Naming, Appointing, or Binding of Gods

Persia: Shah-Nameh and Nizami Poetry and Amin Maaloaf (Thanks, Nick.)
India: Ramayana and Mahabharata (Bhagavad-Gita is a part of Mahabharata...as
many interesting indian stories)
And in China: I choose Journey to the West and Fengshen-Yanyi (Perhaps I can
translate this into Naming of the God: "Naming" means appointing, or more
mystically, "binding".

The list Above is from little knowledge I have from the most mythologic / fantastic
sagas and tales from the POV of european standard, if they are not so good
as literature. (FREX, Fengshen-Yanyi was not so appreciated by great writer
Lu Xun (1881-1936) as Journey to the West. Though I think it is worthy for
its plotline and system of background rather than from the POV of
literature.) And Taoistic Religion was not unified as a modern category of
religion until the famous religionists of late Hun dynasty appeared and
arranged philosophy of naturalists in Warring States period and folklores
under the alien influence of Buddhism philosophy.

Some stereotyped Indians as metaphysicians while Chinese as realists for the
matter of religion, (thus taoism is very Secularistic....)

*Taoistic Terms
Monkey King and this tale is some common points, both of them depends on
real historical facts, as Monkey King was based on the real incident for the
Buddhist priest Xuan Zang(596-664) who travelled to India for the scrolls
of mahayana buddhism in the rule of the second Emperor of Tang Dynasty, the
legendary battle between the tyrant Shou of Shang and the Western dukes of
Zhou. around 1050BC. Famous Historians since Sima Quan knew and wrote much
about that legendary "fact" because Confucius approved the Founders of Zhou
dynasty greatly in his teaching,

Maybe westerners have long puzzled for the both acceptability to each other
Taoism and Buddhism without any competition with their bloody history among
monotheists (I don't know a sort of Syncretism term can be applied to such
status, more suitable words...?) in the tale, though I don't think I should
mention here about Sikhism or Manichaesm mix tradition and their foundation
history and suspective point of view from outsiders, but please consider
about the completion of these tales into modern style is relatively current
age...in Ming Dynasty.

Maybe fusion of characters like Nuocha (Nezha) appeared early to Yuan Dynasty when
popular novels thrived under the oppression of Mongol. See below. And even
in modern day, some of Taoism Shrines are decorated by the sculptures and
pictures of these characters of the stories.


(But please remember Tantric Bakhti Tradition in India like worship of Krishna
appeared from the defiance to the sort of Pharisaism of Brahmin castes and
their method to acquire Sacred Duty and their view to the mystical goal to
unify Artman to God Brahman....)

In the background Fengshen-Yanyi that very, very ancient China before the
concept of Middle Kingdom, there is no difference between Xians and Shens,
and there was no distinct boundaries among Xians, and ordinary humans.
(Maybe I can translate them into directly Sages and Gods...or through
hinduistic terms, Risi (Great Brahmani) and Deva, and that story explains
how Sages literally banished lesser Sages into Divine World.) Xians attain
immortality and other mystical power through ascetic disciplines and their
long lives, but even through asceticism, they sometimes could not help
liberating their oppressed inner impulse to brutal behavior only once in a
thousand and a half years, and they do so together in the righteous time
like such era.

*Providence from Heaven

There no personality in the will of capital-G God in the Chinese
Cosmological Religion, but it keep Cycles of Age properly and keep
temperance and Justice in Divine Order. And in the Story, the will of Heaven
certainly let the change of the ruling Dynasty, War of Xians.
Maybe their POV against humanity is not far from the real state of affairs,
certainly in the tale, some Xians intentionally or unintentionally went
against the Will and lost, for the almost 400 numbers of characters
appearing in this story, the number of days in a year, 365 people will die
in both sides of Zhou and Shang, Chan and Jie. Certainly some (many?) of the
writers to many versions failed to compromise all of demands from
readers.....Is is right or wrong...to fight against own destiny or doom?

*Chan (Mountain) Sect
Many of the Mountain Sages are from human origin (you might know, there is
no distinct difference between humanity and non-humanity in the mystical
discipline in the Cosmology of India and China, as "primitive" animism
culture....) most of them sided with Jiang Taigong and Count (later King) of
Zhou. Many of them tried to wash their Karma of Will to Death.....Homicide
by that chance..see below.

*Jie (Isles) Sect
On the contrary of Chan Sect, the many Xians of this Sect were from Inhuman
origin, some of them are from animals, plants and even from minerals through
blessing the Essence of Mystical Energy....getting intelligence through
touching with the Mystery of Cosmos and costume themselves as human Xians,
most of them sided with losing side and met the pogrom of human Xians.....

*Karma of Will to Death.....Homicide
About once per 1500 years, Xians could not help oppress their darkside to
kill something, so great war is required for their satisfaction of blood,
and who contributes their ascension by coming to their victims...they will
become Stellar Gods of Calendar, as in the tale. And each xians develop
their secret weapon and magical treasures for the Battle.

