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Friday, July 4, 2014
The Deity Of Old Dynasties: Guan Gong (亦把关公比天公)
such a story told by a local cult religion (一贯道) that the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝) will resign and his position will
be taken over by Guan Gong (关公). For Chinese, Guan Gong is the most worshiped and respected Taoist
deity today. We see this deity pretty often in Hong Kong detective and ghost
movies: it is always a scene in a police station that Guan Gong is worshiped in
reason Guan Gong is so popular because he was said to be extremely generous (豪气如云) and the beholder of brotherhood (义薄云天). There are many stories told about
the heroic behavior of Guan Gong such as: defeating of six generals (过五关斩六将), in search of brother and
sister-in-law (寻兄送嫂), the
brother hood in palm orchid (桃园三结义), the rider of a thousand miles (千里走单骑) and etc.
was what described by epics such as ‘The Romance Of The Three Kingdoms” (三国演义) now let us see what the actual
history has to say about Guan Gong:
Why is Guan
Gong being honored as 'the saint of warfare' (武圣)? Why the three brothers (刘备，关公，张飞) failed to defeat Lubu (吕布) and yet worthy of being bestowed
as the saint? It should be other way round.
has it that Guan Gong was a hardheaded self centered (刚愎自用), braved but not so tactful militant (有勇无谋的武夫). During the Three Kingdoms (三国), Caocao (曹操) of Kingdom Wei (魏国) was the strongest and it was possible for
Kingdom Shu (蜀国) and Kingdom
Wu (吴国) to defend
against Wei, but due to Guan Gong's ruthlessness in offending the King Shunquan
(孙权) from Wu; the cooperation was
to the story, Guan Gong has a pretty daughter while King Shunquan has a not so
handsome son. Shunquan's prince wanted to marry Guan Gong's daughter but the proposal
was refused by Guan Gong. That was no big deal if Guan Gong had not agreed with
the marriage, but the disagreement should be declined politely as Shunquan was
still the king of Wu. Guan Gong was so rude in hurting Shunquan by saying:
“The daughter of a
tiger cannot marry the son of a dog.”
say, the plan for Shu and Wu to join force failed.
Qing Dynasty, the title “saint of warfare” referred to Yuefei (岳飞) as he has practically won all wars
he has participated and the reason was also Yuefei also very loyal and ready to
serve his emperor.
Manchurian took control of China, they used authoritative yet soft approach to
control the Chinese of that time and made use of the slogan:
“The world (China) is
In order to
emphasize the approach, the Manchurian made use of the story of ‘brother hood
in palm orchid’ (桃园三结义) and
bestow Guan Gong as the ‘Saint of Warfare” to unite the Chinese folks and that
worked pretty well and proven in history too until today…
probably one or two temple worshipping Yuefei, but there are countless of
temples worshipping Guan Gong. I would attribute this to the wit of the
Manchurian emperor of that time.
that a reckless militant that has no special contribution to history in
particular can be worshipped as a saint and that person who has really
contributed a lot to his race and country is being neglected so?