Goddess Mazu  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Mazu Image
"MAZU" (MOTHER) IS THE CHINESE MOTHER GODDESS OF THE SEA. AS THE PROTECTOR GODDESS OF FISHERMEN, SHE IS A BEAUTIFUL GODDESS, AND PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FOLK DEITIES IN TAIWAN; MANY SEAFARERS IN CHINA PLACED THEIR TRUST IN THE ASSURANCE OF SAFETY PROVIDED BY THIS GODDESS. LEGEND HAS IT THAT SHE ALWAYS HELPED PEOPLE THROUGH HARDSHIPS AND, IN PARTICULAR, RESCUES FISHERMEN WHEN THEY FACE CRISIS AT SEA.

"MAZU'S" STORY ILLUSTRATES ONE OF THE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE CHINESE PANTHEON AND THE HUMAN ORIGIN OF THEIR GODS. SHE BEGAN AS A MORTAL BEING WHO ACTUALLY LIVED DURING THE TENTH CENTURY AS A PIOUS YOUNG WOMAN WHO, AT THE AGE OF 28, SACRIFICED HER OWN LIFE TO SAVE HER FATHER AND ALL BUT ONE OF HER BROTHERS FROM DROWNING. TRADITION HAS IT THAT SHE WENT INTO A TRANCE, AND AND SAW HER FAMILY DROWNING AT SEA, AND MIRACULOUSLY, SEPARATED FROM HER SOUL TO SAVE THEM. AFTER HER DEATH, LOCAL BOATS BEGAN TO CARRY AN IMAGE OF HER FOR PROTECTION AT SEA, AND AFTER TWO CENTURIES OF THE VENERATION, SHE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY PROMOTED INTO THE CELESTIAL HIERARCHY. EVENTUALLY, IN THE 17TH CENTURY, SHE BECAME THE "EMPRESS OF HEAVEN."

IN TAIWAN, SHE IS OFTEN CONSIDERED THE PATRON GODDESS OF THE ISLAND, AND HER TEMPLES ARE FOUND IN ALMOST EVERY MAJOR CITY OR TOWN. IN SHANGHAI, VISITORS TO HER TEMPLE OFFER FLOWERS AND INCENSE AND GIFTS OF MONEY. IN SOME TEMPLES SHE IS CALLED "GREAT AUNTIE" OR "GRANDMOTHER. "SHE CONTINUES TO BE WORSHIPPED IN CHINA TODAY.

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This entry was posted on 15 August 2008 at Friday, August 15, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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