Pan Gu Separates Heaven and Earth

Legend has it that in the beginning all was blackness and emptiness. Then suddenly bubble appears. The bubble becomes a ball of smoke, which then begins to coalesce and grows and grows for millennia, eventually becoming a red, egg-shaped object.

This is the gestating Pan Gu. After 18,000 years, he awakes. Appalled by the infinite blackness, he throws open his arms and legs to break this suffocating emptiness, separating heaven and earth. The clear and light positive energies rise gradually, becoming the sky. The turbid and heavy negative energies descend gradually, becoming the earth. The shards of Pan Gu’s shell either rise to the heavens and becomes stars or fall to the earth and become minerals. But the breach between heaven and earth is not large enough; Pan Gu is still confined. He will not let the opening close up again, returning to void. So he plants his feet firmly on the ground, puts his hands on the sky and forces them further apart. From then on, the sky will become one zhang (3.3m) higher, the earth one zhang thicker, and Pan Gu one zhang taller every day. After 18,000 years, Pan Gu had grown to a height of 90,000 li (or 45,000 km), his head in the sky and feet on the ground, defining the distance as ‘Jiu Chong Tian’ or nine heavens.

The realm of Pan Gu is of high intelligence. The sky is clear when he is pleased, and darkens when he is angry. The wind blows when he sighs, and his tears become our rains. Lightning steaks across the sky when he blinks and thunders when he snores.

Pan Gu lived untold lonely years in this domain of his making, and then finally perished. This body which separated the sky and earth fell to the ground with a crash. His left eye became the sun and the right the moon. His head became Mount Tai in the east. His upturned feet became Mount Hua in the west. His belly became Mount Song in the middle. His left arm became Mount Heng in the south and his right Mount Heng in the north. His arteries now are our rivers, his veins, mountain ridges and roads. His flesh is our rich, fertile soil. His hairs are the plants. His teeth and bones became gold and jade. His sweat is now our dew, providing moisture to the life on earth.

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