Han Xian-zi quan-z^uan, cap. 14-16

"The complete story of" (p. xv) Han Xian-zi


pp. 190-205 – 14. "Rushing in at a Birthday Banquet; Hearing of Nourishing Primordial Yan".

pp. 190-191 cloud-water Daoist




"being pushed out the door ..., he let his shadow body return inside and stand again in front of the banquet company." (The members of the company all saw him.) {(unlike the astral body, which is invisible) the aitheric double is visible to others.}


"The cloud-water ... originates in Aolai of the Eastern Ocean. A white monkey had kept it in a stone casket, but I released it by blowing my immortal pneuma on the box. Seated on this cloud-water, I travel west at great speed when the east wind blows, and south when the north wind gusts.


... my thoughts roams east and west like flowing water. ... this immortal water of mine can flow east or west."


"When the clouds disperse, the moon stands in the sky.

When the water dries up, the pearl appears."

pp. 193-194 numerics of cassock




"84,000 stitches"


"670 patches’

pp. 195-196 self-descriptive poe:m by Daoist




"A cloud-water cave in the blue mountains ... is my home.


At midnight the elixir liquid flows;


At dawn I nibble at red clouds. ...


In the stove I refine white elixir sand.


In the golden tripod I preserve the white tiger;


In the fungus field I nourish the white raven.


One gourd contains a whole world.


With my sword I behead evil demons.


I can ... open flowers in a trice. ...


We shall go together to gaze at the immortal plantains."

pp. 196-197 divine crane




"a dog darted in from the side and ... fell to the ground,


made a somersault, changed into an immortal crane, and flew up into the air."


a __ which eateth an immortal’s golden elixir

becometh __



an immortal himself







p. 199 immobility spell

"Xiangzi, however, performed an immobility spell, and though the servants might push and pull at him, they could not budge him at all." {the same is told of Mila-raspa, when, through his power of garima, robbers were unable to budge him in his cave}

pp. 200-201 divine goat; wolves




"All of a sudden, with a rumbling noise, a goat

passed through the Double Spinal Passes,

ran up Niwan Palace,

descended straight down the Twelve-Storied Tower,

stepped on the Elixir Terrace, and then

came shooting straight out of the pneumatic sea of the Elixir Field."


colors of body-parts of that goat :


its __

is __














"The goat ... is the seed of Former Heaven, the foundation of Dragon and Tiger. If you nurture it to completion, white hair will become black again, lost teeth will grow back, and you will never die."

"Once, Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty wanted to buy this goat and was willing to give seventy-two cities for it, but that still wasn’t enough by half."


"It is very easy to raise a goat -- ...

When it is hungry, let it east the blossoms of Mo-Mind grass. ...

If someone had gold to buy it, he would find it nowhere."


"Women are ravenous like wolves.

Having eaten the kid, their mouths are not soured;

{"Maenads converged upon ... a kid, ... devouring the raw flesh" (JR&H 19:121)}

Having devoured the original yang, no taste is left."

["predicated on a pun : the vital yang ... energy (of the ying / yang dualism) has the same pronunciation as the Chinese word for goat (yang ...)." (p. 467, n. 14:9)]


Red-clad women are figuratively described as she-wolves. {cf. "red-light district" lupanar : /lupa/ (literally ‘she-wolf’ in Latin) as Latin slang for ‘prostitute’}


"The painted skeleton is a ghost that goes after your life!" {cf. houri (divine woman in paradise) invisible except for her skeleton}

JR&H = JOURNAL OF RELIGION AND HEALTH http://www.springerlink.com/content/t008257k42716520/


pp. 206-217 – 15. Manifesting His Divine Powers; before the Assembled Guests".

pp. 207, 209 manifestation of dream-body in waking-world




"Using his divine power, Xiangzi shook his sleeves, ... and with a drum as his pillow fell fast asleep, snoring and motionless. His primordial spirit, however, went straight into the banquet room and said, "My lords, here I am again.""


"When Tuizhi walked ... with the officials to take a look, there really was a Daoist sleeping on the ground and snoring like thunder. Yet inside, in the side room, there was another Daoist beating a fisher drum and singing Daoist songs. The officials all said, "Although there are two different people, their faces and clothes are exactly alike. Clearly he is a divine immortal who can divide his body and appear in several places at once. ..." ...


