Chinese Literature | Ancient Chinese Culture - Part 6

Archive for category Chinese Literature

the Twelve Beauties of Jinling – Jia Yingchun

Jia Yingchun is one of the Twelve Beauties of Jinling (refers to the twelve excellent ladies) in the book of the Dream of Red Mansions.

Jia Yingchun is the daughter of Jia She. Her father does not concern about her and her mother died when she was a child. She is so timid and overcautious that she always makes concessions in her life. She is also indifferent to the things happened around her. When one of her maidservants was found doing something wrong, she did not even say a word to help her. Instead, she was quite afraid of getting into the trouble. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guanyin – The Goddess of Mercy

Guanyin, commonly known as the Goddess of Mercy in English, is one of the Four Great Bodhisattvas in China. Among the four, the Goddess of Mercy has ranked the first since ancient times and is also regarded as the Bodhisattva with the greatest compassion and mercy.

According to the ancient documents, Chinese began to worship Guanyin along with the introduction of the worship of Indian Buddhism. During the period of Sui and Tang Dynasties (581~907), Guanyin was gradually worshipped by more and more people.

At the very beginning, the Goddess of Mercy was depicted as the mighty male form. During the period of Yuan Dynasty (1206~1368), the image of the Goddess of Mercy gradually became a young woman predominantly. Nowadays, the image of young women is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. She is dignified and usually holds a holy vase, using a willow twig to sprinkle the holy water to save the multitudes. She also possesses limitless wisdom and magic power.

The legend goes that, the Goddess of Mercy was born on the nineteenth of the second lunar month. When sentient being is in danger and call her for help, she will soon help them out of the danger. That is why she is regarded as the most merciful Bodhisattva in China. As her Chinese name suggested, she would always observe the sounds and listen to the requests from her worshippers.

The belief of the Goddess of Mercy is long-lasting. There are temples which are dedicated to the goddess in lots of places and her image and statues can be commonly found all over China.

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the Twelve Beauties of Jinling – Xue Baochai

 

Xue Baochai is one of the Twelve Beauties of Jinling (refers to the twelve excellent ladies) in the book of The Dream of Red Mansions. She is a beautiful and elegant lady, who is eager for official career.

Xue Baochai is the daughter of Aunt Xue, the sister of Ms. Wang. She gets on well with everybody in the family of Jia. Being well educated, she possesses profound aesthetic accomplishments and has a wide range of knowledge of literature, art, history and medicine. Read the rest of this entry »

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the Twelve Beauties of Jinling – Jia Yuanchun

Jia Yuanchun is one of the Twelve Beauties of Jinling (refers to the twelve excellent ladies) in the book of The Dream of Red Mansions. She is the daughter of Jia Zheng and Lady Wang and is called Yuanchun as she was born on the first day of the first lunar month.

She is the political backing for the family of Jia and as a concubine of the Emperor, she really brought the wealth and glory to her family. However, she was not happy about her life in the palace and regarded her life as a pale life without energy and freedom.

After the visit to her parents, she never had the chance to get out of the palace again. Actually, she and her family were separated by death forever. What she had lost was not only the freedom, but also her life. Her life was deeply destroyed by the feudal system at that time. Read the rest of this entry »

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the God of Thunder in China

The God of Thunder, also called Lei Shen, Lei Kung or “Raytheon”, is a supernatural being who is in charge of thunder in heaven in ancient Chinese myth. He also can distinguish good and evil and uphold justice. It is said that he always carries a drum and mullet to make thunder to punish both earthly mortals guilty of secret guilty and evil spirits.

The image of God of Thunder has existed in China for a long time which can date back to the period of the Warring States (475BC~221BC). According to ancient records, he has a monkey-like face with three eyes on and two wings on his back. He was also very strong.

The legend goes that, the god was originally a mortal. He was always persecuted by villain. After his death, he went to the heaven and told Jade Emperor about his tragic experience. Jade Emperor sympathized with him in his sufferings and conferred the God of Thunder on him. Then he had the power to chase away the evil spirits and punish criminals.

He is regarded as the symbol of justice. People have worshiped him since ancient times. Many temples were built in honor of him, which express people’s desire for fairness and justice.

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