Pangu Opens the Sky: A Chinese Creation Myth-盘古开天辟地

In the beginning, there was no heaven or earth, just a vast, chaotic void. Within this void, a giant named Pangu slumbered for eighteen thousand years.

One day, Pangu woke up and found himself surrounded by darkness. He swung his mighty axe, splitting the darkness into two parts. The lighter part rose to become the sky, while the heavier part sank to become the earth.

Pangu feared that the sky and earth would collapse back together, so he stood between them, holding them apart with his great strength. Every day, the sky grew higher and the earth grew thicker, and Pangu grew taller to keep them separated.

After many years, the sky and earth were finally formed. Pangu, exhausted from his labors, collapsed and died. His body transformed into the elements of the world:

  • His breath became the wind and clouds.
  • His voice became the thunder.
  • His eyes became the sun and moon.
  • His limbs became the four pillars of the sky.
  • His flesh became the soil.
  • His blood became the rivers and seas.
  • His sweat became the rain and dew.

Thus, Pangu’s sacrifice created the world as we know it.

Significance of the Pangu Myth

The Pangu myth is one of the most important creation myths in Chinese culture. It tells the story of how the world was created from chaos and order, and it highlights the importance of balance and harmony in the universe.

The myth also celebrates the power of human creativity and determination. Pangu’s willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good is a reminder that even the smallest of us can make a big difference in the world.

It is said that a long time ago, the heaven and earth had not yet formed, and there was chaos everywhere. It has no edges, no up, down, left, right, east, west, or west. It looks like a round egg. Among this round thing, there is a human ancestor – Pangu.
Eighteen thousand years later, Pangu matured in this round thing. He found the darkness in front of him and was very angry, so he used the ax he made to split open the chaotic round thing. With a loud noise, the chaos in the round thing, the light and clear Yang Qi rose up and turned into the high blue sky, while the heavy and turbid Yin Qi sank down and turned into the vast earth. From then on, the universe was divided into heaven and earth.
After Pangu was born, he stood upright between heaven and earth with the blue sky above his head and the earth under his feet. From then on, the sky became ten feet taller every day, the earth became ten feet thicker every day, and Pangu also grew ten feet taller every day. After another 18,000 years, the sky could not be higher and the earth could not be deeper. Pangu himself became a giant 90,000 miles long and stood tall on the sky and the earth, supporting the sky and the earth like a pillar. They no longer become the chaotic state they once were.
After Pangu created the world, he was the only one in the world. Because it was he who created the heaven and earth, any change in his mood would lead to different changes in the heaven and earth. When he is happy, the sky is clear; when he is angry, the sky is gloomy; when he cries, the sky rains, falling to the ground and forming rivers and lakes; when he sighs, strong winds blow on the earth, and he blinks his eyes, Lightning appeared in the sky; he snored, and thunder rumbled in the air.
I don’t know how many years passed, but Pangu still died and lay on the ground. His head was raised and became Mount Tai of Dongyue; his feet turned upward and became Mount Hua of West Mountain; his belly was high and became Mount Song of Central Mountain; one of his two shoulder blades became Mount Hengshan of South Mountain and the other became Mount Hengshan of North Mountain. As for his hair and fine hair, they all turned into trees and flowers. Later, there were the legendary ancient emperors – the Three Emperors, namely the Emperor of Heaven, the Emperor of Earth and the Emperor of Humans.