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VIETNAMESE I CHING BẦU CUA
AN EASY AND ENJOYABLE WAY TO
UNDERSTAND AND TO LEARN THE
VIETNAMESE TRADITION, LEGENDS,
REMOTE HISTORY AND I CHING.
Nguyễn Xuân Quang
On the occasion of Tết (Vietnamese New Year), the Vietnamese play a game called Bầu (Bottle Gourd) Cua (Crab) Cá (Fish) Cọc (Hart). The game actually has six figures: Prawn, Rooster, Bottle Gourd, Crab, Fish and Hart.
This game is played during the New Year festival because it reflects the Vietnamese earliest history and culture. It portrays a kind of I Ching (pronounced yee jing) or Book of Changes that I name the Vietnamese I Ching Bầu Cua Cá Cọc. This I Ching is the core of the Vietnamese tradition and legends.
.Few Words About Cosmogeny and I Ching.
In the beginning of time, there was a Nothingness or Emptiness (called Wu-chi in Chinese terminology and Voý Cực in Sino-Vietnamese terminology). From this Emptiness emanated Chaos (or Great Ultimate or Grand Ridge-Pole or T’ai Chi) which was depicted as a Cosmic Egg or yin-yang egg or Tai Chi disc.
Cosmic Egg or T’ai Chi disc.
Then the T’ai Chi originated Two Poles (Liang I), the two separate primary principles: the feminine, negative principle or Yin and the masculine, positive principle or Yang. By their interaction, yin and yang produced Four Elements or Four Great Primary Forces: primeval Fire, primeval Water, primeval Earth and primeval Gas (air, wind). The yin Four Great Primary Forces coupled with the yang Four Great Primary Forces gave birth to the cosmos represented by a Cosmic Tree (or Tree of Life or Triple World Tree) from which all things came forth. The Triple World Tree which represented the whole cosmos consisted of Upper World, Middle World and Under World. Thus, from a general view, all things in the cosmos were brought forth from the interaction of the male and the female principles.
Cosmogeny was based on yin and yang. The I Ching or Book of Changes was the doctrine of cosmogony and cosmological religion. The I Ching was based on yin-yang and Four Elements. Four yang Elements coupled with four yin Elements to form a pa-kua (eight trigrams). Four yang trigrams are: 1. Kien corresponded to yang Fire or fire Fire (yang tai yang, cosmic Fire), 2. Chen corresponded to yang Water or fire Water (yang tai yin), 3. Li corresponded to yang Earth or fire Earth (yang young yang), 4. Tui corresponded to yang Air or fire Air (Wind) (yang young yin). Four yin trigrams are: 1. Kun corresponded to yin cosmic Water (yin tai yin), 2. Kan corresponded to yin celestial Water or rain water (yin young yin), 3. Kun corresponded to yin Earth (yin young yang), 4. Sun corresponded to yin Wind (yin tai yang).
Pa-kua is a diagram of arrangements of the eight trigrams. Each arrangement gave birth to a type of I Ching. The ancient Viet people (Yue) had a Vietnamese Nòng Nọc (yin yang) I Ching which was different from the Chinese I Ching.
POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND
Everything is constantly changing. The formless is forever taking form and the formed is forever returning to the formless. Perpetual change is at the root of all things. Change always has two faces, a face of life or a yang face and a face of death or a yin face.
.Vietnamese Tradition, Legends and Bầu Cua Cá Cọc Game.
The following discussion is confined onIy to the core of the Vietnamese culture.
