Ming Cult


Ming Cult
Ming Cult
Traditional Chinese 明教
Simplified Chinese 明教

The Ming Cult is a fictional cult and martial arts sect based on the actual Gnostic religion Manichaeism[original research?]. It plays an important role in Jin Yong's The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber of all wuxia fiction works. It is also briefly mentioned in The Legend of the Condor Heroes as well. Its home base is at Bright Peak on Mount Kunlun and it has several other bases spread throughout the country. Its most well-known martial arts and skills are the "Heaven and Earth Great Shift" (乾坤大挪移) and the "Martial arts of the Holy Flame Tablets" (聖火令武功).

Contents

History

In The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, the Ming Cult is also known as the Moni Cult (摩尼教) to pugilists but its name is often shortened to Mó Jiào (魔教), which literally means "Demonic Cult". The cult originates in Persia and spreads to China in the 7th century. The cult is secretive in nature and conducts its activities and practices far away from the eyes of other pugilists in the jianghu. Besides, its founding principle differentiates it strongly from other sects in the jianghu. While other sects typically seek to become leaders and dominate the jianghu, the cult adheres to its faith and laws strongly, which revolves around the principle of "delivering mankind from suffering and to eliminate evil". Thus, the cult is in fact a righteous sect and not an evil and unorthodox cult as it appears in the eyes of the jianghu.[1]

The cult faces strong persecution from the government due to slanderous remarks by its enemies in the imperial court. Besides, pugilists and other sects in the jianghu who are unaware of the cult's real motives due to its conservative nature, often speculate that it is evil in nature and they spread rumours. The cult's image in society and the jianghu is adversely affected and it often struggles to survive in the face of powerful enemies.[citation needed]

During the Yuan Dynasty, the cult is responsible for conducting a series of rebellions to overthrow the tyrannical dynasty and restore peace and order.[1] However, the cult does not receive strong support from fellow sects and the common people and instead, it faces strong resistance from them. The six leading sects in the jianghu (Shaolin, Wudang, Emei, Kunlun, Kongtong and Mount Hua) form an alliance to eradicate the cult during the battle at Bright Peak.[1] Zhang Wuji resolves the conflict and exposes the cult's true nature to the jianghu for the first time ever. Pugilists and other sects change their attitudes and views towards the cult after the battle and support the cult instead under Zhang's leadership to overthrow the Yuan Dynasty.[1] Zhang eventually passes the leadership of Ming Cult to Yang Xiao after he decides to retire from the wulin.

There is a likely chance that after Zhu Yuanzhang left the cult and founded the Ming Dynasty, the cult is forced to rename itself as Sun Moon Holy Sect (日月神教) due to Zhu's persecution.[original research?]

Organisation

The cult is headed by its leader (教主). The Left and Right Bright Messengers (左右光明使) serve as the leader's deputies. The cult also has four Guardian Kings (護教法王) who assist the leader in running the cult's activities. Below the Kings in rank are the leaders of the five banner divisions (旗主). The five banner divisions are named after the Five Elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, Metal). The cult's members are mainly divided into the five divisions. The cult has headquarters and bases spread throughout the country and they are often disguised as ordinary buildings, such as inns and shops to avoid identification by the government. The cult's main headquarters (總壇) is based on Bright Peak (光明頂).[1]

The Ming Cult's organisation in Persia differs from that in China slightly. It is headed by a female leader, selected from three specially chosen virgin maidens called "Holy Maidens" (聖女). There are twelve Guardian Kings (寶樹王) instead of four. The Wind, Cloud and Moon Three Messengers (safe-keepers of the Holy Flame Tablets) are the most powerful in terms of martial arts of all the Persian members.[1]

Heavenly Eagle Cult

The Heavenly Eagle Cult (simplified Chinese: 天鹰教; traditional Chinese: 天鷹教; Mandarin Pinyin: Tiān Yīng Jiào; Jyutping: Tin1 Jing1 Gaau3) is founded by one of its Guardian Kings, "White Brows Eagle King" Yin Tianzheng. Yin leaves the Ming Cult in anger during its period of internal conflict and establishes his own sect. The Heavenly Eagle Cult does not follow the Ming Cult's original practices and customs but its members are still well-disciplined and uphold righteousness and justice. The Heavenly Eagle Cult is often regarded as a branch of the Ming Cult and deemed to be as equally as evil and unorthodox by many pugilists because of Yin's affiliations with the Ming Cult. It merges with the Ming Cult after Yin's maternal grandson, Zhang Wuji, becomes the new leader of the Ming Cult.[1]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Cha, Louis. The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber (倚天屠龍記). Ming Pao, 1961.

External links


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