At that moment, the Daoist in the side room came walking out, and the Daoist sleeping on the ground woke up. The two merged into one."

p. 209 "Xiangzi said, "... My spirit-souls may go to purgatory and

my body-souls may be scattered though the Nine Heavens, but

this drop of primordial spirit will never perish.""

pp. 210-213 containers of praeternaturally enormous capacity




"steamed buns" : "Xiangzi performed a vanishing spell, and so Zhang Qian emptied basket after basket until he had put 356 buns in the flower basket, which was still not full. ... Xiangzi shook his sleeves, stepped on top of the flower basket, and floated up into the air." [The buns were intended for "356 guests." (p. 214)]


"flower basket" : "Diminutive on the outside, spacious inside,

It can hold the whole world, sun and moon. ...

A small flower basket,

Which had long been at the Peach Spring. ...

Lu Ban wove it for ten full years.

This flower basket ... may hold the universe and Heaven and Earth".


"my master in the mountains is about to concoct the Elixir of Ten Thousand Spirits".

"A tiny gourd just three inches high,

But it grew at the foot of the Penglai Mountains.

It can hold all the water of the Five Lakes and Four Oceans,

And still not be even half full."

"Zhang Qian poured in more than ten vats of wine, but the gourd still wasn’t full."

"A tiny gourd, Narrow at the middle, Thick at the ends.

Having expended much effort on the practice of Nine Cycles,

It can measure itself with Lake Dongting. ...


It can take in liquid until the oceans are exhausted and the rivers dried up."


"Among the flowers I meet divine immortals; ...

I refine the cinnabar sand,


Revolving it nine times to return to a perfect yang body."

p. 214 immobility during sleep

"Zhang Qian called for two units of police runners to drag Xiang out. However, Xiang did ... seem ... as if he were made of iron and copper. They could not budge him one inch."

pp. 215-216 Han Xian-zi’s fellow-disciple

p. 215

This fellow-disciple will remain "until the day the realm of Great Peace comes." {similar to the expression "until Kingdom come"}

"Suddenly, an auspicious cloud appeared and carried a man to the ground. ...

A Nine Yang cloth on his head,

Two tasseled sashes around his waist."


This fellow-disciple declared to the assembled officials :

"when a red-skirted beauty holds ... and a jade hand [of jade maiden] lifts ...; ...

when I am led to a secluded room where ...

skirts and sleeves link {feeling under the woman’s skirt} behind the bed-curtains ...;

when a jade-like body is close in my embrace and

a powdered face snuggles up to my soft chest ..., ...

p. 216

throw off my clothes and go wild without restraint ..."

Jade Emperor {= emerald rainbow} at banquet

p. 216 at the banquet, both Tui-z^i and his nephew Xian-zi claimed "an audience with the Jade Emperor."

{No sooner did Yo^natan bin Zakkay "begin speaking than a rainbow-like appearance [Yh.ezqe>l 1:28] was seen ... . [He] blessed his disciples and said: '... Indeed I saw myself in a dream together with you ...; and I heard a heavenly voice saying: "Enter the banquet-hall and take your seats with your disciples and disciples' disciples, among the elect ...'." (M)} {with this rainbow cf. the "rainbow ... in sight like unto an emerald" in Apokalupsis of Ioannes 4:3}

M = Kaufmann Kohler : "Merkabah" http://www.revelation2seven.org/WebPages/SideLinks/TheDivineChariot.htm


pp. 218-234 – 16. "Entereth the Underworld to Examine the Registres of Life and of Death; Summoneth Immortal Maidens to Deliver Birthday Greetings".

pp. 218-219 entry into the Netherworld

p. 218

"Earlier on, when Xiangzi ... lay sleeping on the floor, ... in fact he had sent out his yang spirit to go directly to purgatory. ...

Xiangzi proceeded to the underworld palace of Lord Yama to examine ... and see how many years were left to him".

p. 219

"he left the Southern Heaven,

And proceeded straight to the subterranean offices of the underworld,

There to examine the lord Han’s file of life and death,

To deliver him that he might complete the Dao and become a golden immortal."

{in this narrative the Skt. name /Yama/ hath been mentioned instead of the authentic Chinese name of the Lord of the Dead; perhaps on the ground that the Daoist name may have been regarded as too sacred to write down, and also in order to ridicule Buddhist deity}

p. 219 consternation of Netherworld deities

"Suddenly a flash of light ... startled the ox-headed and horse-faced demons so much

that they quavered and took fright.

The ghost soldiers and underworld officials

gesticulated nervously and ran back and forth.

The Buddha Ksitigarbha

forgot to grasp his nine-ringed pewter staff;

in vain the Eavesdropping Spirit {cf. HLM 2, p. 454; "eavesdropping spirit" of the Tobaku of Sulawesi (FL, p. 175)}

pressed his highly sensitive ears to the ground.

