The Dragon King

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Immortals and Immortalism
The Heavenly Lords
The Primeval Lord of Heaven
The Heavenly Lord of the Numinous Treasure
The Heavenly Lord of Dao and its Virtue
The Great Jade Emperor
The Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery
The Three Great Emperor-Officials
The Four Heavenly Ministers
The Emperors of the Soil
The Queen Mother of the West
The Thunder Patriarch
The Stellar Sovereigns
The Great Perfect Warrior Emperor
Imperial Sovereign Wenchang
The Stellar Sovereign of the Five Planets and Seven Stars
The Four Numinous Animals and Twenty-Eight Constellations
The Big Dipper
The Sixty Daily Spirits of the Celestial Trunks and Earthly Branches
Spirits of Mountains, Rivers, Seas and Thunder
The Great Emperor of the Sacred Mountain of the East
The Primordial Lady of the Emerald Cloud
The Five Supreme Commanders of the Thunder Agency
The Father of Thunder and the Mother of Lightning
The Dragon King
The Master of Rain
The Earl of Wind
Spirits of the Soil and Local Protector Spirits
The City God
The Door Spirits
The Earth Spirit
The Kitchen Spirit
Spirits of Wealth and Longevity
The Spirit of Wealth
The Stars of Luck, Wealth and Longevity
Guardians of Hell
The Great Emperor of Fengdu
The Yamas of the Ten Halls
Perfect Men and Immortals
Guanyin (Avalokitesvara)
The Eight Immortals
The Motherly Matriarch
Emperor Guan
Patriarch Lü Numinous Official Wang
The Water-Margin Lady
The Three Mao Perfect Sovereign Brothers
The Great Life-Protecting Emperor
The Saintly Founder-King of Zhang
The King of the Three Mountains

Origins of the Dragon King ( 龍王 Longwang )

The Dragon is one of the four spirits of ancient Chinese mythology. The section "On the Dragon King ( 龍王品 Longwan Pin ) " in the Book of Divine Incantations of the Supreme Pervasive Abyss ( 太上洞淵神呪經 Taishang Dongyuan Shenzhou Jing ) lists the names of the "Dragon Kings of the Five Emperors ( 五帝龍王 Wudi Longwang ) " which each correspond to one direction, the "Dragon Kings of the Four Seas ( 四海龍王 Sihai Longwang ) " which each correspond to one sea, and the Fifty-Four Dragon Kings and Sixty-Two Divine Dragon Kings ( 神龍王 Shen Longwang ) which are distinguished according to all things in Heaven and on Earth. During the reign of Emperor Xuan of the Tang dynasty, a shrine was set up in Longchi by imperial order and the position of Altar Official ( 壇官 Tanguan ) was established for offering sacrifices to the Dragon King, following the rites for worshiping the Master of Rain ( 雨師 Yushi ). The first emperor of the Song dynasty continued to follow the Tang dynasty rules for offering sacrifice to the Five Dragons. In the second year of Daguan during the reign of emperor Hui of the Song dynasty (AD 1108), the ranks of kings and nobility were conferred upon the Five Dragons ( 五龍 Wulong ). The Green Dragon Spirit ( 青龍神 Qinglongshen ) was titled the King of Extensive Benevolence ( 廣仁王 Guangren Wang ), the Red Dragon Spirit ( 赤龍神 Chilongshen ) was titled the King of Kind Beneficence ( 嘉澤王 Jiaze Wang ), the Yellow Dragon Spirit ( 黃龍神 Huanglongshen ) was titled the King of Trustful Correspondence ( 孚應王 Fuying Wang ), the White Dragon Spirit ( 白龍神 Bailongshen ) was titled the King of Righteous Salvation ( 義濟王 Yiji Wang ), and the Black Dragon Spirit ( 黑龍神 Heilongshen ) was titled the King of Numinous Beneficence ( 靈澤王 Lingze Wang ). In the second year of Tongzhi of the Qing dynasty (AD 1863), the Dragon Spirit of Canals ( 運河龍神 Yunhe Longshe ) was titled the "Dragon King Spirit who Prolongs Protection, Reveals Correspondence, and Divides Water" ( 延庥顯應分水龍王之神 Yanxiu Xianying Fenshui Longwang Zhi Shen ), and the governor-general of river courses was ordered to offer sacrifice to him regularly.

Functions

Thus the functions of the Dragon King are to conjure up clouds and rain, rid people of scorching weather and worries, and it became a popular belief among the people that the Dragon King regulates rivers and watercourses. The section "On the Dragon King" in the Book of Divine Incantations of the Supreme Pervasive Abyss says, "when the fields of the country are arid and produce no food crops, and no one can find a solution", the Primeval Lord of Heaven ( 元始天尊 Yuanshi Tianzun ) comes to the country on clouds in five colours and preaches the Orthodox Law, and delivers all living creatures from torment with aid of the Dragon Kings of various heavens, and so timely torrential rain falls to moisten the fields.

Worship

All kinds of literary records and the folklores of various places have different statements about the divine birthday of the Dragon King. In old days, the temples enshrining the Dragon King ( 龍王廟 Longwang Miao ) were as common as those enshrining the City God ( 城隍 Chenghuang ) and the Earth Spirit ( 土地 Tudi ). Whenever the weather was unfavorable, if there was a long drought or if it kept raining for a long time, the populace would go to the Dragon King Temple to burn incense and make vows in order to pray for good weather and for the Dragon King to bring the rivers under control.