Yu the Great Tames the Flood

PureInsight | October 13, 2008

[PureInsight.org] Yu the Great was born on June 6, 2297 BC and died in August 2198 BC. Yu is regarded as a descendant of Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor. Yu’s full name was Wen-Ming Si, and his father was named Gun.

Legend says that four thousand years ago, the water god was angry and opened such a big hole in the sky that the rain poured straight down like a river, submerging the earth for many years. Flood waters were everywhere, and Gun, Yu's father, was summoned by King Shun to control the flood.

Gun went up to Heaven and stole a bag of heavenly soil—called xi rang—which would grow when the wind blew on it. To control the flood, he put some xi rang on the water and let the wind blow over it. Soon, the soil grew and transformed into vast dams. Gun was very pleased and hoped the dams could stop the flood water. However, as the dams were made of soil, they could not hold back the surging water. Eventually, they collapsed and the flooding became more severe. Gun was then put to death by King Shun for his failure.

When Yu grew up and saw people were suffering terribly from the flood, he became determined to control it. Yu spent 13 years trying to control the flood, covering vast distances. During those years, he passed by his home three times but was so busy that he didn’t even stop in. “When Dayu (Yu the Great) tried to control the flood, he passed by his own home three times and did not once enter,” the popular saying goes. It is an important historic story in China.

Yu came to Wushan (the Wu Mountains), which stretched over 800 miles. He wanted to cut a pass through the mountains to allow the flood water to escape to the sea. But the rock was hard, and at times, the mountain and cliffs would shake from the impact of the water. Many laborers lost their lives in the massive water surges that slammed into the mountain. For months, Yu was quite worried that he had no way to cut the mountain rock.

Yao Ji, the 23rd daughter of the Queen Mother of the West, had a kind heart. She admired Yu's determination and was moved by the sufferings of the people on earth, so she decided to help Yu. Yao told Yu to use fire to open up Wushan, and she dispatched four divine generals, Kuang Zhang, Yu Yu, Huang Mo, and Da Dai from Heaven to help him.

Yu was very grateful to Yao Ji and led many people to set fires from both ends of the mountain. Yao Ji and the divine beings also used their supernormal capabilities and thunderbolts to strike at the mountain. After 49 days, the rock slowly turned soft and the workers were able to create a channel through Wushan that allowed the flood water to pass to the sea.

After the flood subsided, Wushan became the beautiful three gorges of the Yangtze River known today. During the opening of Wushan, Yao Ji had exhausted her divine energy and could not return to Heaven. So she remained on earth and turned into a mountain peak on Wushan. Later, people named it “Goddess Peak,” and the celestial maidens who forever accompanied Yao Ji turned into various mountain ridges and peaks which are known as Wushan's twelve mountain peaks.

Because Yu was so kind and caring that he put other people's suffering before his own, ordinary people loved him. King Shun also trusted Yu and granted him the Xia area, which today is the city of Dayu Zhou in Henan Providence.

In the end, King Shun did not pass his throne to any of his sons. Instead, when he died in 2208 BC, he gave it to the capable Yu the Great. Yu was 89 years old at that time and lived to be 100.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/7/16/22543.html

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