According to the earliest Vietnamese traditional legends, the Vietnamese claimed that they were the descendants of the Sun god Viêm Đế (Yen Ti). The Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh was the great son of the Sun god Yen Ti. The Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương, son of the Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh, was thought to be the first man on earth and also the first Vietnamese king. Kì Dương Vương ruled the first Vietnamese nation named Xích Quỉ (Red People, People of the Sun). The Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân, son of Kì Dương Vương, married his first cousin Âu-Cơ from the Fire clan (branch). Âu Cơ gave birth to a pouch containing 100 eggs, out of which 100 sons were born. Later, they separated in order to rule the immense kingdom that stretched from southern Yang Tse River (China) to northern Indonesia. Âu-Cơ took 50 of the sons with her up to the mountain (Fire lands) belonging to her paternal Fire side while Water sun Lord Lạc Long Quân took the other 50 sons down to the sea to rule over the wet lands (Water lands). Hùng King, the oldest son of Lạc Long Quân came to the Red River delta and was the first ruler of the kingdom Văn Lang.
-Viêm Đế (Yen Ti)
The Sun god Yen Ti had a last name Khương (Horn, pointed object, symbol of the yang, yang principle). In the Upper World, his bird totem was a hornbill. In the Middle World (Earthly World), the bird which carries the gene of the hornbill is the rooster (cock). The rooster is a bird but lives most of its life on the ground, so it is considered as a male, fire, yang symbol of the Earthly World. The English term “cock” is related to the Vietnamese term “cọc” (stake, pointed object), Latin cornu, English horn. Thus, the rooster is a progeniture of the hornbill.
The Rooster in the Bau Cua Ca Coc game is the offspring of the Hornbill Yen Ti in the Middle World. Therefore, in this game, the Rooster appears as a rooster standing on the ground, not on the tree and is not a flying bird. The Rooster is a symbol of the yang, yang principle, yang limb (Fire, yang earth, fire-mountain, peaked mountain) in the Middle World.
In an aspect, Âu-Cơ, is a fire or tai yang Sun Goddess (see Khai Quật Kho Tàng Cổ Sử Hừng Việt) belonged to this Fire Rooster branch.
-Thần Nông (Shen-Nung).
Space god Shen Nung was an opposite entity of Sub god Yen Ti. The Vietnamese Space god Shen Nung was totally different from the Chinese Agriculture god Shen Nung. The Vietnamese Shen Nung was a prawn-headed god while the Chinese Shen Nung was an oxen-headed god (more about this in Khai Quật Kho Tàng Cổ Sử Hừng Việt). According to a legend, the Shen Nung clan was a prawn-headed people. The prawn is a creature living in the water. Based on the rule of historical sound change, t equals n in the Vietnamese language, Vietnamese term tơm (shrimp, prawn) = nơm, nam (water). Thailand term nam also means water (nam pla = nước mắm, fish sauce). Tôm = nôm = nam = water. Thus, in general, the Prawn is a symbol of water, female, yin, female principle, yin limb (Water, wet lands).
Lạc Long Quân (Water Sun Lord) belonged to this Water Prawn Shen Nung branch.
The red Prawn in this Bầu Cua Cá Cọc game has two big pincers, symbols of two “males” or double yang or tai yang. It portrays the tai yang Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân.
In short, the Prawn and the Rooster were the symbols of female and male principles, yin yang, Two Poles (Liang I). As we know, the interaction of yin and yang generated Four Elements or Four Great Primary Forces: Cosmic Fire (Kien); Earthly Fire (Li); Yang Water (Chen) and Yang Air or Wind (Tui). Similarly, the yang Rooster Yen Ti interacted with the yin Prawn Shen Nung to generate the following:
Four Vietnamese legendary Sun rulers Đế Minh (Sunlight Emperor), Kì Dương Vương (Earth Sun King), Lạc Long Quân (Water Sun Lord), Hùng Vương (Wind Sun King) corresponded to these Four Elements. These four Vietnamese male ancestors coupled with four female ancestors to form a pa-kua (eight trigrams) of I Ching (Khai Quật Kho Tàng Cổ Sử Hừng Việt).
-Đế Minh (Sunlight Emperor).
Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh, the third generation of the Sun god Yen Ti, corresponded to the Yen, Cosmic Fire (Kien). His wife Vụ Tin (Immortal Teal) represented yin Cosmic Water (Kun). In this game, Vụ Tiên was delineated as a Bottle Gourd and Đế Minh as a red color of the gourd, color of fire. Husband, cosmic Fire coupled with wife, cosmic Water.
