God of Prosperity Lu Xing
Fu, Lu, and Shou are the three "gods", which are sometimes called as the "Three Stars." Separately, they may be called Fu Xing, also known as, God of Happiness, Lu Xing, also known as, God of Prosperity, and lastly Shou Xing, also known as, God of Longevity. "Xing" mean "star." Some people have identified them with the three stars of Orion's belt.
Fu, Lu and Shou are deities which symbolize happiness, wealth and longevity. They are represented and depictured together since they provide symbolism as a unity and they enhance each one of their powers by this union. They work as a trinity and attract their three benefits altogether; you might hardly see them being sold by their own, and actually you shouldn’t wish to buy them separately since most of each one of their powers depend on their unity.
Almost every folk (non-Buddhist and not specifically Taoist) temple that has a representation of the Fu Lu Shou somewhere. You can see it often on overhead banners before the offering table, or on decorations on the outside of the building - places often decorated with images of the Ba Xian, which are also known as Eight Immortals. In addition, there are statues of the three appearing among the crowds on side tables or main altar. And occasionally, they are also seen on frescoes inside the hall. Look for three men with the respective characteristics; one with an enormous forehead, and another holding a child; occasionally there will be a woman in the group.
You can place pewter Fu Lu Show at any specific or strategic spot in any
environment you wish and attract the benefits they bring. They can be
placed at any house, working space or even the car and help you being
happy, wealthy and having a long life. They are very auspicious elements
which can be seen in many oriental homes and businesses as well as in
many other places in which feng shui guidelines are followed. According
to feng shui, the best place for a pewter Fu, Lu and Shou to be is at
the house entrance or hall as well as near the office's door. Ideally,
they should be placed facing their owner's Sheng Chi direction since
this would highly enhance the attraction of happiness, wealth and
longevity to his life.
Lu Xing - God of Prosperity
The chinese character "Lu" means official's salary in imperial China. Thus representing a position in the civil service, which is one of the most desired jobs in the olden days of China. The Confucian system of study followed by examination and placement holds sway in all Chinese-based cultures to this day, including Japan. It was certainly seen as a key to the path of prosperity. Lu Xing was said to be the first star of the Big Dipper, an auspicious star blessing ancient intellectuals with a position in the civil service. In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), Lu Xing became another name for Scholar Star.
This word originates from feudal China to represent 'success in government', where the highest post in life was considered an appointment as a government official. Learned men would study for ten long years just to qualify for the post, the honour and a sense of fulfillment that followed was considered the ultimate success. Although the literal translation of this character is 'government official', over the years it has come to represent satisfaction and happiness through achievement. So it is widely known that the God of Prosperity will bring ultimate success and fulfillment.
The God of Prosperity was merged with the personality of Zhang Xian a god of the Shu dynasty. Zhang Xian not only gave office and wealth but also had the powers to bestow children on the common folk. Thus he was immensely popular.
The legend of Zhang Xian is related to the Emperor of the Late Shu dynasty, Meng Chang. It is stated in history that, Meng Chang and his beloved concubine, Lady Huarui were deeply in love and their happiness brought joy to the people of Shu. As a gift to Lady Huarui, Meng Chang drew a picture of himself as an archer and presented it to her.
However, their happiness did not last long. Eventually, in 965A.D. Ren Zong of the Song Dynasty attacked the Shu Dynasty. Meng Cheng had no choice but to surrendered to Ren Zong and was conferred the title of Lord Qin. However, one week later, Lord Qin passed away with no obvious cause. After Lord Qin passed away, Emperor Ren Zong keep Lady Huarui as his concubine.
In remembrance of Meng Chang, Lady Huarui hung her painting of Meng Chang as an archer and prayed before it everyday. As a result, Emperor Renzong was suspicious of the man Lady Huarui was praying to. Lady Huarui replied that the archer was Zhang Xian, a god who is worshipped by the people of Shu. She said that he would answer the prayers of those who asked for a son. Emperor Renzong was exhilarated that Lady Huarui was praying for a son and therefore asked her to continue praying to Zhang Xian.
Lady Huarui was horror-stricken at what she had done. Yet, the story that Zhang Xian would grant sons to those who prayed, began to spread around the palace. Soon the whole Imperial Family began to worship him.
Then one day, Emperor Renzong had a dream of a breaded man holding a bow and a stone pellet in his hands. The bearded man spoke to Emperor Renzong saying that he was Zhang Xian. The majesty was told by this strange man that he had no children because the Heavenly Dog was guarding the city gate. However, with his bow and pellets he would be able to scare the heavenly dog away. To the people of the Shu Dynasty, it was believed that the Heavenly Dog would one day hide the Sun and the Moon and that when darkness fell, he would come down and devour the children on Earth.
Thus, on waking up from the dream, Emperor Renzong ordered that the portrait of Zhang Xian be drawn and pasted all over the city. Thus, as the years passed, even the common folk began worship Zhang Xian.
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