Who Is Nezha In Chinese Mythology?

Although not popular in Western countries, Nezha is a legendary figure in Chinese households. Nezha is featured in Chinese mythology and famous Chinese movies, music, classical novels, and techno dances. If you’ve never heard of this Chinese household name, this post is your opportunity to learn everything about him. Here you’ll learn about Nezha’s birth, birthplace, family, history, and death, so stick around until the end of the article.

Who was Nezha?

Who was Nezha’s father?

Nezha

Nezha’s father was a renowned military commander during the Shang Dynasty, known as Li Jing, who later became a Chinese god in Chinese folk religion by the title “Pagoda-wielding Heavenly King.”

Nezha’s mother was Lady Yin, also known as Yin Wuming, who, according to ancient Chinese legend, was the reincarnation of Jade Emperor’s second daughter. Unlike his father, Lady Yin was known for being lenient with Nezha and always protected and defended her son no matter what he did.

Nezha also had siblings, two brothers, Jinzha and Muzha. Jinzha was a disciple of Wenshu Guangfa Tianzun, a superior man at the time, while Muzha was Master Sangha’s apprentice.

Was Nezha a boy or a girl?

Nezha was a boy, the third-born son of Li Jing and Lady Yin. In Chinese legend, Nezha is frequently depicted as a teenage boy or young man, not a child. He is known for his military bun, wind fire wheels, the Universe Ring, and the Red Armillary Sash around his shoulder. He is usually holding a fire-tipped spear in his right hand. Some legends depict him with three heads and six arms.

How old was Nezha?      

Third Lotus Prince

Nezha’s exact age isn’t known; however, according to ancient Chinese legend, Nezha existed sometime between 1600 and 1050 BCE, during the Shang Dynasty, some 3000 to 4000 years ago. Nezha is usually depicted as a teenage boy in novels, stories, and movies.

When was Nezha born?

Nezha was born during the Shang Dynasty, between 1600 and 1050 BCE, to a famous military commander, Li Jing and Lady Yin. It is said that Nezha was born at Chentang Pass with superhuman abilities and under very unusual circumstances. Chinese legend says that Nezha’s mother had been pregnant with Nezha for three and a half years, and he was born with the ability to speak. Some Chinese legends say Nezha’s birthday was on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month.  

Who killed Nezha?

Nezha killed himself as a sacrifice to save his family and friends. After killing one of the Sea Dragon King’s sons, Nezha had to sacrifice himself to appease the King, who had sworn to take revenge by flooding Chentang Pass, Nezha’s birthplace. Legend has it that Nezha “took his body” back to his parents, and after this tragic death, the Sea Dragon King threw a huge celebration and spared Nezha’s town.

Lady Yin then built her son a temple upon his request through a dream, where his soul could rest peacefully. However, Nezha was resurrected by a Buddha using lotus roots, and around the same time, his father discovered the temple and destroyed it. This further damaged the father-son relationship between Nezha and Li Jing.

Why did Nezha kill himself?

Nezha killed the Sea Dragon King’s son, Ao Bing, as he was defending himself and his friends. The people of Chentang Pass had been begging the Sea King for rain and had even offered several sacrifices to him, but instead, the King wanted a sacrifice of two kids. At some point, the Sea Dragon King sent Ao Bing, his third-born son, to get him the kids, and as Ao Bing was trying to take some of Nezha’s friends, Nezha killed him. This angered the Sea Dragon King, and he started plotting revenge when Nezha decided to kill himself to appease the Sea Dragon King.

What is Nezha the god of?

Marshal of the Central Altar

Nezha is said to be the god of children and filial piety. Also, because of his wind-fire wheels, he is worshipped among trucks, taxis, and other professional drivers. He is also called “Marshal of the Central Altar” or the “Third Lotus Prince.” In ancient China, parents sacrificed Nezha, hoping their kids would become obedient, respectful, dutiful, healthy, and strong.

What is the story of Nezha?

The legend of Nezha is that he was born as a “ball of meat” after his mother had been gestating for three and a half years, and his father thinking that his wife had borne a demon, drew his sword and struck the “ball,” releasing Nezha. Immediately after birth, Nezha could talk and walk and had supernatural strength. He then became a disciple of a Daoist immortal who gifted him with the magical wheels, a.k.a Qian Kun Lun.

Who is stronger, Nezha or Wukong?

nezha vs wukong

According to Chinese legend, Wukong is stronger than Nezha; the latter was among the few who fought Wukong. Wukong and Nezha once fought when the former challenged the Jade Emperor, but Nezha lost the fight. However, the two later became friends after that fight.

Why did Nezha kill the dragon prince?

Nezha killed the dragon prince while defending his friends and family when the dragon prince came to Chentang Pass to capture a girl and a boy for his father. Some say Nezha killed the prince in a fight, while others say that the prince’s death was an accident. Nezha had to pay for the prince’s death by taking his own life later.

 

Conclusion

Nezha is one of the most popular characters in Chinese legend, featured in numerous platforms like music, novels, and films. Always depicted as a teenager, he is popular among teenagers, and due to his magical wheels, he is also considered a guardian to drivers. Thanks to anime, Nezha’s story is spreading rapidly across the world.  

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