Song of Creation – The Secret of Water and Fire

The following story is from a Korean shamanist creation myth. Of note is the use of the Buddhist character ‘Maitreya’, which in standard Buddhist lore will bring back true teaching in the future. Here Maitreya  sets the world in order and learns it’s secrets.

o—-o—-o—-o

After the heavens were born, Maitreya was born. He did many things to help order the world around him. But he was tired of eating uncooked rice, so he set out to find the secret of water and fire. First he caught the grasshopper and hit him on the knee three times saying, “Tell me the secret of water and fire!”

Well, the grasshopper replied, “Don’t ask me! I am simple and live by the sunshine in the day, and by the dew at night. Ask the frog. He is older than I.”

Maitreya found the frog, and having caught him, hit him on the knee three times saying, “Tell me the secret of water and fire!”

Well, the frog replied, “Don’t ask me! I am simple and live by the sunshine in the day and by the dew at night. Ask the mouse. She is older than I.”

So Maitreya found the mouse, and having caught her, hit her on the knee three times saying, “Tell me the secret of water and fire!”

The mouse asked, “What will you give me if I tell you?”

Maitreya told the mouse, “If you tell me the secret of water and fire, I will give you all the chests of uncooked rice and I will eat the cooked rice.”

The mouse agreed and told Maitreya, “On Mount Geumdeong there is a rock that sparks when hit with iron. That is the secret of fire. On Mount Soha water springs forth from the ground. That is the secret of water.”

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