Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stories of the Guardians

Stories of the Guardians

A dear friend of mine was needing some new knowledge of some very interesting and significant Guardian Beings and Creatures. I thought I'd find some interesting myths and stories to share of some of these Beings, so I thought I'd post them here to my blog so others might enjoy them too. 

I thought I'd start with the traditionally two top Guardian Beings, the Dragon and the Phoenix.

These myths hold hidden meaning to some, perhaps you'll feel some of their energies as you read these ancient tales of these Guardian Beings. They are certainly worth meditating about, regardless.


GUARDIAN DRAGON




The Story of the Four Dragons

Once upon a time, there were no rivers and lakes on earth, but only the Eastern Sea, in which lived four dragons: the Long Dragon, the Yellow Dragon, the Black Dragon and the Pearl Dragon. One day the four dragons flew from the sea into the sky. They soared and dived, playing at hide-and-seek in the clouds.

"Come over here quickly!" the Pearl Dragon cried out suddenly.

"What's up?" asked the other three, looking down in the direction where the Pearl Dragon pointed.

On the earth they saw many people putting out fruits and cakes, and burning incense sticks. They were praying! A white-haired woman, kneeling on the ground with a thin boy on her back, murmured,

"Please send rain quickly, God of Heaven, to give our children rice to eat."

For there had been no rain for a long time. The crops withered, the grass turned yellow and fields cracked under the scorching sun.

"How poor the people are!" said the Yellow Dragon. "And they will die if it doesn't rain soon."

The Long Dragon nodded. Then he suggested, "Let's go and beg the Jade Emperor for rain."

So saying, he leapt into the clouds. The others followed closely and flew towards the Heavenly Palace. Being in charge of all the affairs in heaven on earth and in the sea, the Jade Emperor was very powerful. He was not pleased to see the dragons rushing in.

"Why do you come here instead of staying in the sea and behaving yourselves?"

The Long Dragon stepped forward and said, "The crops on earth are withering and dying, Your Majesty. I beg you to send rain down quickly!"

"All right. You go back first, I'll send some rain down tomorrow." The Jade Emperor pretended to agree while listening to the songs of the fairies.

The four dragons responded, "Thanks, Your Majesty!"

The four dragons went happily back. But ten days passed, and not a drop of rain came down. The people suffered more, some eating bark, some grass roots, some forced to eat white clay when they ran out of bark and grass roots. Seeing all this, the four dragons felt very sorry, for they knew the Jade Emperor only cared about pleasure, and never took the people to heart. They could only rely on themselves to relieve the people of their miseries. But how to do it? Seeing the vast sea, the Long Dragon said that he had an idea.

"What is it? Out with it, quickly!" the other three demanded.

"Look, is there not plenty of water in the sea where we live? We should scoop it up and spray it towards the sky. The water will be like rain drops and come down to save the people and their crops," said Long Dragon.

"Good idea!" said the others as they clapped their hands.

"But," said the Long Dragon after thinking a bit, "we will be blamed if the Jade Emperor learns of this."

"I will do anything to save the people," the Yellow Dragon said resolutely.

"Then let's begin. We will never regret it," said Long Dragon.

The Black Dragon and the Pearl Dragon were not to be outdone. They flew to the sea, scooped up water in their mouths, and then flew back into the sky, where they sprayed the water out over the earth. The four dragons flew back and forth, making the sky dark all around. Before long the sea water became rain pouring down from the sky.

"It's raining! It's raining! The crops will be saved!" the people cried and leaped with joy.

On the ground the wheat stalks raised their heads and the sorghum stalks straightened up. The god of the sea discovered these events and reported to the Jade Emperor.

"How dare the four dragons bring rain without my permission!" said the Jade Emperor.

The Jade Emperor was enraged, and ordered the heavenly generals and their troops to arrest the four dragons. Being far outnumbered, the four dragons could not defend themselves, and they were soon arrested and brought back to the heavenly palace.

"Go and get four mountains to lay upon them so that they can never escape!" The Jade Emperor ordered the Mountain God.

