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Pangu And The Origin Of The Universe

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Chapter Summary

The Pangu Myth presented in the classics Sanwu Liji and Wuyun Linianji was about the origin of the Three Sovereigns (or Sanhuang, i.e., the Heavenly Sovereign, the Earthly Sovereign, and the Human Sovereign), later misinterpreted as creation of the universe. The prototype of Sanhuang could be tracked back to the Daoist classic Laozi, an ancient work written in the Spring and Autumn Period. Thus, the comparison between Pangu and any other myths about universe creation by human or supernatural beings is groundless. The misinterpretation of Pangu as the universe creator evolved into three varied forms. Comprehensive analyses of the findings reveal that the Pangu myth has two main parts: the first part is about the transformation of Pangu, while the other part tells the origin of heaven and earth, and Pangu's birth. In the second part, Pangu stands out as the first human, not a creator god himself.

Keywords: Daoist; Laozi; origin; Pangu myth; Sanhuang; Sanwu Liji; universe; Wuyun Linianji



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