I received a Chinese-language text of the “Guan Sheng Di World-Subduing, Eternally-Effective, Disaster-Relieving Prayer” from the woman I got a consecrated Guan Di statue from in San Francisco Chinatown.
The “Disaster-Relieving Prayer” makes reference to an earlier “World-Awakening Prayer,” which I unfortunately don’t have a Chinese version of.
Guan Sheng Di is the Chinese God of War. He was originally Guan Yu, a general of the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history (ca. 3rd century AD). Famous for his bravery, honesty, and loyalty, after his death Guan Yu became the Chinese God of War. Not God of War in the sense of a destroyer, but God of War as a protector from the horrors of war and as an example of martial valor. He is the patron of the virtuous and one of the Chinese Gods of Wealth.
I discovered these prayers to Guan Sheng Di on a table on a street corner in Hong Kong. Someone had set out a stack of prayer booklets as a deed of merit, hoping that passersby would take them. Out of curiosity, I took home a booklet. Out of curiosity, I began to translate the prayers. After reading the testimonials, I became afraid to not finish translating them. I leave them here on this electronic street corner for anyone to take.
By the way, in the opening lines of the “World-Awakening Prayer” (which again, I don’t have a Chinese copy of), the word “man” is most likely a translation of 人 (rén), which actually translates better to Greek anthropos (ἄνθρωπος) or “human.” And Classical Chinese often omits a lot of words that would be used in the vernacular, including pronouns.
Guan Sheng Di World-Awakening Prayer
Guan Sheng Di said, “Man lives in the world. If he values loyalty, filial piety, honesty, and righteousness above all else, he will not fail in life. However, if he doesn’t value loyalty, filial piety, honesty, and righteousness, although his body is alive, his heart is already dead. This is called stealing life. Man’s heart knows the gods and the gods know man’s heart. If a man is not ashamed of himself, neither are the gods. If you lie to yourself, you cheat the gods. Therefore the good man is cautious and wise, and is careful in his actions when alone. He doesn’t believe that he could do evil that others couldn’t see, for if he were seen doing evil, he would have regrets. The gods see every move a man makes, as if ten eyes were watching and ten hands pointing at him. He should always do his best, for it is clear that one reaps what he sows. Make not the slightest error. Lust is the beginning of all kinds of evils. Filial piety is the origin of all good deeds. Those who go against what is right must have regrets. They do not say out loud “This benefits me only.” yet secretly they do only what benefits themselves. Those who do what is right have no regrets. They do not say out loud “This is to help others.” and then neglect to do what benefits others. If you would follow my teachings, then try to carry my sword. This is my sword — respect Heaven and Earth, sacrifice to the gods, respect your elders, be filial to your parents, obey the law, listen to your teachers, love your brothers, be honest with your friends, put the souls of your ancestors at peace, be kind to your neighbors, understand the proper relations between husband and wife, educate your children and grandchildren, always be willing to lend money, amass merit through anonymous good deeds, help those in difficulty, have pity on the orphaned and the poor, repair temples, print religious books, donate medicines, do not kill, release captive animals, repair bridges and roads, help widows in distress, be frugal, relieve others’ difficulties, do what is worthy and beautiful, teach others what is good, dispel injustice, use honest weights and measures, make friends with the virtuous, avoid the wicked, fight evil, uphold good, help the people, make your heart follow the proper path, make yourself anew, fill yourself with kindness, have no evil thoughts, do good works, and have a honest heart. Although other men may not see you do these things, the gods will quickly hear of it. They will increase your wealth, add years to your life, help your children and grandchildren, stop misfortune and disease, and prevent you from suffering disasters. Your life will be peaceful and lucky stars will shine on you.
However, if your heart is full of evil and you do not do good things, lust after other people’s wives and daughters, break up their marriages, destroy their purity, ruin their skills, scheme for their wealth, instigate lawsuits, harm others in order to benefit yourself, rail against Heaven and Earth, slander the wise and virtuous, destroy statues of the gods, cheat the gods, wantonly kill living things, destroy good books, rely on force, slander the good, use wealth to oppress the poor, separate people from their relatives and brother from brother, not believe in the true path, lust, steal, go whoring, swindle others, act extravagantly, waste grain, are ungrateful, go against your conscience, use crooked weights and measures, set up false teachings, lead on the simpleminded, falsely say that someone has died, extort goods, cheat others, talk obliquely, curse people in broad daylight, scheme to hurt others behind their backs, not follow Heaven’s way, not make others happy, refuse to believe in karma, entice others to do evil, and do not even a bit of good yourself — Those who do such things will have reason to regret it. They will suffer fire, flood, and bandits. They will suffer plague, give birth to idiots, be destroyed themselves, and have their family line extinguished. Their sons will become thieves and their daughters whores. Retribution will fall upon them, their sons, and their grandsons. The gods see everything and don’t miss things even as tiny as a hair. Good and evil are two paths. Disaster and fortune are separate things. If you do good, you will have good fortune; if you do evil you will suffer misfortune. I tell you this to encourage you to act. Although my words are simple they are of great benefit. Those who make fun of my words will be destroyed. If you recite this prayer, evil will vanish and joy abound. Pray for a son and you will be given a son. Pray for a long life and you will have one. Wealth, rank, accomplishment, and fame can all be obtained. Whatever you pray for you will receive. Disasters will melt like snow and blessings gather like clouds. If you wish to obtain these blessings, they can only be obtained by doing good. I am hiding nothing from you. I only answer the prayers of good men. Accumulate merit and do good deeds. Do not delay and lose your will to do good.”
