Wusheng Laomu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Wusheng Laomu (無生老母 "Eternal Venerable Mother"), also called Wujimu (無極母 "Infinite Mother"), is a goddess in Chinese religion, an epithet of Xiwangmu ("Queen Mother of the West"),[1] the ancient mother goddess of China associated to the mythical Kunlun, the axis mundi. She is also frequently called upon as Yaochi Jinmi (瑶池金母 "Golden Mother of the Nacre Lake").

With this title, Xiwangmu is the central figure of many Chinese salvationist religions (the "Maternist" ones), representing the absolute principle of reality, or the creative origin of all things.[2] One of her symbols is the Big Dipper.[3][4] As early as the Han dynasty, 3 year BCE, there were millenarian movements worshipping Xiwangmu.[1]

Description in sectarian scriptures[edit]

Wusheng Laomu is described in many ways in the scriptures of some Chinese folk religious sects.[5] For instance, an excerpt from the "Precious Scripture of the Dragon-Flower", pertaining to the Dragon Flower sect, says:[6]

After the emergence of the Ancient Awakened, heaven and earth were established; after the rise of the Eternal Venerable Mother, Former Heaven was established. The Eternal Venerable Mother conceives from herself and begets yin and yang. The yin is the daughter and the yang is the son. Their names are Fuxi and Nüwa respectively.

From another section of the Dragon Flower, "It is required that all male and female members gather with neither difference nor discrimination".[5] Equality of men and women is a characteristic element of the Chinese sectarian tradition, for both males and females are equally children of the Eternal Mother, and both of them are the same in the "Former Heaven", the original state of birth from the goddess.[5]

The aim of every follower of the Eternal Venerable Mother is to return to her. For example, an excerpt of the "Precious Scroll Explaining the Great Vehicle" says:[7]

After preaching the wonderful message with an enlightened mind and manifested nature, they return home in complete pleasure. ... All children are redeemed and reunited ... and they will resume a long life. They see the Mother sitting on the Lotus Throne, surrounded by golden light. They are received and led to their original place.

In the sect tradition, for example as explained in the "Precious Repentance of Blood Lake" of Hongyangism, the condition of suffering is inherent to the human being in the world, necessary to creation itself. The material world is likened to a "Blood Lake", filthy and dirty waters that necessarily flow out of women's body when a child is born.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pregadio (2013), p. 94.
  2. ^ Feuchtwang (2016), p. 151.
  3. ^ Ma & Meng (2011), p. 11.
  4. ^ Seiwert (2003), p. 387.
  5. ^ a b c Ma & Meng (2011), p. 316.
  6. ^ Ma & Meng (2011), pp. 316-319.
  7. ^ Ma & Meng (2011), p. 321.
  8. ^ Ma & Meng (2011), p. 318.

Sources[edit]

  • Feuchtwang, Stephan (2016), "Chinese religions", in Woodhead, Linda; Kawanami, Hiroko; Partridge, Christopher H. (eds.), Religions in the Modern World: Traditions and Transformations (3nd ed.), London: Routledge, pp. 143–172, ISBN 1317439600.
  • Goossaert, Vincent; Palmer, David (2011). The Religious Question in Modern China. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226304167.
  • Ma, Xisha; Meng, Huiying (2011). Popular Religion and Shamanism. Brill. ISBN 9004174559.
  • Pregadio, Fabrizio (2013). The Encyclopedia of Taoism. Routledge. ISBN 1135796343. Two volumes: 1) A-L; 2) L-Z.
  • Seiwert, Hubert Michael (2003). Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History. Brill. ISBN 9004131469.

Further reading[edit]