There is a list of ancient Tibetan rulers consisting of 42 names. But here again our contemporaries say that some of them are historical and others
fictitious. In the case of the Tibetan lineage they say that the first 26 rulers are legend, all kings from 27 to 32 were historical and 33 to 42
Although there is hard evidence that the latter kings ruled exactly as described in Tibetan Mythology, modern scholars cannot accept that the older
rulers were supposed to have descended from the sky in chariots.
The first “Emperor” of the region later known as Tibet was Nyatri Tsenpo. “Tsenpo” does not really mean “Emperor” though, but “Son of
Gods”. This founder of Bod (the name of the region before it was called Tibet) is a descendant of Theurang who, according to the Bön Religion (a
shamanic predecessor of Buddhism) is a "Space Spirit"
. Nyatri Tsenpo looked absolutely terrifying and was feared for it: His eyes closing
from the bottom to top rather than top to bottom and his hands webbed. He is said to have descended from the skies (when the people asked where he is
from he pointed to the sky) and landed on the mountain Yalashangbo. Because the locals feared him they quickly declared him King. The year of his
enthronement is the first year of the Tibetan Calendar.
The Tibetan Kings were said to remain connected to the celestial abodes or heavens via a dmu thag which is translated by western scholars as “Sky
cord/rope”. This dmu thag apparently deposited Nyatri Stenpo on earth and pulled him back up to the skies.
The ancient Buddhist text Mani Bka Bum gives an alternative account of Tibets origins. According to this account the people are the product of a union
between a monkey and an ogress (a female monster). This at last truly does sound like fiction – until one learns that the “monkey” is actually
representative of a being called Avalokitesvara and the ogress is actually representative of the goddess Tara.
Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit is “The Lord who looks in every direction”. The female Goddess Tara also features in Polynesian mythology where she is
said to have ascended from the sea. The Ancient Druids and Ancient Irish myths also refer to a Tara as being “a mother goddess”. Ancient finnish
accounts refer to “Tar” as “Women of Wisdom”, some South American Tribes call their “mother goddess” Tarahumara or derivations of that
In Korean there is no such thing as “Mythology”. Instead, prehistoric accounts are simply seolhwa (reports, stories) and these are classified
into three sections:
Shinwa: “Stories of Gods and Spirits” (Shin means “Gods” and hwa means “words” or “talk”.)
Cheonseol: “Handed Down Stories” (Cheon: means “Transmit” and Seol “To Speak”)
Mindam: Folk Tales, Tales of Common People (Min means “People” and “Dam” means “to converse, to talk”)
Western scholars try to tranlaste these three as “myth, legend and folktale”, but that is just not precise. Shinwa usually refer to “The Gods
of the Sky”, Cheonseol to heroic humans and Mindam to ordinary people. But, much to the dismay of western scholars, there is no “more true” and
“less true” ascribed to them, which is why they ask:
What then, shall we do? Where do we draw the line? Is mythology in the Korean context limited to shinhwa, namely the small group of keonguk
shinhwa? Or shall we define mythology in a much broader fashion, thus including many cheonseol and mindam as well? (5)
But if ancient accounts do not draw that line, why do we need to? Because “its just not possible that the Sky Gods existed”? Because ancient
flight was not possible? Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy but it runs rampant in regards to the subject.
Just like in other cultures Korean Creation Lore begins with a state of nothingness out of which duality arose. Then deities arose. Then Gods arose.
Then humans arose. This transition from metaphysical to physical is inherent in most creation myths. The appearance of physical beings in Korean
Accounts begins with the “Sky Men” 천인(天人) and “Sky Women” 천녀(天女) who lived on a celestial fortress named Magoseong.
There were four Heavenly Men guarding each cardinal direction of the fortress, and they were Cheong-gung 청궁(靑穹), Hwang-gung 황궁(黃穹)
who were children of Gunghwee, and Hukso 흑소(黑巢), Baekso 백소(白巢)who were children of Sohwee. They in turn married the four Heavenly
Women, and gave birth to twelve children, who would become the ancestors of the humans. (6)
A separate pre-buddhist origins story of Korea is “The Tale of Ancient Oseon”. According to this there once lived a God called Hwanin on another
“celestial body”. It has been determined that Hwanin is an alias of Indra, a God who features prominently all over Asia, especially in Hinduism.
