Origin of Underworld Messenger Chasa(差使本解)

Origin of Underworld Messenger Chasa

Headword

차사본풀이 ( 差使本解 , Chasabonpur )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer KangJinok(姜秦玉)

The shamanic myth “Chasabonpuri” from Jeju Island tells the story of Gangnim’s appointment as Jeoseungchasa, the Messenger of the Underworld.

A senior monk of the temple Donggaenameunjungjeol, upon foreseeing the short lifespan of the three sons of King Beomul of the kingdom Donggeyongguk, instructs a junior monk of what should be done, then passes on to nirvana. The junior monk heads to Donggyeongguk to notify King Beomul of his three sons ’destiny, and recommends that the king offer a three-year prayer to Buddha. The king sends his three sons to Donggaenamjeol Temple, each carrying a bundle. When the three boys head back home after completing their three-year prayer, the junior monk warns them to beware of the land of Gwayang. But the three brothers, exhausted and hungry, enter Gwayangsaeng’s house and ask for food. Gwayangsaeng’s wife, greedy for the boys ’ possessions, murders them and throws their bodies into the pond Yeonnaemot by Jucheon River. The three boys’ spirits resurrect in the forms of flowers, then as marbles, and are reborn as the three sons of Gwayangsaeng’s wife. The three sons pass the state examination at 15 years of age, but upon their return from the exams, while offering a bow at the shrine, they fall dead all at once. Gwayangsaeng’s wife demands that the magistrate of Gimchi village solve this crisis, but when no resolution is offered, she curses at the magistrate, who in turn sends Gangnim to the underworld to capture the king of the underworld Yeomnawang. At a loss, Gangnim goes to his legitimate wife, on whom he had walked out on their wedding night, and when he pleads for help, she prepares for his journey and prays to the gate god Munjeonsin and the kitchen god Jowang to open the path to the underworld for Gangnim. Guided by the two gods, Gangnim enters the road that branches into seventy-eight directions, and with the help of a guide of the underworld, he reaches Yeonchu Gate. With the help of Granny Jowang, Gangnim is able to identify the king Yeomnawang, who has transformed himself, and receives from him a promise to visit the world of the living, after which Gangnim returns. When Yeomnawang indeed visits the world of the living, the magistrate of Gimchi hides in fear, and Gangnim acts as mediator between the magistrate and Yeomnawang. Yeomnawang then holds a court and rules Gwayangsaeng and his wife guilty, upon which the three brothers are reborn and return home. Yeomnawang, envious of Gangnim’s talent, strips Gangnim of his Three Spirits and takes him to the underworld, where Gangnim is assigned the job of delivering to the world of the living the Red Note, which lists the order of human deaths, but due to a mistake on the part of a crow, the delivery gets mixed up, which results in a chaotic mix-up of the order of human deaths, as it remains today. At the order of Yeomnawang, Gangnim exercises his wit and is appointed Jeoseungchasa, the Messenger of the Underworld.

Death is the subject of Song of the Origin of Death Messenger, ” but the narrative is distinguishable from others that center on the topic of death due to the following elements: First, various points about the origins of funerary procedures are featured; second, the focus is on Gangnim, who travels to the underworld and back; third, Gangnim’s journey provides vivid details about the underworld, which had previously existed only in the human imagination; fourth, the narrative explains the origins of death and why human deaths occur without order; and fifth, the myth emphasizes the authority and role of Chasa as a deity that oversees death. These elements characterize the narrative as a myth about the Messenger of the Underworld, and underlines a shamanistic worldview and imagination.

Origin of Underworld Messenger Chasa

Origin of Underworld Messenger Chasa
Headword

차사본풀이 ( 差使本解 , Chasabonpur )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer KangJinok(姜秦玉)

The shamanic myth “Chasabonpuri” from Jeju Island tells the story of Gangnim’s appointment as Jeoseungchasa, the Messenger of the Underworld.

A senior monk of the temple Donggaenameunjungjeol, upon foreseeing the short lifespan of the three sons of King Beomul of the kingdom Donggeyongguk, instructs a junior monk of what should be done, then passes on to nirvana. The junior monk heads to Donggyeongguk to notify King Beomul of his three sons ’destiny, and recommends that the king offer a three-year prayer to Buddha. The king sends his three sons to Donggaenamjeol Temple, each carrying a bundle. When the three boys head back home after completing their three-year prayer, the junior monk warns them to beware of the land of Gwayang. But the three brothers, exhausted and hungry, enter Gwayangsaeng’s house and ask for food. Gwayangsaeng’s wife, greedy for the boys ’ possessions, murders them and throws their bodies into the pond Yeonnaemot by Jucheon River. The three boys’ spirits resurrect in the forms of flowers, then as marbles, and are reborn as the three sons of Gwayangsaeng’s wife. The three sons pass the state examination at 15 years of age, but upon their return from the exams, while offering a bow at the shrine, they fall dead all at once. Gwayangsaeng’s wife demands that the magistrate of Gimchi village solve this crisis, but when no resolution is offered, she curses at the magistrate, who in turn sends Gangnim to the underworld to capture the king of the underworld Yeomnawang. At a loss, Gangnim goes to his legitimate wife, on whom he had walked out on their wedding night, and when he pleads for help, she prepares for his journey and prays to the gate god Munjeonsin and the kitchen god Jowang to open the path to the underworld for Gangnim. Guided by the two gods, Gangnim enters the road that branches into seventy-eight directions, and with the help of a guide of the underworld, he reaches Yeonchu Gate. With the help of Granny Jowang, Gangnim is able to identify the king Yeomnawang, who has transformed himself, and receives from him a promise to visit the world of the living, after which Gangnim returns. When Yeomnawang indeed visits the world of the living, the magistrate of Gimchi hides in fear, and Gangnim acts as mediator between the magistrate and Yeomnawang. Yeomnawang then holds a court and rules Gwayangsaeng and his wife guilty, upon which the three brothers are reborn and return home. Yeomnawang, envious of Gangnim’s talent, strips Gangnim of his Three Spirits and takes him to the underworld, where Gangnim is assigned the job of delivering to the world of the living the Red Note, which lists the order of human deaths, but due to a mistake on the part of a crow, the delivery gets mixed up, which results in a chaotic mix-up of the order of human deaths, as it remains today. At the order of Yeomnawang, Gangnim exercises his wit and is appointed Jeoseungchasa, the Messenger of the Underworld.

Death is the subject of Song of the Origin of Death Messenger, ” but the narrative is distinguishable from others that center on the topic of death due to the following elements: First, various points about the origins of funerary procedures are featured; second, the focus is on Gangnim, who travels to the underworld and back; third, Gangnim’s journey provides vivid details about the underworld, which had previously existed only in the human imagination; fourth, the narrative explains the origins of death and why human deaths occur without order; and fifth, the myth emphasizes the authority and role of Chasa as a deity that oversees death. These elements characterize the narrative as a myth about the Messenger of the Underworld, and underlines a shamanistic worldview and imagination.