Deities Searching Record
The Divine Farmer
The Divine Farmer whipped myriads of plants with His reddish-brown whip(*), so that He understood the nature of all those plants, knew whether they are Average, Poisonous, Cold, or Warm (*), and knew their smells, flavors and classifications. According to these knowledge, myriads of crops were planted, therefore He is honored by the world as "The Divine Farmer".
(* It is said that "reddish-brown" means "tongue", thus "whipping the plants with His reddish-brown whip" means "tasting the plants with His tongue". The story of "The Divine Farmer tasted myriads of plants" is very famous. )
(* Average, Poisonous, Cold, and Warm: the different natures of medicinal materials, recognized by Chinese Medicinal System )
Ng Marng was a native of Porc-Yeong [in Woo-Narm] and served as an official in the Kingdom of Ng. By disposition he was an extraordinarily filial son.
(* He is ranked among the twenty-four paragons of filial piety.)
He fell in with the great adept Ding-Yi, who presented him with a number of divine prescriptions, besides which he acquired all manner of secret arts, celestial charms, and feats of Taoist magic. Once when a storm was raging, he wrote out a charm and threw it on the roof, where a black crow seized it in its beak and flew away. The wind instantly dropped. Asked why he had done this, he replied that a boat on the Southern Lake had been caught in the storm, and that on board was a Taoist priest who had prayed to be saved from the peril. On investigation this turned out to be true.
After Yiu Hing, magistrate of Sai-Ngorn, had lain dead for three days, Marng declared that his allotted span was not yet exhausted: "I must go and lodge a complaint before God," he said. So he lay down to sleep beside the corpse, (* That is to say, his hun spiritual soul temporarily left his body ) and after a few more days both he and the magistrate rose to life again.
After this, Marng returned to Yiu-Tzeong with one of his disciples. The Yeong-Tzee River happened to be in flood, so that no one could cross. But he pointed the white feather fan in his hand across the stream, and lo! a path was opened and left dry for them, by which they crossed over in a leisurely manner. As soon as they were safely over, the water resumed its former course, much to the astonishment of the onlookers.
Goon Loe, also called Gong-Ming, was a native of Ping-Yiun [in Sarn-Dong]. He was expert at doing divinations according to the Yig Ging.
The magistrate of Surn-Doe had a wife and daughter who were afflicted with nervous terrors which developed into a serious malady. He got Goon Loe to investigate the cause by means of divination, and the latter said: "On the west side of your house two dead men are buried, one with a spear in his hand, the other holding a bow and arrow. Their heads lie just inside the wall of the house, and their feet are outside. The man with the spear is the cause of the severe headaches from which your two patients suffer, while the man with the bow and arrow is responsible for the pain in the region of the heart which prevents them from eating and drinking. During the daytime these spirits are roaming about, but when night comes they are a plague to human beings, causing nervous terrors." The skeletons were immediately dug up and removed, whereupon both patients recovered ....
When Goon Loe traveled to Ping-Yiun, he foresaw that Ngarn-Tsil's lifespan would not exceed twenty. Ngarn-Tsil's father entreated Goon Loe to rescue his son from such an untimely fate. Goon Loe said to Ngarn-Tsil: "Your destiny is not in my hands, but I will do my best for you. Prepare some drinks and foods, at the day of Mau, there will be two men playing Wai-chess under the large mulberry tree in the south of your wheat field. Serve them those drinks and foods, replenishing their cups as soon as they are empty. If they question you, just make obeisance to them but do not say anything. Then someone will save you."
Ngarn Tsil did as he was bid: he found the two men playing Wai-chess, and so absorbed were they in the game that they finished the drinks and foods without noticing him. At last the game came to an end, and the man who was sitting on the north side raised his head. When he saw Ngarn Tsil waiting on them, he cried out in anger: "What do you mean by coming here?" The youth, however, only bowed and made no reply. Thereupon the man on the south side said to his companion: "I am afraid we look rather silly. Here we have been taking all this man's drinks and foods. Ought we not to show him some gratitude? "--" That is all very well," replied the other; "but the warrant is already drawn up and cannot be altered now."--" May I have a look at it? " said his companion; and, taking the document, he saw that the length of life therein assigned to Ngarn Tsil was some nineteen years. He made a flick with his pen, and said to the youth: "We hereby guarantee that you will live until the age of ninety-one."
At these words, Ngarn Tsil was unable to contain himself for joy: making a low obeisance, he hurried home, where Goon Loe congratulated him on the welcome addition to his years.--" The man sitting on the south side," he said, "was the Divinity of the Southern Ladle [a constellation consisting of six stars], and the man on the north, the Divinity of the Northern Ladle [the seven stars known to us as the Great Bear]: they preside over birth and death respectively. Every person born into the world passes from the domain of the former into that of the latter; and all prayers for longevity have accordingly to be submitted to the Divinity of the Northern Ladle." The grateful parent wished to load Goon Loe with rich presents, but he refused to take anything.