“Dòu mǔ yuán jūn 斗姆元君”, often referred to as “Dòu mǔ 斗姆”, also known as “Zhōng tiān fàn qì dòu mǔ yuán jūn 中天梵气斗母元君”. “Dòu 斗” refers to the stars of the Big Dipper, and “Mǔ 姆” refers to the mother. Daoist scriptures state that Dou Mu is the mother of the stars of the Big Dipper.
Origin of Dòu mǔ yuán jūn 斗姆元君
“Yù qīng wú shàng líng bǎo zìrán běidǒu běn zhēn jīng 玉清无上灵宝自然北斗本真经” records that “Dòu mǔ 斗姆” was originally the beloved concubine of “Zhōu yù wáng 周御王” during the “Lóng hàn 龙汉” period, named “Zǐguāng fūrén 紫光夫人”. The king was virtuous, and the princess wise and kind. She made a wish to give birth to several good sons for the king to assist the country. One spring, the sun was shining brightly and the flowers were blooming. “Zǐguāng fūrén 紫光夫人” happily played in the imperial garden. When she came to the Golden Lotus Pond, the hot spring water was very pleasant. She took off her clothes and took a bath, soaked in the clean hot spring, and was influenced by the spiritual energy of heaven and earth.
She gave birth to nine sons for Yuwang. The eldest son is the Emperor of Heaven, “Tiānhuáng dàdì 天皇大帝” (“Gōu chén shàng gōng 勾陈上宫”, one of the four imperial emperors), and the second son is ” Zǐ wēi dàdì 紫微大帝” (one of the four imperial emperors, Zhōng tiān zǐ wēi běijí dàdì 中天紫微北极大帝 ). The seven remaining sons are Tān láng 贪狼、Jù mén 巨门、Lù cún 禄存、Wén qū文曲、Lián zhēn 廉贞、 Wǔ qū武曲、Pò jūn 破军, namely the Big Dipper Seven Stars “Běidǒu qīxīng 北斗七星”.
“Dòu mǔ yuán jūn 斗姆元君” is a Taoist deity, who was transformed from the Yīn Qì (阴炁) of “Yuánshǐ tiānzūn 元始天尊”, and also evolved from “Tài yǐ yuán jūn 太乙元君” to assist the Jade Emperor in managing the stars. There are many incarnations of “Dòu mǔ 斗姆”. The deity of “Dòu mǔ 斗姆” is Pre-Heaven Deity (Xiān tiān shén 先天神) , and “Zǐguāng fūrén 紫光夫人” is just a metaphor for the incarnation. In Taoism , there are also cases where Zhǔn tí púsà 准提菩萨 (Zhun Ti Bodhisattva) and Zhōng tiān dà fàn dòu lǎo yuán jūn 中天大梵斗姥元君 are mixed together, since the two Handseals they are using are the same.
Dou Mu is “Mó lì pū tiān dàshèng 摩利攴天大聖” who was originally a very ancient Indian god, but later absorbed by Buddhism and became “Mó lì pū tiān dàshèng 摩利攴天大聖” or Morizhitian Bodhisattva. In Buddhism, Morizhitian has changed from a male god to a goddess, and from a graceful goddess to a terrifying god with three heads and six arms, pig-faced and fangs. This evolution process is reflected in several main stages of development of Buddhist tantra. It was absorbed by Taoism and evolved into the Taoist god Dou Mu worshipped by Taoist believers.
Morizhitian is a bodhisattva that spans the cultures of the two religions, involving the Taoist “Běidǒu北斗” belief, especially the Song Dynasty Taoist scriptures “Běidǒu běn shēng zhēn jīng北斗本生真经” and “Dòu mǔ xīnjīng 斗姆心经”. Dou Mu is describe as a native of “Tiānzhú 天竺”, who had merged with Morizhitian. Dou Mu has the names of ““Zǐguāng tiānmǔ 紫光天母”, “Yèguāng jīn jīng 夜光金精”、“Dà yuánmǎn yuèguāng wáng 大圆满月光王”, etc., which is exactly the same as the Sanskrit Marici, meaning “Mighty Light”, of Esoteric Buddhism. The current Taoist statue of Dou Mu has changed from the three sides of the original Morizhitian to four sides. There are few Taoist statues with multiple sides. This tradition is also the result of the integration of Buddhism and Taoism.
Dou Mu has manifested his supernatural powers to eliminate disasters and relieve misfortunes, protect and prolong life.
In Taoist temples commonly displayed with three eyes, four heads and eight arms, holding different objects in each hand. Two hand make a handseal, one holds a halberd, one bow, one bell, one seal, one carries the sun and one the moon. It is said that Dou Mu Yuanjun’s honouring day is on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.