The Mountain God used his magic power to make four mountains fly there, whistling in the wind from afar, and pressed them down upon the four dragons. Imprisoned as they were, they never regretted their actions. Determined to do good for the people forever, they turned themselves into four rivers, which flowed past high mountains and deep valleys, crossing the land from the west to the east and finally emptying into the sea. And so China's four great rivers were formed -- the Heilongjian (Black Dragon) in the far north, the Huanghe (Yellow River) in central China, the Changjiang (Yangtze, or Long River) farther south, and the Zhujiang (Pearl) in the very far south.

http://www.worldoftales.com/Asian_folktales/Asian_Folktale_6.html


GUARDIAN PHOENIX


Phoenix Story

The Story of the Phoenix

Ta-Khai, Prince of Tartary, dreamed one night that he saw in a place where he had never been before an enchantingly beautiful young maiden who could only be a princess. He fell desperately in love with her, but before he could either move or speak, she had vanished. When he awoke he called for his ink and brushes, and drew her image on a piece of precious silk, and in one corner he wrote these lines:

The flowers of the p├Žony
Will they ever bloom?
A day without her
Is like a hundred years.


He then summoned his ministers, and, showing them the portrait, asked if any one could tell him the name of the beautiful maiden; but they all shook their heads and stroked their beards. They did not know who she was.

So displeased was the prince that he sent them away in disgrace to the most remote provinces of his kingdom. All the courtiers, the generals, the officers, and every man and woman, high and low, who lived in the palace came in turn to look at the picture. But they all had to confess their ignorance.

Ta-Khai then called upon the magicians of the kingdom to find out in magic ways the name of the princess of his dreams, but their answers were so widely different that the prince condemned them all to have their noses cut off. The portrait was shown in the outer court of the palace from sunrise till sunset, and travellers from all over the world came in every day, gazed upon the beautiful face, and came out again. No-one could tell who she was.

Meanwhile the days were weighing heavily upon the shoulders of Ta-Khai, and he became very unhappy; he forgot to eat, he forgot to drink, and he even forgot which was day and which was night, what was in and what was out, what was left and what was right. He spent his time roaming over the mountains and through the woods crying aloud to the gods to end his life and his sorrow.

It was in this way, one day, that he came to the edge of a cliff. The valley below was scattered with rocks, and the thought came to his mind that he had been led to this place to put and to his misery. He was about to throw himself into the depths below when suddenly a Phoenix flew across the valley and appeared before him, saying:

“Why are you, a mighty Prince, standing here, looking so sad?”
Ta-Khai replied: “"Nothing matters to me now but finding the beautiful girl for whom my heart is thirsting, but how can I find her?”"

And he told the bird his story.

The Phoenix replied:

“Without the help of Supreme Heaven it is not easy to acquire wisdom, but it is a sign that Heaven has sent me to help you. I can make myself large enough to carry the largest town upon my back, or small enough to pass through the smallest keyhole, and I know all the princesses in all the palaces of the earth. They all know my song, and I am their friend. Therefore show me the picture, Ta-Khai, and I will tell you the name of the princess you saw in your dream.”


They went to the palace, and, when the portrait was shown, the bird became as large as an elephant, and exclaimed, “Sit on my back, Ta-Khai, and I will carry you to the place of your dream. There you will find Sai-Jen, the daughter of the King of China, the princess of your dream.”

At nightfall they were flying over the palace of the king just above a magnificent garden. And in the garden sat Sai-Jen, singing and playing upon the lute. The Phoenix deposited the prince outside the wall near a place where bamboos were growing and showed him how to cut twelve bamboos between the knots to make a flute with a sound sweeter than the evening breeze on the forest stream.

And as he blew gently across the pipes, they echoed the sound of the princess's voice so harmoniously that she cried:

“I hear the distant notes of the song that I sing myself, although I can see nothing but the flowers and the trees. It is a beautiful song, and it sounds very sad, and full of longing.”

At that moment the wonderful bird, like a fire of many colours come down from heaven, landed in front of the princess, dropping at her feet the portrait. She opened her eyes in utter astonishment at the sight of her own image. And when she had read the lines inscribed in the corner, she asked, trembling:

“"Tell me, Phoenix, who is he, so near, but whom I cannot see, that knows the sound of my voice and has never heard me, and can remember my face and has never seen me?”"

Then the bird spoke and told her the story of Ta-Khai's dream, adding:

“I come from him with this message; I brought him here on my wings. For many days he has longed for this hour, let him now meet the princess of his dream and heal the wound in his heart.”
Sai-Jen fell silent when Ta-Khai stood before her, so great was her love for him. The Phoenix lit up the garden sumptuously, and a breath of love was stirring the flowers under the stars.

It was in the palace of the King of China that were celebrated in the most ancient and magnificent style the nuptials of Sai-Jen and Ta-Khai, Prince of Tartary.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/the-story-of-the-phoenix


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