-Kì Dương Vương (Earth Sun King).
Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vươngs birth name was Lộc Tục (Male Deer, Hart). His quadruped totem on the ground was a male deer (horned deer or hart). He received this horn gene from the last name Khương (Horn) of Yen Ti. The Sino-vietnamse term Việt in the current name Việt Nam (Vietnam) was written with a set (or radical) tẩu (to run, running). Running is a specific character of the deer as depicted in this Vietnamese proverb “CHỈ ĐƯỜNG CHO HƯƠU CHẬY” (“showing the way for the deer to run”). Thus, the term Việt written with set tẩu is “running Việt”, “Deer Việt”, “Hart Vit”, “Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương-Việt”, Việt-People of the Sun (Xích Quỉ), The Bright Tai Yang Sun Việt (Khai Quật Kho Tàng Cổ Sử Hừng Việt).
In this Bầu Cua Cá Cọc game, Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương was delineated as the Male Deer or fire Hart figure in the game board. Thần Long (Female Water Dragon), wife of Kì Dương Vương represented yin celestial Water or rain water (Kan). Husband, earthly yang Fire coupled with wife, celestial yin Water.
-Lạc Long Quân (Water Sun Lord).
Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân was the sunset king and thus was called Qun (Lord) instead of Vương (King). Quân means dark purple, color of the sun-down sky. He received the gene Long (Dragon) from his mother Thần Long (Female Water Dragon), so he was a male Water Dragon, Fire Water Dragon, Yang Water Dragon, Yang Water Chen. This explains why he took 50 sons down to the Sea.
Lạc Long Quân had at least two features. In the Upper Word, he represented Fire-(in)-Water in the sky or Rain Thunder god. Under this cosmic aspect, Lạc Long Quân is depicted as a Water Bottle Gourd in this game.
In the Middle World, the Yang Water Dragon Lord Lạc Long Quân is represented by a Carp in this game [according to the legend of Dragon-Carp, any carp which was able to leap over the cascade at the Dragon-Gate (Long Mơn) or Rain-Gate (Vũ Mơn) would be transformed into a dragon]. According to the legend of the Mol people, who were closely related to the ancient Vietnamese, the carp was a totem (symbol) of Lạc Long Quân.
Âu Cơ, wife of Lạc Long Quân, as we know, belonged to the yang or Fire branch Yen Ti (Đế Minh-Kì Dương Vương) on the yang side. Since she is a woman, she has a yin Fire aspect. Husband, yang Water coupled with wife, yin Fire. On the yin side, she had a yin wind gene (trigram Sun) which was derived from the gene of the cosmic water “bottle gourd” Vụ Tiên (Immortal Teal). This explains why she gave birth to a sac of 100 eggs (gourd is a kind of sac, pouch, bag, Vietnamese term bầu stands for gourd, bag and pregnancy, to have “bầu” = to be pregnant).
-Tổ Hùng Vương (Ancestors of Hng Kings).
One hundred Hùng Princes were born from a sac of eggs, a picture of Cosmic Egg. So, the ancestors of Hùng Kings had a cosmic aspect of the Creator.
In this game Bau Cua Ca Coc, Hùng Kings were depicted as a Crab. Why?
A crab is an equivalence of a box turtle because both of them have a dome-shaped shell which portrays the universe and they are associated with I Ching (Fu Hsi was always seen with a box turtle next to him). The people of King Hùng living on the wet lands had selected the crab, a creature familiar to them, instead of a box turtle.
The game Bầu Cua Cá Cọc portrays a kind of I Ching depicting the Vietnamese tradition and remote history. I name it, the Vietnamse I Ching Bầu Cua Cá Cọc.
The Game Bầu Cua Cá Cọc Designed By Nguyễn Xuân Quang.
