THE MOTHER GODDESS OF NINE HEAVENS – CỬU TRÙNG THIÊN

Post date: 04/02/2018 | 11:04 - Posted By: VietTheatre - Category: Vietnam's Mother Goddesses

The Mother Goddess of Nine Heavens is known as The First Holy Mother in The Mother Goddess Worshipping in Vietnam. She is called by various names however The Mother Goddess of Heavens was one of the most popular. She is queen of nine heavens and plays a very important role in the Viet beliefs in the Mother Goddess of Four Realms.

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There are lots of  questions and argumentations  about legends of The Mother Goddess of Heaven
(Mẫu Cửu Trùng) as well as her role in comparison with Mother Liễu Hạnh.
Picture: A scence in Four Palace Show

Because The Mother Goddess of Heavens did not descend on Earth as the other Mother Goddesses did, there are few legends about her or her services to country.  Legend has it that she is Princess of Nine Heavens, who comes from China.  And it is said that she helped Vietnamese  against attacks of Xuy Vưu in the beginning of country.

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Picture of the Mother Goddess of Heaven in folk art painting. Source: Google

Maybe because of appearance of The Mother Goddess Liễu Hạnh in the 15th century, people no longer tell about The Mother of Heaven much. By the time, The Mother Liễu Hạnh is considered to be The Mother of Heaven incarnation, also, her contributions and services to people are known as the name of The Mother Liễu (learn more about Legends of The Mother Liễu Hạnh). 

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The statute of The Mother Goddess of  Heaven (Mẫu Cửu Trùng Thiên) at Mẫu Cửu temple,
in Thường Tín District, Hà Nội. Source: Internet

Nowadays, there are not many temples of The Mother Goddess of Heavens left or built. One of the few is Mẫu Cửu temple in Ninh Sở, Thường Tín, Hà Nội (Hà Tây Province, in the past). The temple must have been built since very long time ago but no one knows exactly when.

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The overall view of the altar of Thánh Mẫu Thượng Thiên (The Mother Goddess of Heaven)
at Mẫu Cửu temple, Ninh Sở. Source: Internet

Legend has it that this area was once famous for bamboo handicrafts.  There was a senior who used to cross river to sell his products. However, his business was not very good.  One day, he found a wooden statue, floating in the river on his way to market. He tried to keep it near a tree and promise himself to come back and get the statue out of the water.  Surprisingly, his business was very good on that day.  On his way come back home, he went to the river and picked the statue up.  Firstly, the statue was very light. However, when he arrived the place where the temple is currently located nowadays, the statue unexpectedly became so heavy that he had to put it down.  Since then, he offered the statue incense every day. Magically, his business was better and better.  Good news has wings, people everywhere came to worship to the statue and built a temple which is Mẫu Cửu temple.  In 2004, it once caught fire but was rebuilt after that.

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The Altar of The Mother Goddess of Nine Heaven (Mẫu Cửu)  in Cô Chín Temple,
Sòng Sơn, Thanh Hóa Province. 

One another is Cô Chín Temple in Sòng Sơn, Thanh Hóa Province. The Mother Goddess of Heavens was worshipped in the Cấm palace of this temple.  Especially, a bronze statue of The Mother Goddess of Heaven was placed at Thượng temple, on Cổ Bồng mountain, in Ba Vì, that’s 2.3 meters in height and about 1 ton in weight. On Sep, 9th every year, people all over the country come here to worship and pray for luck, health and success.

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