calculates time, dividing it into different epochs. He occupies the upper pole of the world, and determines the movements and interaction, or regulates the relations of the yin and the