Guan Sheng Di World-Subduing, Eternally-Effective, Disaster-Relieving Prayer
The city of Chongqing in Sichuan Province was suffering a plague. To the right of Erlang Temple lived a man named Wang Sancong, who always did good works. Because of the plague, he called the people together, erected an altar, and held a great sacrifice. In the early afternoon of the 6th of April, a laborer by the name of Chen Qing came to watch the sacrifice. Suddenly he sat in front of the statue of Guan Sheng Di and with a solemn face cried out, “I……Guan Sheng Di is here!” Clouds gathered and the bells and drums sounded by themselves. This startled Wang Sancong and the others, who turned pale with fright and fled the altar. Guan Sheng Di said angrily, “I use loyalty and righteousness to rule the world. I live in Heaven, but my heart is with the people. I wish to save all living things. Keep loyalty and righteousness in your hearts in order to avoid disaster. I do not expect people to do senseless evil. I cannot bear to see living things suffer so I have come to warn you. The people do not respect Heaven and Earth, are not filial to their parents, do not believe in the gods, steal, are full of lust, scheme constantly, commit all kinds of sin, and are full of evil. These things are all recorded by the gods. Each and every sin in known in Heaven. The Jade Emperor of Heaven saw the evil piling up like a mountain and descended to earth to determine what good or evil was being done. He could barely find ten people in a thousand doing good deeds. He returned to Heaven in a rage and wished to destroy “all those wicked creatures” on earth. I gathered the gods together and repeatedly begged him to be lenient. So the Jade Emperor sent the Plague God to earth to kill only those who are wicked and told him not to touch a house that cultivates good, is pure, does many good deeds, and is harmonious. Once before I gave all living things my “World Awakening Prayer,” where I taught you to respect Heaven and Earth, sacrifice to the gods, put the souls of your ancestors at peace, be kind to your neighbors, respect your spouse, teach your children and grandchildren, act uprightly, accumulate merit through anonymous good deeds, and not kill living things. However, you did not obey. Today I have come especially to tell you that if you immediately and respectfully follow this prayer’s teachings, copy it, or have it printed and distributed, danger will pass, your pain will stop, evil will melt away, and blessings will gather around you like clouds. If you ignore it however, it will be almost impossible to escape disaster.” Chen Qing collapsed, then slowly woke up again. The people all believed in this prayer, copied it, and gave it to other people, until it spread everywhere. Everyone talked about it. In the town of Manlin there was an official named Ju Tingji, who when he heard about this prayer, said, “This is all nonsense!” He no sooner spoke then he bled from all his orifices and died on the spot.
– No one in the family of Zan Zhankui believed in this prayer. Within three days they were all dead of the plague.
– Shi Qiaobu loved suing people and was hardhearted. His nickname was “Meddlesome Camel.” He did evil deeds and his heart was full of guile. He saw this prayer and laughed at it. He laughed and laughed, then suddenly slapped himself in the mouth. He began to babble that the god had descended to stop evil. Shi’s family contained thirteen persons. He took a knife and cut all their throats.
– In the Baoyufu district of Chongqing lived a family named Xia. All nine were suffering from the plague. They promised to distribute 1200 copies of this prayer. As soon as they did so, they all recovered.
– In the area of Hongjiang pier, Ran Zhankui’s young grandson was sick with a childhood disease. He was expected to die the next day. Ran distributed 1200 copies of this prayer. As he did so, the child got better.
– In a lane in Pingkangtang, there lived a man named Yang Chunzhi, whose daughter had become rigid all over her body. Only her heart remained alive. Yang’s wife Peng met a man named Meng who told her about this prayer. Yang and his wife burned incense and promised to distribute 1200 copies. The daughter immediately got better.
– The daughter of Zhang Faming suffered from a hemorrhage. She had been in great pain for years and was bedridden. Medicine did nothing to help. She vowed to distribute 1200 copies of this prayer and immediately got better.
