Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Resurrection of Third Prince Nezha

Lotus plant parts transform into boy
In the Chinese legend of Nezha, specifically the Fengshen Yanyi version, he was the third son of a military commander Li Jing. The child killed a dragon who happened to be a son of the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea. This slaying brought the wrath of the dragons upon his father's household, and the boy was obligated to take his own life. Nezha's teacher Taiyi Zhenren later created a new body for him out of lotus parts.1

The Taoist version of Nezha can be traced to the Buddhist deity Nalakuvara (Nezha being a Chinese transliteration of the original Sanskrit name).2 In Buddhist canon, Nalakuvara was a son of Kubera/Vaisravana, the Guardian King of the North, aka Pishamentian (Chinese) or Bishamonten (Japanese).3