The design of all current games was incorrect because the makers did not know that this game reflects the Vietnamese I Ching. So, I design a game that portrays the core of the Vietnamese tradition and legends in order to help players to understand and to learn Vietnamse tradition and legends in an easy, fascinating and enjoyable way.
I fashion this game in two yin and yang sides according to yin and yang branches: the yang, Fire Yen Ti branch (Đế Minh-Kì Dương Vương) and the yang Water Shen Nung branch (Lạc Long Qun-An Dương Vương) (An Dương Vương
was an opposite clan to Kì Dương Vương clan).
Because four yin Elements and four yang Elements form a pa-kua, therefore each depiction in this game has two figures except Hùng kings have three. The first figure of Hùng kings is a cosmic Crab representing a cosmic aspect of Hùng kings ancestors corresponded to Cosmic Egg. The second Crab represents Húng kings on the yang, Fire branch and the third one represents Hùng kings on the yin, Water branch (see below).
1. YIN YANG and TWO POLES (Liang I): PRAWN- ROOSTER.
As we know, the Prawn, symbol of yin (water, female, female principle, Kun, etc.) corresponds to Shen Nung, the prawn-head people. The upper part of the prawn has a light blue color, color of cosmic air and the lower part has a dark blue color, color of cosmic water.
Shen Nung Prawn (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
The upper part of the prawn corresponded to Nung representing the yang part of yin universe or yang air or yang Wind, Tui. The curve head portrays the dome or the vault of the universe (sky) and the wind-blown “hairs” or “beards” portrayed the wind. The head has 11 “hairs” or “beards”. Based on I Ching, number 11 is an earthly yang Wind Tui number. The lower part of the Prawn corresponds to Shen representing the yin part of the yin universe or cosmic water or yang water, Chen. The hooked tail symbolized rolling wave (yang water). The tail has 9 fringes. Number 9 is earthly Chen number. Thus, the Prawn Shen Nung portrayed yang water Chen-yang wind Tui.
This Shen Nung Prawn divides into two offsprings: Nung Prawn and Shen Prawn.
This Nung Prawn derives from the yang upper part of the Shen Nung Prawn and portrays yang air or yang wind or cosmic Tui.
Nung Prawn represents yang Wind or Tui (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
The curve body of this prawn portrays the dome or vault of the universe or sky. The “hairs” or “beards” portray the yang Wind Tui. The head has 11 “hairs” or “beards” and the tail has 11 fringes instead of 9 fringes (number 11 is earthly Tui number). This Nung Prawn has light blue color, color of the wind. Because of its yang character (the head has yang character), this prawn is placed at the top of all three Prawns in the game board.
In the Earthly World, the gene Nung of Nung Prawn was transmitted down to the Nung Crab or Tui Crab (symbol of Hùng Kings, see below).
This Shen Prawn derives from the yin lower part of the Shen Nung Prawn and portrays yin cosmic water or Chen.
The hooked tail symbolizes rolling wave and represents Chen. The head has 9 “hairs” or “beards” and the tail has 9 fringes (number 9 is earthly Chen number). This Shen Prawn has dark blue color, color of sea water. Because of its yin character (the tail has yin character), this prawn is placed at the bottom of all three Prawns in the game board.
In the Earthly World, the gene Shen of Shen Prawn was transmitted down to the Shen (or Chen) Dragon-Carp (Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân).
Shen Prawn represents yang Water or Chen (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
These three Prawns, symbols of yin, are placed on the same yin row as the Crab and Carp in the game board.
As we know, the Rooster, symbol of yang (fire, male, male principle, Kien, etc.) relates to Yen Ti. The Upper part of the Rooster has a red color, color of cosmic fire and the lower part has an orange color, color of earthly fire.
Yen Ti Rooster (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
The yang upper part of the Yen Ti Rooster is a symbol of cosmic fire Kien. The trident-shaped cockscomb portrays three pointed stakes or triple yang or Kien. So, the upper part of the Yen Ti Rooster portrays cosmic fire or Kien. The lower part having yin character, yin of yang or young yang, is a symbol of earthly fire or Li. The tail has 5 feathers. Number 5 is Li number. The rooster standing on the ground and head turning to the left or yin direction, portrays young yang, Li or earthly fire. So, the Yen Ti Rooter portrays Kien-Li.
