Sunday, March 1, 2015

Acts Of God (天灾人祸)

The Chinese believe that small disasters for example a plane crash or a ship sank may be masterminded by the Hell King, but disasters of a larger scale such as flood, tsunami, earthquake, epidemic etc. must be the work of higher god. In this case, it may be the god-in-charge, the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝).

In the West, Jehovah once said something like the below words:

“I shall remove the human, animals, insects and birds that fly in the air from the surface of this earth… Look! I shall make the water flood flow over the land and destroy everything under the sky. Every living soul shall perish.” (Except Noah and everything on his ark of course)

So we can see that major disasters are in the hands of the God (in the West) and god (in Chinese).

There are two strategies that the Jade Emperor or God can cause massive deaths, the first strategy is called “enticing the crowd into a valley of death”. Let us review a story from Southern Song Dynasty:

The tide in the River Qiantang (钱塘江) is at its peak on the 18th day of the 8th Lunar Month every year. This scene can be touted as one of the strange scene in this world. It was the custom of Lingan (临安) at that time (and it is still now) for a crowd of people to congregate on the banks on the river to look at the coming of tides.

During 1342AD, two days before the tide gazing festival, people who stayed beside the river heard voices of a person said:

“About a few hundred people will die at the bridge this year; they are those who are not filial and lustful folks. You should send someone to remind those whose names are in the list but do not attend this function, however if those names are not in the list; then please do so and chase them away.”

What followed after that were sounds of a group of people seconded the voice.

The one who heard the voice though scared but he didn’t mention what he heard to others.

On the second night, there are further residents heard voices cautioned:

“Please do not stand on the bridge tomorrow as the bridge will collapse.”

Soon it was on the 18th day, before the approaching of the tide; many people already filled the bridge. Those who were warned by the strange dream stayed at a far to observe and they did advised their relatives to step down from the bridge but many scorned them as superstitious.

Suddenly the tidal wave rushed to the bridge with an unusually huge turbulent that has smashed the river banks and the bridge. The bridge collapsed and a few hundreds of spectators drowned.

The second strategy is “to move the land of death into the crowd”. For example: airplane crashes, ships sinks, fire, war, famine, epidemic etc. Let’s take famous tsunami cases for instance:

During 1767AD a tsunami happned in Haitang, Zhejiang (浙江) and taken the lives of a few thousands of people. Further on the spring of 1772AD a record mentioned that “the god ordered Heavenly King Deng (邓天君) to investigate Haitang (海塘) disasters”.

On the 7th Lunar Month of that year, the tidal wave besiege Zhejiang and causing dams to collapse and drowned hundred thousands of human and cattle.

Perhaps that was Heavenly King Deng’s hardwork for 4 months. In case you are not aware, Deng belongs to one of the member of Taoist thunder gods.

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