Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Yao – The 4th of the 5 Legendary Rulers Who Ushered in the Age of Chinese Civilization

Compiled from The Great Chinese Emperors
        Yao was known as Tang Yao in history. Named Fangxun, he was Diku’s son and was as industrious and benevolent as his father. Under his rule, the four seasons were further divided into 24 seasonal divisional points, and crops and vegetables were grown according to these divisional points. As a result, the people enjoyed bumper harvests.
        There had been flooding then in the Central Plains for 22 continuous years. At the people’s recommendation, Yao appointed Gun to solve the problem even though he had perceived that Gun was self-opinionated. Gun attempted to control the waters by blocking the water flow, but that resulted in more severe floodings. Yao then implored Heaven’s mercy to curb the floods.
        Yao loved a simple life, and after 70 years of rule, he became the first ruler to practice abdication in favour of a younger and more capable ruler, Yao Shun. However, that didn’t take place before Yao bypassed his own son, Danzhu, whom he deemed unfit to rule. He proceeded to test Yu Shun for his virtue and character. Eventually, he gave his two daughters’ hand in marriage to the young man and invited him to be regent. Twenty years later, Yu Shun became the king.

        When Tang Yao passed away at the age of 118, the people mourned his passing as if they had lost their own parents. No music was played for three years while they mourned their king for 98 years.

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