The Yen Ti Rooster divides into two offsprings: Yen Rooster and Ti Rooster.
Yen Rooster derives from the upper part (Kien) of the Yen Ti Rooster.
Yen Rooster represents Kien (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
Its trident-shaped cockscomb portrays Kien and its 7-feathered tail portrays Kien. Number 7 is Kien number. This Yen Rooster has a Red color, color of cosmic fire. Because of its cosmic character, this Rooster is delineated as a flying rooster and is placed at the top of all three Roosters in the game board.
In the Earthly World, the Yen gene of Yen Rooster was transmitted down to the Kien Red Bottle Gourd (Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh).
Ti Rooster derives from the lower part of the Yen Ti Rooster.
Ti Rooster represents Li (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
Its 5-peaked cockscomb and 5-feathered tail portray Li (number 5 is Li number). This Ti Rooster has an orange color, color of earthly fire. Because of its earthly character, this Rooster is delineated as a standing rooster on the ground with the head turning to the left and is placed at the bottom of all three Roosters in the game board.
In the Earthly World, the Ti gene (supporting pillar) of Ti Rooster was transmitted down to the Li Hart (Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương) represented by a fire Mountain (Sky-Supporting-Mountain or Pillar-shaped Mountain or World Mountain).
These three Roosters, symbols of yang, are placed on the same yang row as the Red Bottle Gourd and fire Hart in the game board.
– FOUR ELEMENTS: BOTTLE GOURD, CRAB, FISH, HART.
ON THE YANG BRANCH OR YANG I CHING.
On the yang or Fire side of Sun god Yen Ti, Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh (a progeniture of Sun god Yen Ti, an image of Sun god Yen Ti), played a role as the Mundane Creator. On this yang branch, in the game board, we have to read the four figures Bottle Gourd Kien, Carp Chen, Hart Li and Crab Tui which correspond to yang Four Elements in a yang direction or a counterclockwise direction. We have this yang order: Bầu Cọc Cá Cua.
Based on the yang I Ching, Kien coupled with Kun, Li coupled with Kan, Chen coupled with Kun and Tui coupled with Sun. Thus, on the yang side, we have four couples in the following yang order Bau Coc Ca Cua in the game board Kien/ Kun (Bottle Gourd), Li/ Kan (Hart), Chen/Kun (Fish) and Tui/Sun (Crab).
+ Kien/Kun Bottle Gourd or Cosmic Fire/Cosmic Water Bottle Gourd.
The shell of this cosmic water Bottle Gourd has a dark purple color, color of tai yin cosmic water or yin Kun and it is ornated with clouds (symbols of cosmic water). The gourd contains red liquid, symbol of cosmic fire.
Cosmic Fire-Cosmic Water Bottle Gourd represents Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh/Immortal Teal Vụ Tiên (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
The Cosmic Egg symbol on the shell portrays the cosmic aspect of Đế Minh/Vụ Tiên.
+ Li/Kan Hart or Fire Hart.
The skin of this fire hart has a flame color with solar spots. Its 2-tined antlers (number 2, a Kan number coupled with number 5 Li) represent two fire drill sticks. This fire hart portrays Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương.
Fire Hart represents Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
+ Chen/Kun Carp or Fire Water Carp.
As we know, the dragon-carp is a symbol of yang Water Dragon Lạc Long Qun. This fish, a carp of fire branch, is a fire Water Carp.
Fire Water-Carp represents Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
Its body has a yellow-purple color (yellow is the color of the sun and purple is the color of the sunset sky) and its belly has a light brown color, color of yin fire earth (Kun). This fire Water Carp portrays Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân/ Âu-Cơ or Chen/Kun. Its head turns to the right or yang direction. This carp is placed on the top of the two carps in the game board.
