Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Zhao Gongming

Zhao Gongming , also known as Cai Shen, Zhang Gong Ming and Tsai Sheng Yeh is the deity that brings good fortune and protection from disasters. He is typically depicted riding a black tiger, with a thick beard and dark face. Zhao Gongming holds a gold ingot within his hands.

A benevolent and compassionate god, he will answer all prayers to him. Zhao Gongming’s name is often invoked during the celebrations of the Chinese New Year on the first day.

Originally a hermit who used magic to support the collapsing Shang Dynasty, his enemy, Jiang Ziya, killed him. Jiang Ziya later felt guilt for killing Zhao Gongming, apologizing for his actions in a temple and canonizing Zhao Gongming as a god of wealth.

Zhao Gongming is also said to have originally been a god of the underworld, yet was appointed by the Jade Emperor as a marshal of an altar. The new responsibilities were for trading and wealth within the mortal world.

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