How did the universe come into existence? There is an old story from China. It is one that has been passed down via the generations. The myth features Pangu, a primordial human, who is said to have split the heavens from the earth to form the cosmic framework.

You see, a long long time ago, there was no sky and the earth lacked a form. The entire universe existed as a gigantic egg. Inside this formless mass was the primordial man who resembled humans. His name was Pangu. He had slept soundly in the egg for 18,000 years.

One day, he awoke. All around him was pitch darkness and he could see nothing. Wanting to escape, he broke the egg. The egg white floated upwards and formed the sky and the egg yolk descended down to create the earth. After separating heaven and earth, Pangu felt far more comfortable.

But the recently formed heavens frequently sank down, reconnecting itself with earth. As Pangu did not want to return to the primordial chaos of the large egg, he began holding up the heavens with his hands and the crown of his head as his feet remained firmly planted upon the earth.

Pangu continued doing this everyday. With each day that passed, Pangu’s body grew; causing the heavens and the earth to grow apart till they were separated forever.

By this point, Pangu had grown tired and decided to rest for a while.

After lying down, Pangu would never rise again. Large chunks of his body became the many mountains. His breath became the winds. His voice became the thunder. His left eye became the Sun and his right eye became the Moon. His blood filled the rivers and lakes. His flesh became fertile land. His teeth, bones and marrow became precious metals and stones. His skin and hair became the flowers, plants and trees. The sweat of his body became the dew and the rain. His hair and eyebrows became the stars. His muscles formed intersecting paths.

All sorts of birds, animals, sea creatures and insects embodied his spirit as a way of offering his entire body to creation. With time, creation took on an orderly yet dynamic structure.

It is said that it is Pangu who sacrificed his life to create the Universe. Generations later, Chinese continue to pay their respects to Pangu for creating the Cosmos and Nature; thereby thanking the universe for everything it has bestowed upon its creation and cherishing what has been given.

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