+ Tui/Sun Crab.
As mentioned above, Hùng Kings were depicted as a crab. So, in the Upper World, one hundred Hùng Princes or Ancestors of Hùng Kings were depicted as a Cosmic crab which carried a Cosmic Egg on its shell.
One Hundred Hùng Princes depicted as Cosmic Crab with magic square 3/18 on the shell (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
This yang Cosmic Crab portrays the yang Cosmos or cosmic Tui/Sun (yang Wind Tui). Number 3 is Tui number, therefore, this crab also bears a magic square 3/18 on its shell (number 3 is the center number and 18 is the sum of the 3 numbers on each ramification) (It should be noted that in this 3/18 magic square, number 1 is also considered to be number 10 and number 2 is also considered to be number 11). This Cosmic Crab has a light blue color, color of the cosmos or sky.
ON THE YIN BRANCH OR YIN I CHING.
On the yin or Water side of Shen Nung, Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Qun (Chen) (a progeniture of Space god Shen Nung, an image of Space god Shen Nung), played a role as the Mundane Creator of the yin side. Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Qun of the Water branch had a cosmic aspect similar to Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh of the Fire branch. Therefore, both of them were delineated as gourds. On this yin branch, in the game board, we have to read the four figures Bottle Gourd, Carp, Hart and Crab in a yin direction or a clockwise direction. We have this yin order: Bau Cua Ca Coc.
Based on the yin I Ching, Kien coupled with Kun, Li coupled with Kan, Chen coupled with Sun and Tui coupled with Kun. Thus, on the yin side, we have four couples in the following yin order Bau Cua Ca Coc in the game board Chen/Sun (Bottle Gourd), Tui/ Kun (Crab), Li/Kan (Fish) and Kien/Kun (Hart).
+ Chen/Sun Bottle Gourd or Yang Water/yin Wind Bottle Gourd.
This gourd portrays yin Wind Sun (trigram Sun). This Âu Cơ’s gourd gene derived from cosmic water bottle gourd Immortal Teal (Vụ Tiên). In the game board, the yin Wind Gourd is delineated as a blue gourd and ornated with a pink wind-blown ribbon.
Yang Water/Yin Wind Bottle Gourd portrays Lạc Long Quân Chen/Âu Cơ Sun (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
According to yin I Ching, Sun u Cơ coupled with Chen Lạc Long Quân. So, the yellow liquid in the gourd represents yang water Chen. The hook-like symbols on the gourd skin portray yang water (rolling wave), fire-(in)-clouds or thunder.
+ Tui/Kun Crab.
As we know, on the yin direction, the Crab is Tui/Kun Crab. Kun is yin fire Earth (yin mountain, fire lower lands or square water field). (It should be noted that a square is a yang form of a yin circle). So, on the u Cơ side, this crab is a square-shelled Rice Field Crab.
On the other hand, on the yang side of the Fire branch of Kì Dương Vương in the Middle World or in a patriarch society, u Cơ was replaced by a male representative, in another word, by Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương. Thus, under this point of view, Tui/Kun Crab had a fire earth (fire stone) aspect. The 50 princes who followed u Cơ up to the Mountain are delineated as a fire Stone Crab. This fire Stone Crab has a brick-color.
Hùng Princes on Âu-Cơ side depicted as fire Stone Crab with magic square 6/18 on the shell (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
Number 6 is Sun number, therefore, this crab bears a magic square 6/18 on its shell (It should be noted that in this 6/18 magic square, number 1 is also considered to be number 10 and number 2 is considered to be number 11).
Since it belongs to the yang, Fire branch, this fire Stone Crab is placed at the top of all three crabs in the game board.
These 50 Hùng Princes belong to the yang, fire branch or to the u-Cơ side.
But on the Lạc Long Quân side (in one aspect, Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Qun is a Sea god), this crab is a Blue Crab (a kind of sea crab). This blue crab has a yellow purple color, the color of the Water Sun or sunset Sun Lạc Long Qun and a magic square 9/18 on its shell (number 9 is earthly Chen number), (It should be noted that in this 9/18 magic square, number 1 is also considered to be number 10 and number 2 is considered to be number 11).
