Chung Kwei - 'The Protector Against Evil Spirits'
Part I: The Legend of Chung Kwei
The legend of Chung Kwei takes us to ancient China. It involves the outstanding scholar, the Chinese Emperor and the red demon.
According to legend, Chung Kwei was a bright scholar from Tung-nan
Shan of Shensi Province during the reign-period of Wu De (A. D. 618 -
627) of the Emperor Kao Tsu of the T'ang Dynasty.
He was as famous for his literary skill as he was for his repulsive
appearance. At that time, literature was the prime subject of imperial
exams, which allowed successful applicants to gain entrance to the
bureaucracy. Therefore, Chung Kwei easily became the best candidate to
be admitted as the First Academician of the Metropolitan Examinations
It was customary at that time for the Emperor to personally confer
(with his own hand) a rose of gold to the successful candidate. So, the
outstanding scholar Chung Kwei, presented himself before the king in
accordance to the custom so as to receive the reward which was by right
due to him. Unfortunately for Chung Kwei, his appearance was so ugly
and deformed that the sight of his repulsive face caused corrupt
officials to refuse him entrance. This threw him into total despair
because he had been unfairly deprived of his rightful honors. The
rejected scholar then took his own life on the steps of the Imperial
The Chinese Emperor Ming Huang (A. D. 712 - 742), also known as
Tang Xuan Zong, who ruled in the reign-period of K'ai Yüan, was kept
ignorant of this regrettable incident. However, the act of suicide had
desecrated the precincts of the palace, subsequently allowing malign
spirits to enter.
long after an expedition to Mount Li in Shensi Province, the Emperor
Ming Huang succumbed to a fever. His Majesty dreamt of an annoying
little demon in bright red trousers with a shoe on one foot and the
other shoe hanging from his girdle. The mischievous imp broke through
the bamboo gates and took possession of the Emperor's jade flute and an
embroidered musk pouch belonging to His Majesty's favorite imperial
concubine Yang Gui-Fei. Then the rascal proceeded to make a tour of the
palace grounds creating further mischief.
Seeing the extensive damage caused by this red devil, the Emperor
Ming Huang flew into a rage and demanded an explanation. At this, the
red demon responded, "Your humble servant is named Xu Hao of Emptiness and Devastation.
To which the Emperor replied, "I have never heard of such a person." At
once the demon rejoined, "Xu means to desire Emptiness, because in
Emptiness, one can fly just as one wishes; Hao means Devastation, as it
changes joy to sadness.
The Emperor Ming Huang was so annoyed by the red demon's
impertinence that he turned to called for his imperial guards.
Suddenly, a great big devilish-looking creature appeared; he was
wearing a torn headdress, a blue robe, an ivory belt-clasp, and
official boots on his feet. This hideous fellow subdued the red demon
and swallowed the unfortunate sprite.
the Emperor Ming Huang asked this demon-catcher for his name and
position. He replied, "Your humble servant is Chung Kwei, Physician of
T'ung-nan Shan in Shensi Province. In the reign-period Wu De of Emperor
Kao Tsu of the Tang Dynasty, I was ignomiously rejected and unjustly
defrauded of first class honors in the public examinations. Overwhelmed
with shame, I took my own life on the steps of the imperial palace.
After having been alerted of this unfortunate incident, The Emperor Kao
Tsu ordered me to be buried in a green robe (an honor which was
reserved for royalty). So, out of gratitude for the honor bestowed upon
me, I pledged to protect the reigning sovereign in any part of the
Chinese Empire against the evil red demon Xu Hao."
hearing him out, the Emperor Ming Huang awoke and discovered himself to
be completely cured of his illness. Since the ghost of Chung Kwei
appeared in the nick of time and exorcised the evil spirit, the Emperor
decided to further honor Chung Kwei by having his portrait painted. His
Majesty sent for Wu Tao-Tzu who was then well-known as one of the most
celebrated Chinese artists. At the Emperor's request, the artist
proceeded to paint Chung Kwei, exactly as His Majesty had seen in his
dream. Subsequently, Chung Kwei was canonized with the title, "Great Spiritual Chaser of Demons for the Whole Empire.
Chung Kwei is also known as K'uei Xing
, the Star God of Literature
for his outstanding scholastic abilities. In this capacity, his duty is
to oversee scholars and to ensure that they receive their dues. .
Part Two :Protective Feng Shui with Chung Kwei