Ancient Cultivation Story: Emperor Huangdi Rising to Heaven

[Chinese folklore is full of ancient stories of cultivation, immortals and taoists. These stories, often mystical and full of magical happenings, reflect the depth to which the concept of cultivation permeates the whole of Chinese culture, tradition and history. These stories are not directly related to Falun Gong, but are included on Clear Harmony because they are of interest to western people, providing an insight into the deep cultural tradition of cultivation practices in China.]

Emperor Huangdi Rising to Heaven

About five thousand years ago, a great emperor named Huangdi was born in China. He was an emperor who governed the nation with De (virtue, merit), and safeguarded the nation, on one occasion, defeating an invader, Chi-Yu.

Under his reign, China experienced one of its’ most prosperous era’s; he taught people how to farm and raise cattle. Also major inventions such as boats, vehicles, calendars, arithmetic and music became used throughout China. In his later years, a heavy three-legged cauldron used for cooking, ‘Ding’, was also invented.

It was said that when the first Ding was cast from iron, a gigantic dragon flew down from the heavens. The dragon had awe-inspiring eyes and long, shining silver whiskers. Its body emitted golden light, which brightened the sky like a hundred thousands golden cloths.

Huangdi and his ministers were stunned. The dragon approached Huangdi slowly and the expression in its eyes became milder. The dragon said to Huangdi that it came to bring him to heaven.

Huangdi nodded his head, and climbed on the back of the dragon, telling his ministers, “God is summoning me. Take care of yourselves. So long!” The ministers began to panic, as they loved and respected Huangdi so much. None of them wanted him to leave. “Please let us follow you,” they said. They scrambled and tried to get onto the back of the dragon. The dragon shook its body, and they all fell off.

The golden dragon and Huangdi flew quickly upwards, towards the sky. Before long they disappeared in the cloud. Looking at the ascension of Huangdi, the ministers were in such sorrow that they cried. One minister realised, “Not everybody can go. Only a person as great as Huangdi is qualified!”

In remembrance to this great emperor, the place of Huangdi’s ascension was named “Ding Lake”.

Huangdi is honoured as a great ancestor of the Chinese people for the prosperity he brought and the inventions created during his time.

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