– Tang Siyou of Yongri county was always doing good deeds. In a dream he met the patron god of the city, who said, “I follow the orders of Guan Sheng Di. Guan Sheng Di told me to teach you that on the first of June you should face north and ask for the medicine that awakens the world. Then pray.” Suddenly a white horse appeared and in its mouth was a scroll. Tang saw that on the scroll was this prayer. At the end of the scroll was written in red, “This prayer is the miraculous medicine that delivers you from all kinds of disasters, evil, and sickness. Those who pray with sincere hearts get results as quick as an echo. If a person loves what is good, and is honest if a man or pure if a woman, then Guan Sheng Di will do his best to save them from disaster.”
– Liu Guangzhao of Changsha in Hunan province suffered from tuberculosis and dysentery for many years with no improvement. His wife Chen had also been sick for a long time and had taken medicine with no results. However, when they distributed 1200 copies of this prayer, they both were cured.
– Mrs. Zhang of Jixiang Lane was pregnant, but suddenly got sick. Her sickness lasted five days. Then the baby died within her. She was at death’s door and the whole family was at a loss as to what to do. Fortunately they ran into a relative who knew that this prayer was effective. That same day they promised to distribute 1200 copies. The next day the baby was stillborn and Mrs. Zhang got better. Mrs. Zhang worked at cultivating herself and promised to distribute an additional 1200 copies. Not long after she recovered completely.
– Xie Heshan of Fengyang county went to Achongsu on business. There he got sick. He distributed 1200 copies of this prayer. Not only did he get better, but when he distributed another set of copies, his business went well and he was able to return home with a thousand ounces of silver.
– Sun Mingliang of Xi’an was passing through Shanhai pass on business. There he saw this prayer posted, and promised to distribute copies. Afterwards things went bad for him. He went to Achongsu where more difficulties beset him. He ended up as a kitchen helper in the town of Zhongying. One day he met a person who was distributing this prayer on the street. Sun remembered that he had promised to distribute this prayer, but had not done so. He decided that this was the reason for his poverty and sickness. When he distributed 1200 copies, not only did his sickness get better, but in two years he returned home with a thousand ounces of silver.
– Zhou Yushan of Hunan suffered from eye problems for many years with no hope of a cure. He promised to paste up 1200 copies of this prayer. Not only did his eyes get better, but he also ended up with 800 ounces of silver.
– Zhang Dongcheng was a businessman who met with bad luck. He ended up in Hashi begging for food. His parents were almost a hundred years old. Zhang received a letter from them asking him to come home, but he was unable to do so. He promised to distribute 1200 copies of this prayer with the result that he was able to go back to see his parents, bringing 700 ounces of silver with him.
– Shao Liyang of Fuping county went to Achongsu on business. He distributed 4000 copies of this prayer. Not only did he become rich, but he avoided all sorts of difficulties while in Achongsu. He travelled to the town of Zhaozifang and prayed for a son. Then he distributed 1000 copies of this prayer. His wife later gave him to two sons.
– After the pacification of Taiwan, the commander of the guard, Zhu Gui, was posted to the garrison there. He set off to report. He knew that Guan Sheng Di had sent this prayer to earth, and heard that it always worked. He had had cataracts for many years and had taken medicine without success. While traveling, he distributed 1200 copies of this prayer and his eyes cleared up.
– Hutan in Hunan province was lashed by a terrible August storm. Thunder and hail fell from the sky. Yi Enfan prayed that it would not harm the people’s fields, houses, or crops, then promised to distribute 1200 copies of this prayer. The storm immediately stopped.
– Wen Minglin of Hengshan had a second son named Junpi who suffered from paralysis. He was 90 per cent paralyzed. Wen promised to distribute 5000 copies of this prayer. His son immediately got much better.
– Liu Liangqin had a relapse in an old illness and was sick for many days. Medicine was of no use. He distributed 100 copies of this prayer and got better.
– Liu Zezhan, with a pure heart, distributed 1200 copies of this prayer and asked for forgiveness and good fortune. After that everything went well for him and his household was peaceful.
– In Fujian province, Hang Boxing heard that this prayer was effective and the same day distributed a thousand copies. He prayed for the protection of his family’s purity and for good fortune. At home his wife Yang, who was mentally disturbed, read this prayer and immediately calmed down. Furthermore, everything then went well for him.
Therefore, distributing this prayer should not be taken lightly. Those who undertake distribution of this prayer and who paste it up must be pure of heart and do good, if they wish to see results. This is an unfathomable mystery. After you read this prayer, you should pass it on to others. For those who respect this work, there is endless virtue.
This translation is without copyright and may be freely distributed.