Sunday, 8 May 2011
The Jade Emperor
The Jade Emperor is the Taoist ruler of Heaven, and all that is beneath. He has many titles, amongst which are Heavenly Grandfather and even formal titles such as Peace Absolving, Central August Spirit Exalted, Ancient Buddha, Most Pious and Honorable, His Highness the Jade-Emperor, Xuanling High Sovereign.
Back in the dim memories of time, the world was an inhospitable place to live, the lands were harsh and many demons and monsters delighted in tormenting the humans there. Amongst the people walked an immortal, not yet a god, the Jade Emperor. He helped people wherever he could, making their lives a little easier, a little smoother. But he knew his efforts were limited, and he was saddened at that which he could not do.
He retreated to a cave, to develop his Tao, deepening his wisdom and benevolence. His retreat from the world lasted for millions of years, and he faced thousands of trials. During this time, a demon desired to conquer not only the mortal realms, but that of the gods also. He went into retreat, facing many trials, in order to increase his power.
The demon was the first to emerge from his cave, he immediately waged war upon the Heavens, recruiting a demonic army that the gods knew they had no hope against. Whilst war waged in the Heavens, the Jade Emperor also emerged from his cave, he saw the evil glow in the skies, and knew there was trouble. Rising up to Heaven he challenged the demon, and a massive battle ensued - rattling the mountains and stirring up the oceans. The Jade Emperor was the eventual victor, not through might, but through compassion. The other gods, knowing that they'd have been overrun if it were not for him, made him the Supreme Sovereign over All.
As the Supreme Sovereign of All, the Jade Emperor has a veritable empire of beaurocrats and civil servants to assist him. Every single aspect of life has it's own monitor reporting back to the boss. The European Parliament in Brussels could only dream of achieving an organisation such as this.
* The Jade Emperor's birthday is said to be the 9th day of the first lunar month, where he will be made offerings of incense and food.
* He is also linked with the day of the Chinese New Year, which is when he is said to visit the Earth and make an inspection of each household, collecting reports on each member of that household's actions. Again incense is burned and offerings made, and offerings of sweets made to the Kitchen God who does the reporting!
Image from Wikipedia: Jade Emperor in a Ming Dynasty ink and colour painting on silk, 16th century
Love and hugs