Episode 104: Lotus Lantern – part 4

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Today we will continue the story about a brave boy who cleaved the mountain to save his mother. Last time we talked about SanShengNiang gave birth to a boy named ChenXiang and was raised by her husband and his new wife. ChenXiang found out his mother and mission at the age of 11.

The poor kid walked nobody knew how long to find the way to the Mountain Hua. He was lucky that he met an old Taoist priest on the way who had some magic powers. ChenXiang told him his story and couldn’t stop crying. The Taoist priest laughed and said, “you are the child of SanShengNiang.” and looked at him closely.

He said, “it’s not the time for revenge yet. Follow me to the Mountain TianTai 天台山 for now and learn some skills before you mission.” ChenXiang bowed and became his principle. Although ChenXiang was a kid, he was half god half human. He learned everything so fast and after three years, he could control wind and the rain, ride clouds and all the skills.

One day, he came to practice and saw some bread in shape of tiger and ox and ate all of them. He was still hungry so he ate 72 peaches from the garden. He felt so ward and jumped into the spring to take a shower. When he came out of the water, he saw a dead body on the water. His master told him, “it’s your physical body. Now you are already an immortal. What you ate just now made you have the power of tigers and ox and you can transform into 72 different forms. Here is a gold ax for you. You are ready to save your mom.”

ChenXiang thanked his master. He rode a cloud and in a second he arrived at the Mountain Hua where her mom was prisoned under. He didn’t know that and searched everywhere. He was worried and shouted, “where are you mom?” He heard a reply from deep down, “my son I am in the Cave of Dark Clouds under the mountain. There are guardians at the cave and I can’t move cause I am locked. ” ChenXiang was frustrated and picked up his gold ax and planned to cleave the mountain into half.

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The Lord of the Land and Soil who was in charge got scared and led him to the cave. It was dark and wet underground. After walking for a while, ChenXiang finally saw a woman under the rocks. He kneed down and cried out mother non-stop. He handed SanShengNiang the letter she wrote when he was born and the mother and the son finally reunited after ten years.

ChenXiang told SanShengNiang how he killed the kid and his father and brother were both in jail to cover for him and how he learned form his master. As he was talking, he felt more hate about his uncle who prisoned his mother and caused all these life tragedies. He couldn’t wait to fight with him. SanShengNiang was worried about her son and told him his uncle was a powerful god. ChenXiang wasn’t scared at all and broke the chains on his mother with his gold ax.

ChenXiang asked his mother to escape with him. However, the Lord of the Soil and Land begged him that if ErLangShen found out that SanShengNiang disappeared he would be in trouble. ChenXiang decided to meet with ErLangShen himself.

He flew to the air and looked down. There are many temples on the Mountain Hua and he didn’t know which temple was for ErLangShen. When he was frustrated, he heard a sound of the bell from a temple. Here it was. ChenXiang saw clearly there were words saying the Temple for ErLangShen. He was filled with hatred and burned the temple.

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ErLangShen came back and saw the ruins of his temple and asked his followers and found out his nephew was here earlier. The first thing he did was to check if SanShengNiang was still in the cave. SanShengNiang lied to ErLangShen that after ChenXiang was born, she just put the baby outside the cave and didn’t know who raised him. At that moment, ChenXiang shouted, “watch out if you are going to hurt my mother. ” He walked towards ErLangShen and bowed, “uncle, it’s your nephew ChenXiang.” ErLangShen saw the angry kid and started the fight with no doubt. ChenXiang picked up his gold ax and fought back.

ChenXiang was powerful enough to compete with ErLangShen. After several rounds of fight, they still couldn’t find the winner. There were immortals coming to help ChenXiang and gods coming to help ErLangShen. It became a massive war. Until the Jade Emperor assigned TaiBaiJingXing to gave the order to stop the war and the armistice was declared.

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ChenXiang finally cleaved the mountain and freed his mother. He went back home and also freed his father and brother. Finally the family reunited.

Some of the versions have a big part about the magic lotus lantern which was belong to SanShengNiang and ErLangShen stole it. That’s why most of the modern TV shows and movies used it as the name of the story.

There is another popular version of the story that the main character is not ChenXiang but ErLangShen. ErLangShen cleaved the mountain and saved his mother.

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