Mythology

How Hou Yi Shot The Sun

In this ancient Chinese myth, the Sun was spared for our prosperity. Enjoy!

In ancient Chinese mythology, the sky had not one, but 10 suns. Every day, the solar goddess Shiho would pick up one of these suns (also her sons) and wheel him across the sky in her chariot. In the meantime, the other nine would play among the leaves of the mythical Fusang tree, believed to be more than 10,000 feet tall.

This system worked well until the day that the suns grew bored of their responsibility. They decided to run across the sky all at once, planning to generate enough light and heat so that they could all take a few days off. Instead, this solar scamper dried up rivers, scorched the Earth and led to widespread drought.

Taking pity on suffering mortals, the sun god Dijun called in the expert archer Hou Yi. With 10 magic arrows, the story goes that Hou Yi was to discipline the irresponsible suns. Hou Yi first tried to reason with the suns. When that didn’t work, he then pretended to shoot at them with his bow to intimidate them. When the suns again refused to heed Hou Yi’s warnings, he began to shoot at them one by one.

As each one fell, they turned into a 3 legged raven. Finally only one sun was left and King Yao as well as the sun’s mother asked for him to be spared for the prosperity of man.

Note: According to an alternative story, a young boy stole Hou Yi’s final arrow, thus saving Earth from perpetual darkness.

Sources:

How Ganesh Came Into Being


The legend behind the birth of Ganesha is as follows:

It is said that Goddess Parvati, before taking an elaborate bath, wanted someone to stand guard at the door.

Not finding anyone, she created the idol of a child from the sandalwood paste that she had applied on herself, and breathed life into it. She told the boy she had created not to let anyone in, and went to have her bath. When her husband, Lord Shiva came home, the child could not recognise him and refused to let him in. Shiva was furious, and severed the head of the child.

When she learnt that the child she had created was dead, Parvati was distraught and asked Shiva to revive him immediately. Shiva ordered his lieutenants to get the head of any creature that was sleeping with its head facing north. The servants returned with the head of an elephant. Shiva joined the elephant’s head to the boy’s body, and Parvati’s child lived again.

The legend also says that Shiva made the boy the leader of his armies. Hence, the name Ganesha, meaning ‘god of the army’.

Who is Ganesh?

Ganesha is India’s cutest god. He has the head of an elephant on which is perched a dainty tiara, four pudgy hands joined to a sizeable belly with each hand holding its own symbolic object. One has a trishul, or a trident, the second, an ankush, or goad made from his very own broken tooth, the third hand elegantly holds a lotus and the fourth a rosary (which is sometimes replaced by modaks – his favourite sweet). His appetite for sweets is legendary and offerings of them are often left at his shrine.

Ganesha is famous not only for being a trickster and for his sense of humour, but equally for his wisdom. He is the son of Shiva (Destroyer in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) and Parvati (Shiva’s consort).

The chubby, gentle, wise, elephant-headed Ganesh, or Ganesha, is one of Hinduisms most popular deities. He is the remover of obstacles, the deity whom worshippers first acknowledge when they visit a temple. He is also patron of letters and of learning; he is the legendary scribe who, using his broken tusk, which he often holds, wrote down parts of the Mahabharata epic.

From Loving Ganesa
by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

 

Here’s a life changing action

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
~Og Mandino

This is an image of Kwan Yin. She is one of the most universally beloved of deities in the Buddhist tradition. She is the embodiment of compassionate loving kindness. As the Bodhisattva of Compassion, She hears the cries of all beings.

You can read a lovely story about her at Urban Dharma

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