Hwanins son, Hwanung is said to have looked down at earth and shed tears over the fate of humans. He told his father he desired to rule them so that
he could bring peace and justice to earth. Hwanin allowed him to descend to the earth and rule. He gave him three assistants (“Heavenly
Heirlooms”), three thousand servants and three lords of wind, rain and clouds to accompany him.
Hwanung thus descended onto the world. He first arrived at the mountain-top of Mt. Taebaek and there established a city he called Shinshi
신시(神市), meaning City of the Gods. Hwanung took care of 360 human affairs, including agriculture, life, illness, justice, good and evil, etc.
This is how the Vietnamese say they came to be: Thousands of years ago in Linh Nam, there lived a clan chief with superhuman powers. His name was Kinh
Duong. One day he met Long Nu, daughter of the Dragon King Long Vuong. From their union a son by the name of Sung Lam was born who succeeded his
father as the countries ruler under the name Lac Long Quan (Dragon Lord of the Country of Lac). All kinds of heroic acts, legends and tales are
ascribed to him.
Just like the Chinese, the Vietnamese also have the “Story of the Milky Way”, albeit in a slightly altered version. Excerpts:
Once upon a time there lived a very beautiful and charming princess, named Chuc-Nu. She was one of the many daughters of the King of Heaven.
Chuc-Nu was a very hard-working lady and she was often seen sitting on the shore of the Silver River to sew clothes for her younger sisters.
One day a young man herded his buffaloes to the river. His name was Nguu-Lang. He was very handsome. He fell in love with the princess at first sight,
and she loved him, too. The King of Heaven, fully aware of their love, consented for her daughter to marry Nguu-Lang. But the couple had to promise to
continue their work after their marriage.
They enjoyed being married so much the forgot their promise. The King became furious and ordered them to separate. Each of them would live on one side
of the river and could only look at each other from across the river. The King allowed them to meet once a year in the seventh month of the lunar
year. This month is called "The Month of Sudden and Short Showers". When they meet each other, they usually cry for joy. They cry even more bitterly
when it is time for separation.
That is why it rains torrentially at the beginning of the seventh lunar month in Vietnam. If you happen to be in the countryside during this month,
you do not expect to find any ravens. They are believed to have flown to the sky to help carry the bridge across the river for the reunion of Chuc-Nu
and Nguu-Lang and if you look at the sky on clear nights, you may see the Silver River which looks like a long milky white strip. Therefore, it is
called "Ngan ha" (The Milky Way) . (7)
This is a good example of how a some myths have common roots and are told in slightly altered versions from country to country. It is obviously the
same story as the Chinese “Milky Way” tale, but with a slightly less extraterrestrial flavour. Apparently the Planet Venus is missing, and the
“Bufallo Herder” approaching the “Silver River” was was described in more earthly terms.
We find the same basic tales of humankinds origins even if we move a bit further away from mainland China. People have resided on the Philippines
since at least 30 000 years and it is said they passed down their origins story since that time.
The Story of Bathala
In the beginning there were three powerful Gods: Bathala, the caretaker of earth, Ulilang Kaluluwa, a serpent who lived in the clouds, and Galang
Kaluluwa, the winged God. These three gods did not know each other.
The direct translation of Ulilang is “Orphaned”. This is highly interesting as it reflects other ancient myths of the serpent being orphaned or
cast out by the Gods.
Bathala and Uilang Kaluluwa are said to have been lonely Gods. Bathala desired to create humans “but the empty earth stopped him from doing so”..
About Ulilang Kululuwa Korean Myth specifically states that he liked to travel and that planet earth was one of his favourite travel destinations.
Again, this is highly indicative of that “serpent” travelling from planet to planet and thus being an ET-Traveller.
The two Gods one day met. Ulilang Kaluluwa was displeased that there was another God rivalling him and challenged Bathala to a fight to determine who
would “rule the realms”. Bathala defeated the serpent-God and burned the his remains. He later met Galang Kaluluwa and they became true friends
and were happy for many years, until Galang Kaluluwa became ill and died. Later yet, Bathala decided he was ready and able to create humans.