The sweepers

could not find their straw brooms ... .

Those responsible for burning incense

destroyed their aquilaria and sandalwood ... .

The Assistants to the Left

carried the Registers of Good and Evil upside down, so that long and short life spans became difficult to distinguish.

The Assistants to the Right

held the containers of iron brushes sideways, so that life and death could not be determined."

HLM = Cao Xueqin : Hung Lou Meng. "Dream of the Red Chambre". (lib. II, cap. XLVII) http://www.fullbooks.com/Hung-Lou-Meng-Book-II10.html & (with Chinese text) http://www.sytym.com/bbs/simple/index.php?t9711_3.html

FL = Lorraine V. Aragon : Fields of the Lord.

{here in the narrative, further Skt. names have been mentioned instead of the authentic Chinese ones, again on the same grounds}

p. 219 musical instruments of beast-headed deities, sounded in order to summon the Kings of the 10 Palaces in the Netherworld

"the ox-headed demons

hit the drums and

their horse-headed colleagues

struck the bells".

p. 219 aequivalences of time in the divine and the human realms

in divine time

= in human time

7 days "in the mountains"

1,000 years

12 years "in the underworld"


p. 222 Netherworld "Account Book of Life and Death"

"When you remove a name in King Yama’s palace,

It gets listed in the Purple Palace and the Jasper Pool."

"the Southern Dipper records births and

the Northern Dipper deaths."

pp. 222-223 return from the Netherworld

p. 222

"All the ox-headed ghost soldiers and hose-faced assistants, with their green faces and long fangs, indigo-colored bodies and red hair, ... saw him off. Xiangzi

p. 223

took up his fisher drum, concealed his auspicious light {"Jesus drew to himself the glory of his light" (PS, lib. 1, cap. 6)}, left the underworld, and returned to the world of humans."

PS = G. R. S. Mead (tr.) : Pistis Sophia http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ps/ps010.htm (p. 6)

pp. 224-225 facial expressions

p. 224

"Blind is he who speaks without watching the countenance of his superiors."

p. 225

"When beating a dog, pay attention to its owner’s face."

pp. 226-234 magical painting donated by Han Xian-zi




" "I have a magical painting to present to you. ... This painting of mine is alive. If you want it to grow, it grows. If you want it to shrink, it shrinks. The people in it can all be called out. ... It’s twelve feet long and eight feet wide. ..." ...


On it were painted many beautiful women ... . ...

"... I went to the Bixia Grotto in the Zhongnan Mountains and borrowed these immortal maidens of the Eight Grottos from the Perfected Lady Bixia ... ." ...


He pointed toward the picture and called, "Immortal Sisters, come down and offer wine to the guests." And indeed, two of the beautiful women stepped down from the painting. ...


Having finished their song, they suddenly disappeared and were seen no more in the painting. Xiangzi waved his hand to the remaining immortal maidens in the painting and said, "Again I ask two immortal sisters to come down." With an elegantly swaying gait two more maidens stepped down. ... The immortal maidens ... sang,

"Alas, wealth and prestige are like candles in the wind,

A fleeting reputation like a bubble on water. ...

Who can reach the marvelous realm of the immortals? ...


How often will you find yourself in the den of ghosts? ..."

"Please return to the grotto palace," Xiangzi said. "I ask two more maidens to come down ... ." The previous two maidens suddenly vanished, and two more danced in front of the assembled guests. ...

Swirling and dancing in the air, they sang,


"... A recipe for not dying cannot be bought.

Even if you had the Venerable Lord Li’s elixir, ...

The magical recipes of the famed physicians Bian Que and Cang Gong –

Each and every one of them has perished! ..."


... the immortal maiden said "... I’d rather drag my tail in mud {as doth a tortoise} and take up residence in Elysium and the Penglai Isles. I am not sullied by a mind keen on profit ..." Xiangzi beat the fisher drum and she sang once more :

"... What use are piled up gold and jade?

I sigh at the fate of Shi Chong of the Golden Valley.

I laugh at Zhuge Liang, the Sleeping Dragon of South Yang.

Present and past are all but dreams. ..."

Zhang Qian, Li Wan, and many others


crowded in to chase the immortal maiden and evict her. She, however, vanished into thin air. On the wall there was left hanging an empty sheet of while paper, without a single immortal maiden, or any poems or landscape."


Yang Erzeng (trans. by Philip Clart) : The Story of Han Xiangzi. U of WA Pr, Seattle, 2007.