Most of Xians in the tale could not use their mystical power without proper
Treasures, they use them as a sort of foci for their miracles. And disciples
of greater Xians sometimes can use Superior Treasures and methods if they
know proper procedure.

*"Revolution" of Shang and Zhou
Change of Ruling Dynasty of Middle Kingdom, but I can't tell much about
here, neither about the meaning in the tale and that in the actual ancient

*Shen Gongbao, "Xian who rides on the Tiger"
One day, Emperor Yao wanted to abdicate his throne to him, but he refused it
and washed his ears for he heard dirty things.
In the tale, he always sided with Jie Sects though never directly opposed to
Zhou Army or Xians from Mountain, but he opposed the Providence.
He has a magical treasure which makes Thunderbolt. (Tsutomu Anou)

*Jiang Taigong
I don't think I need to mention the writing of Masamitsu Miyagitani for the
man, he was the Legendary Strategist and Tactician long before Sun-Tzu
(but doubted actual existence as Lao Tzu, see below.) Sima Quan himself
wrote some about him.
He is the main hero of the tale, he received the list of Binding Gods from
Trimulty of Xians and began the War.

*Nuocha (Nezha)
He appears in Journey to the West, as the one of the Heaven Generals against
Monkey King, later, as one of his helpers against monsters.
In that tale, he sided with Jinag Taigong and Zhou,

*Yang Jian
He appears in Journey to the West, as the one of the Heaven Generals against
Monkey King and Great Master of Transformation Art, later,
as one of his helpers against monsters.
In that tale, he sided with Jinag Taigong and Zhou,

Lao-Tzu, when he appeared in Mundane World and taught his mystical
As one of Trimulty of Taoistic Cosmology, he appears in the Tale and shows
rather ambiguous attitude, (varied in different writers)

*Yuan-Shi Tian Zong
As one of Trimulty of Taoistic Cosmology, he appears in the Tale and he is
the master of Chan Sect and Jiang Taigong.

The one of Greatest Entity of the Celestian and sent Daji and fox spirits to
the Shang court. Again, who decide the Providence and Future? (Tsutomu Anou)

Fox Spirit, in Japanese Legend, she was also the monster who seduced kings
of Indian Magada Dynasty and Xia Dynasty (before Shang) and West Zhou of
China and destroyed them by whispering bad things, and later crossed the sea
and wreaked havoc to Japanese Court of Kyoto....just a Legend and a

Other Fengshen-Yanyi heroes


Below is rather harsh criticism (influenced by Confucianism Orthodox
Doctrine (Tsutomu Anou))

Attributed to Xu Zhonglin (d. 1566) or to Lu Xixing  (d. 1601), this novel
of the type of a historical romance is a great fantasy about the overthrow
of the bad, depraved ruler Zhou of the Shang dynasty by king Wu of Zhou .
The sources for this novel include oral and written material about Taoist
heroes and gods, monsters and spirits that assist king Wu in subduing the
bad ruler or help bad king Zhou to resist the heaven appointed rebel.
Inspired by his fox-ghost concubine Daji  (not Danji!), king Zhou murders
his loyal ministers and even his own son. After the downfall of Shang, the
suicide of king Zhou and the exorcism of Daji by Jiang Ziya , king Wu
enfeoffs all his followers with a part of the kingdom, creating the Zhou
feudal system. The deceased and killed heroes (the "gods" of the title),
even the enemies, are invested with a heavenly constellation.
The novel is well-composed and organized in an endless sequence of battles
between the heroes that are not only fighting with weapons but also with
words, trying to persuade the opponent to follow the justified side. The
monotony of the endless battles makes the book a quite boring lecture, even
if the author tries to introduce unexpected elements like suddenly joining
Taoist or even Buddhist heroes >>

Tsutomu Annou's refutation:

<<Ha! Confucians are all hypocrites and supported all of oppressive tyrant
dynasties of Chinese History, they spread lies to whole world that
Fengshen-Yanyi is childish popular tale and too lowbrow to show as a
literature, but we all know local taoists and populace who have true eyes to
the true pleasure could not ignore this tale, all knows this tale, and they
built shrines for the heroes of Fengshen-Yanyi, that is the proof propaganda
damage affects to how the true arts!>> (Maybe contaminated by "Rightwing

Though I cannot agree both of their opinions directly, I can say at least
the latter part of "Journey to the West" is boring as much as the perpetual
war between Shang and Zhou part in the tale, as European Feudal Symbolic
Literatures, it is not amusement, but at least very good for understanding
Taoistic Cosmology, I think.

Creation of the Gods

Fengshen-Yanyi Literature

Taoism and Fengshen-Yanyi

Koei Game of Fengshen-Yanyi

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