Bathala was later worshipped as “the most high” God of the Tagalog People of the Phillipines, as the creator of the Universe and Humanity. But
according to earlier sources he is not “the Supreme Being”. Some say he only posed as such. Although the Taglog Language is closely related to
Polynesian, “Bathala” has its origins in the Sanskrit “Battara Guru” and there, does not mean “Creator of the Universe” (for which
Sanskrit has many other names) but “Great Teacher”. Another hint of him not being the omnipotent creator people worshipped him as is that he
“dwelt in a place in the sky called Kaluwalhatian (Calualhatian)”. He send out lower classes of Gods called Anito to deal with humans, himself
feeling too exalted to do so. His name is considered too sacred to pronounce and it was forbidden to make images of him (a God forbidding humans to
make images of him can be found in many other cultures).
Christian Missionaries arriving in the Phillipines turned Bathala into the Christian God and the Anitos into saints and angels, while demonizing
others. The Visayans are an ethnic group who are distinct from the Tagalog and they have other origins myths and Gods. Their highest god is Kan-Laon
who lives in Mount Kanlaon. Their sky god
(direct translation) is Kaptan.
The Sky God in other cultures
For the sake of comparison and proving that we are dealing with something more than mere fiction I would like to take a short look at the Sky Gods in
other cultures around the world.
The “Sky Lord” of the Hindu Rigveda is called Dyusa, which derives from the Sanskrit root word “Div” “to shine”. “Dyeus” is a
derivation of the word and means “sky father” or “shining father” and could very well be the origins of the Latin “Deus” (God) and the
Greek Zeus and the Slavic Sky-God “Div”. Dyusas appearance in the sky is associated with bellowing thunder. In later times he is depicted either
as a red bull or a black horse adorned with pearls – the pearls representing the starks of the milky way. He is said to have been killed by his son
Indra who blasts him out of the sky to fall to earth and die.
In ancient Rome and Greece the “Sky God” was Jupiter (Zeus in Greece) and usually depicted as an Eagle or Hawk and associated with flying through
clouds. As I will later show, ancient Asian Mythology hints at a war between Eagle-Gods and Serpent-Gods.
In Maori Mythology Rangi and Papa are the sky-father and sky-mother (both males and females feature as sky gods in all ancient accounts). Papas
husband Rangi in Hawaiian is Wakea. In Rarotongan its Atea. In the Cook Islands the same sky God is called Vatea – which is almost identical to the
Germanic “Vater” from which the English “Father” comes from. Its funny though that the female goddess is called “Papa”, which most of us
associate with father.
Rangi and Papa are the parents of many children. One of them is Tumatauenga, who, in a family feud, wants to kill his parents. His brother Tane
disagrees and suggests to separate the parents by having Rangi live in the sky above while Papa lives on earth below. They attempt to carry out their
plan but despite their efforts Rangi and Papa remain “close together in their loving embrace”. It is only after further efforts that Tane achieves
in forcing tem apart. One child Tāwhirimātea, disagrees with this and declares himself an enemy of his brothers. He flies off to join Rangi in the
Sky and there bears his own offspring. He gathers his offspring as his army to fight his brothers. To conquer them he sends floods, hurricanes, storms
over the earth. He “attacks the oceans and huge waves rise, whirlpools form, and the Gods dwelling on earth, flee in panic. One of these Gods,
Tangaroa, lives in the ocean. His son Punga has two children, Ikatere, associated with Fish and Tu-te-wehiwehi, the “ancestor of the serpent”.
Terrified by the disasters Tāwhirimātea is causing, Tangaroa forever remains angry at Tane for giving refuge to his runaway children. So Tane
provides the descendants of Tumateauenga with boats, fishhooks and nets to catch the descendants of Tangaroa so that they may survive the flood.
Tangaroa retaliates “by swamping canoes and sweeping away houses, land and trees that are washed out to sea in floods”.
This “war of the worlds” story goes on for awhile, but this short excerpt should suffice to show that it is very similar to other accounts that
tell of a war between sky-gods leading to a huge flood.
