Monday, November 23, 2009

Chinese God of Thunder

Chinese God of Thunder

Lei Gong
Lei Gong (‘Duke of Thunder’) or the Thunder God is one of the officials in the Ministry of Thunder and Storm in heaven. He is also one of the deities that are recognized by both Taoism and Buddhism. His job is to punish people guilty of moral crimes and evil entities using the Taoist magic to harm others. Lei Gong holds a chisel in one hand and in the other a mallet, which he beats numerous drums strung, producing the terrific noise of thunder. It is the noise of the thunder that causes death of the wrong doers.

According to legend, Lei Gong begins his life as a mortal and is commonly known as Lei Zhen Zi (‘Son of Thunder’). Lei Zhen Zi was hatched from an egg after being struck by Thunder. He was later adopted by Wen Wang as a son. One day Wen Wang was captured by his enemies. While seeking for a powerful weapon to save his father, Lei Zhen Zi came upon a hill and ate two magical apricots. He transforms into a fearsome monster, wings grown on his shoulders and his face had turned green. Lei Zhen Zi returned and saved his father with his magical strength. After that, he seeks refuge under a hermit and attains enlightenments.

Lei Gong and the Ministry of Thunder and Storm
The Ministry of Thunder and Storm consist of many officials. The highest ranking and most important officials in the ministry are Lei Gong and his pack of minions. Dian Mu (‘Mother of Lightning’) or more commonly known as Lei Zi is the wife of Lei Gong whom capable of producing lightning. The other accomplices of Lei Gong are Yun Tong (‘Cloud Youth’) whips up clouds, Yu Zi (‘Master of Rain’) responsible for bringing the rain and Feng Bo (‘Count of Wind’) for summoning the winds. Lei Gong is believed to be the leader of the pack.

Lei Gong today
Temples dedicated to him are rare. The primary group of people worshiping Lei Gong is often Taoist Magicians. The magicians devise remedies and cures with the aids of Lei Gong. One of these cures is the Five Thunder Spell. It is a devastating spell to ward off negative entities. Some people worship Lei Gong hoping that Lei Gong would help them to get rid of their enemies. Lei Gong is also known to be very prudish.


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