pangu push open the sky and earth | chinese-mythology

Pangu | P’an Ku | Pan Koo

  • Pangu's emergence from the Yin and Yang forces within the cosmic egg.
  • The separation of Yin and Yang leading to the creation of Earth and Heaven.
  • Pangu's growth mirroring the expanding distance between realms.
  • His posthumous transformation, shaping Earth's features and giving life to humanity.
  • Exploration of the diverse theories surrounding the origin of the Pangu myth.
  • Artistic representations depicting Pangu and accompanying mythical creatures.

The Legend Story of Pangu Creating Heaven and Earth

In Chinese mythology, the origin of the world is attributed to Pangu, the central figure in their CREATION MYTH. According to this myth, Pangu emerged as the offspring of the fundamental YIN AND YANG forces, hatching from the enormous COSMIC EGG within the realm of CHAOS at the dawn of time.

天地浑沌如鸡子。盘古生在其中。万八千岁。天地开辟。阳清为天。阴浊为地。盘古在其中。一日九变。神于天。圣于地。天日高一丈。地日厚一丈。盘古日长一丈。如此万八千岁。天数极高。地数极深。盘古极长。故天去地九万里,后乃有三皇。 首生盘古。垂死化身。气成风云。声为雷霆。左眼为日。右眼为月。四肢五体为四极五岳。血液为江河。筋脉为地里。肌肉为田土。发为星辰。皮肤为草木。齿骨为金石。精髓为珠玉。汗流为雨泽。身之诸虫。因风所感。化为黎甿。

In ancient times, there was neither heaven nor earth; everywhere was a chaotic, pitch-black mass. However, after ten thousand and eight thousand years passed in this darkness, it gave birth to an immensely powerful god named Pangu.

When Pangu woke up and opened his eyes, he saw nothing. In frustration, he took up a divine axe and fiercely swung it around, causing the light and clear substances to float upwards, forming the sky, while the heavy and murky substances sank downwards, forming the earth. Pangu stood in the middle, preventing heaven and earth from merging together. Each day, the sky grew taller, and the earth grew thicker, and Pangu grew along with them. After another ten thousand and eight thousand years, the sky became extremely high, the earth became extremely thick, but Pangu collapsed and never got up again.

Pangu's head transformed into towering mountains, his limbs turned into pillars supporting the sky. His eyes became the sun and the moon, his blood turned into rivers, and his hair and skin transformed into flowers and plants. His breath became the wind, his shouts turned into thunder, and his tears became the nourishing rain and dew that moistened the earth.

Pangu created the heavens and the earth, and he offered everything to them, making the world rich and diverse. Pangu became the greatest god, contributing to the creation of a vibrant and colorful world.

Origins and Variations of the Pangu Myth

The origin of the Pangu myth has intrigued mythologists, with theories suggesting influences from India or Thailand. Pangu's absence in Chinese mythic texts until the third century C.E. has fueled speculation that the story might have originated elsewhere. Parallels with the creation myth involving a cosmic EGG are noted, drawing comparisons to Brahma in Indian and Hindu mythology.

Artistic Representations of Pangu

In artistic depictions, Pangu is sometimes portrayed as a dwarf adorned in a bearskin, wielding symbols such as the Sun and Moon, or a hammer and chisel. Accompanying him are mythical creatures including the QILIN, RED BIRD (or PHOENIX), TORTOISE, and DRAGON.


Why did Pangu died?

Pangu's death is often attributed to exhaustion after the tremendous effort he exerted in creating the world. According to the myth, Pangu used a divine axe to separate the chaotic elements and form the sky and earth. He stood between them, preventing them from merging, and as the sky and earth continued to grow and develop over a vast period of time, Pangu grew along with them. However, eventually, he became weary and collapsed under the weight of his own efforts.

What happened to Pangu after he died?

After Pangu's death, his various body parts transformed into different elements of the natural world, such as mountains, rivers, and celestial bodies. His sacrifice and creation myth symbolize the origin of the universe and the interconnection of all things in Chinese cosmology.