The most important “sky ruler” of ancient Egypt was Horus who is also associated with the Hawk, Falcon or Eagle. He is however (correctly in my
opinion) depicted as a humanoid being. “Flying like an Eagle” is a quality ascribed to him rather than a trait of his body. He is said to be the
son of Isis and Osiris. His name comes from “hr w” which means not only “Falcon” but also “the distant one”, “the one above”, “the
one in the sky”.
Isis told Horus to protect the people of Egypt from Seth, the God of chaos, storms and floods. Pharaos are said to be Horus “in human form”.
The Mixtec of ancient Mexico are among those who most bluntly trace their origins to extraterrestrials. The word “Mixtec” itself translates as
“place of the cloud people”. They do not call their forefathers “Gods” or “Deities” but simply refer to them as “people who came down
from the sky”.
The ancient mythology of the Aztecs, also of ancient Mexico, tells the story of an “Eagle” that killed a “Serpent” a long time ago. The
Aztects trace their origins to the Toltecs who worshipped Quetzalcoatl, a feathered flying serpent.
I could go on like this, from culture to culture, but this should suffice to show that we might be mistaken about our ancient History.
What Academics say about “Sky People”
In late nineteenth century opinions on comparative religion, in a line of thinking that begins with Friedrich Engels and J. J. Bachofen, and which
received major literary promotion in The Golden Bough by Sir James G. Frazer, it was believed that worship of a sky father was characteristic of
nomadic peoples, and that worship of an earth mother similarly characterised farming peoples. According to this body of doctrine, nomads militarily
overran farming societies, and replaced goddesses with male gods. During the process, it was believed that the invaders devalued the status of women
and replaced a matriarchy with a patriarchy. The religious changes were imagined to reflect this change in the status of the sexes. This belief system
was linked to the discovery of the Indo-European languages, and it was fancied that the military conquest underlying this model spread those
languages. The sky father was held to be an Indo-European cultural ideal. (9)
My own objection to this interpretation is that all the myths referring to the “Sky Gods” feature both Gods and Goddesses, universally. Most often
they are even portrayed as equal. Furthermore, there is really no evidence that originally farmers worshipped women and nomads worshipped men. My main
objection is that the rise of anti-religious materialism in the 16th to the 19th Century went too far in its renouncements and lost all sense of
rational discernment. Religious concepts were seen as superstition and contrary to scientific thought and method. As such, the entire idea was
rejected instead of re-interpreted. The ancient astronaut theory, which maintains that the Sky Gods were neither Supreme Beings to be worshipped, nor
imaginary cults only emerged in our times when we learned that flight and space-travel are indeed possible and always have been. Only for those who
know nothing of space travel those ancient tales appear like fiction.
The theory of a common sky father is rejected by most archaeologists and anthropologists as an explanation of early European religious life. The
archaeological record does not indicate that Indo-European languages spread throughout their area in Europe and Asia by military conquest alone. Many
non-Indo-European cultures also have male-dominated pantheons, without being conquered or bent on conquest. There is no direct historical correlation
between the worship of goddesses and the social status of women; nor is there a great deal of evidence that the worship of female deities is
associated with agriculture, or that male gods accompany nomadism. Nor is there any reason to believe that the Indo-Europeans practiced a religion
that was more male-dominated, patriarchal, or wont to promote male gods at the expense of goddesses, than any other polytheistic religion. (9)
Other academics correctly reject the notion of a belief in Sky Gods and whether they were male or female to have anything to do with nomadism or
agriculture. Unfortunately they also tend to view the myths of various cultures as “unrelated”. This, in my opinion, is a mistake. The story of
floods coming from a “war between Gods” for example is similar enough across the globe and warrants more comparative and interdisciplinary study.
This completes Part 1 of a 3 Part Series (2 and 3 to be published at another date)
1 Worshiping the Three Sage Kings and Five Virtuous Emperors - The Imperial Temple of Emperors of Successive Dynasties in Beijing. Beijing:
Foreign Language Press. 2007. ISBN 978-7-119-04635-8.
2 Carl Zimmer / What came before DNA? (Discovery Magazine Online, 2004).
3 Lihui Yang and Deming An / Handbook of Chinese Mythology
8 wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_father 9 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_father
Go to Part 2: Of Flying Dragons and Metallic Discs
[edit on 22-10-2009 by Skyfloating]