Asian Creation Myths
There are various Asian creation myths that are passed on to try to explain how the Earth came to be. Learn about these creation legends.
In China, one such creation legend tells of Pan Gu, the creator of the heavens and earth. Long ago, the heavens and the earth were one. The universe was in the form of Pan Gu inside a huge black egg. After sleeping for 18,000 years, he woke up and felt that he couldn't breathe. He cracked the egg open with an ax. The lighter part floated up and became the heavens while the denser part formed the earth. Pan Gu stood in the center with his head touching the sky and his feet standing on the earth. Another 18,000 years passed and the heavens and earth separated farther than ever with its creator holding them in between.
Upon Pan Gu's death, his breath became the wind and clouds and his voice the thunder. One eye transformed into a sun and the other the moon. His flesh turned to five big mountains and his blood the water. Roads and fertile lands came from his muscles and the stars from his beard. Vegetation formed from his skin and body hairs and so with the jewels from his marrow. His sweat showered the earth in the form of rain. Based on some legends, humans came from the fleas and lice of his body.
Another legend came from the Philippines. A long time ago, only the heavens and seas existed. There lived Kaptan, the god of the heavens and Magwayen, the goddess of the seas. Kaptan had a son named Lihangin and Magwayen had a daughter named Lidagat. They got married and had 4 sons: Likalibutan, Ladlaw, Libutan and Lisuga. When they grew up, Likalibutan expressed his wish of being the king of the universe to Ladlaw and Libulan. Lisuga wasn't there. Since both Ladlaw and Libulan were afraid of Likalibutan, they joined him in attacking the heavens by forcibly using the wind to open the gates of heaven. Kaptan grew furious and punished his 3 grandsons by throwing lightning at them. Lisuga came and saw the dead bodies of his brothers. Kaptan threw thunder in him and smashed his body. Time passed and Kaptan's anger subsided. He then gave back his grandsons' lives and turned Ladlaw into a sun and Libulan the moon. Plants grew on Likalibutan and he became the earth. Lisuga's torn body became mankind; one half became the first man and the other became the first woman.
The last legend comes from Indonesia. Before, nothing existed except the heavens, seas and one lonely bird who grew tired of flying. There was no place for him to rest and so he had an idea. He made the heaven and sea get angry at each other. The heavens threw rocks and earth which covered and silenced the sea. The bird then had a place to rest which became the earth. The bird then wandered around and came to an island named Panay. He noticed a gigantic bamboo which stood out as different from the other plants. Later, the bamboo cracked open and out of it came the first man and woman.