In “Xiāntiān dòu mǔ zòu gào xuán kē 先天斗母奏告玄科”, it is also said that the full name is “Jiǔtiān léi zǔ dà fàn xiāntiān qián yuán jù guāng dòu mǔ zǐguāng quán zūn shèng dé tiānhòu yuán míngdào mǔ tiānzūn mólì pū tiān dà shèng 九天雷祖大梵先天乾元巨光斗姆紫光全尊圣德天后圆明道母天尊摩利攴天大圣”.
Dou Mu and the Nine Sovereigns (Jiǔ huáng 九皇)
“Tài shàng xuán líng dòu mǔ dà shèng yuán jūn běnmìng yánshēng xīnjīng 太上玄灵斗姆大圣元君本命延生心经” says: Dou Mu uses great medicine (Dà yào 大药) to heal the power, harmonizes the five elements and the two qi, relieves stagnation, eliminates suffering and evil, and helps those who are deficient and deserving. Protects childbirth, treats diseases and scabies, and applies great medicine. Born without the light of many moons, she is the mother of the Big Dipper. Dou is the soul and water is the essence. The body of Jade Pond is gold, transformed into nine buds of wisdom, and it emits infinite light, shining in the bright court. At the time of using the Taiji method, its wisdom gathers strength, forming the sun on the right and the moon on the left. Bright stars in the east, “Chǎng yǔ 长庾” in the west, the six stars for good fortune in the south and the seven officers in the north indicate longevity.
The scripture continue: Dou Mu ascends to the throne, rests his mind, cultivates his soul, dissolves into the Qi, and enters the mystic gate. The purple emptiness flourishes, the fruit provided by the mysterious spirit, the wonderful path emits the infinite subtle light, and the void penetrates the golden flower. The nine buds of the golden lotus are transformed.
Doumu Yuanjun, sitting on the lotus throne, on the white jade turtle platform, there are two heavenly kings, “Yù fàn 玉梵” and “Miào fàn 妙梵”, on the left and right of the platform. Doumu Yuanjun, who lived in the “Zhōng tiān fàn gōng 中天梵宫”, when the good and the evil of the heaven and the earth changed, he appeared in a mysterious identities. There are many transformations, such as “Lí shān lǎomǔ 骊山老母, Tàishān shèngmǔ 泰山圣母, Hǎishén māzǔ 海神妈祖, Tiān lǎo cí zū 天姥慈尊” etc. Dou Mu Yuanjun gives advice to people, teaches secrets and methods, and helps people in distress.
Fàn qì zìrán chéngzhāng wén 梵炁自然成章文 stating the incantation: Zūn, dì, mó, ní, dá, lǐ, niú, bō, máo 鬼尊、鬼帝、鬼摩、鬼尼、鬼达、鬼里、鬼牛、鬼钵、鬼毛
Tài shàng xuán líng dòu mǔ dà shèng yuán jūn běnmìng yánshēng xīnjīng 太上玄灵斗姆大圣元君本命延生心经 stating the Dou Mu Heart Incantation (Xīn zhòu 心咒): Ong嗡, má麻, li利, jí卽, máng芒, suō娑, hē诃
Chanting the incantations with a specific method will cultivate a connection to Dou Mu and the great medicine.
When Patriarch Lü Dong Bin performed this incantation, Dou Mu’s image appeared with four heads and eight arms, wearing a celestial brocade robe, and a golden tower on the top of the head, with a total of nine floors. There were two hands making a hand-seal, and six hands next to it: one hand holds the sun, the other holds the moon, another holds a halberd. On the flag, there is a golden inscription: “The Great Emperor of the Nine Heavens Thunder God”, holding a bell in one hand, a bow in the other hand, and holy seal in the other.
When “Sòng gāo zōng 宋高宗” was trapped by the “Jīn 金” soldiers, he heard the sound of chariots in the air, and he looked up to see Doumu Yuanjun, who was riding a chariot of seven hogs with four heads and eight arms.
Patriarch “Zhāng sān fēng 张三丰” was in Fuquan Mountain during the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. Doumu Yuanjun was moved by his kindness, made a clear sound and showed a bright and wonderful appearance, took the carriage of seven hogs, and descended to the altar of Patriarch “Zhāng sān fēng 张三丰”.
Patriarch “Wáng cháng yuè王常月”, ordained and became a cultivating Taoist in Mount “Huà shān 华山”, where he was taught the “”Běidǒu jīng 北斗经” and “Běi dǒu zhòu 北斗咒”. Since then, he has been meditating during the day, reciting scriptures and mantras at night, worshipping Beidou, and contemplating.
There are countless recorded occasions Dou Mu appeared and help people in need. Dou Mu Yuanjun’s merits touches the three realms and benefits all living beings.
Written by XuanMenJun 玄門君