Hùng Princes on father side depicted as Blue Crab with magic square 9/18 on the shell (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
Because of its yin character, this Blue Crab is placed at the bottom of all three crabs in the game board.
+ Li/Kan Carp or Water Fire Carp.
As we know, on the yin direction, the fish is Li/Kan fish or water Fire Carp. This fire carp has a red color. This Fire Carp of the Water branch portrays yin aspect of Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương or yin Earth Sun King An Dương Vương.
Water Fire Carp portrays yin Earth Sun King An Dương Vương (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
So, the Water Fire Carp represents the offsprings of the Hng Kings on the water side or Lạc Long Qun/An Dương Vương side.
+ Kien/Kun Water Muntjac
As we know, on the yin direction, the deer is Kien/Kun deer. This deer is a muntjac. The term muntjac derived from the Vietnamese term muơng gạc or mang gạc (horned animal). Because it belongs to the Water side, this muntjac can be called water muntjac. Indeed, there is a specie of deer named Chinese water deer (Khai Quật Kho Tng Cổ Sử Hừng Việt).
Kien/Kun Water Muntjac portrays Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh on the yin side (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
In the Middle World, SunIight Emperor Đế Minh is represented by Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương. On the female side, the tai yang Sun goddess (yin tai yang Fire) Âu-Cơ is a yin feature of the yang tai yang Fire Đế Minh. In other words, the male Water muntjac Đế Minh is a presentative of the Âu-Cơ doe on the Water branch
(According to the Mols legend, the spotted doe was a totem of u-Cơ). So, this muntjac in the Middle World represents the offsprings of the Hùng Kings on the Fire branch (Đế Minh/Kì Dương Vương/ u-Cơ).
This muntjac with its head turning to the right, dark orange skin and 3-tined antlers portrays cosmic fire Kien Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh.
The Vietnamese I Ching Bầu Cua Cá Cọc game is depicted in the following illustration:
Fire Hart/Earth Sun King Fire BottleGourd/ Sunlight Emperor Yen Rooster/Fire, K’ien
.Middle Row Yen Ti Rooster/Sun God
of the yang branch (Fire-Earth).
Water Muntjac Water Bottle Gourd/ Water Sun Lord Ti Rooster/Earth, Li
Huøng Vöông’s offsprings on the (as Water Creator)
Fire branch, Kì Dương Vương/Âu Cơ.
Fire Water Carp/Water Sun Lord Fire Stone Crab/ Hùng Kings Nung Prawn/Air, Tui on the Fire branch.
Cosmic Crab Prawn/Space Goddess of the Yin
Ancestors of Hùng Kings branch (Air-Water).
Water Fire Carp/ Yin Earth Sun King Blue Crab/Hùng Kings Shen Prawn/Water, Chen
An Dương Vương. on the Water branch.
(Hùng Vương’s offsprings
on the Water branch,
An Dương Vương/Lạc Long Quân)
Vietnamese I Ching Bầu Cua Cá Cọc Designed by Nguyễn Xuân Quang (illustrated by Khánh Trường).
In yang direction, from left to right or in a counterclockwise direction, starting from the upper row:
-The Rooster portrays Fire Yen Ti branch in the Middle World: Yen Rooster is at the top, Yen Ti Rooster is in the middle and Ti Rooster is at the bottom.
Tai yang Sun goddess Âu-Cơ belonged to this Fire side.
-The Bottle Gourd: Fire Bottle Gourd (Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh) is at the top and Water Bottle Gourd (cosmic Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân) is at the bottom.
-The Hart: terrestrial Fire Hart (Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương) is at the top and cosmic water muntjac (Đế Minh) is at the bottom.
-The Carp: Fire Water Carp (Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân) is at the top and Water Fire Carp (yin Earth Sun King An Dương Vương) is at the bottom.
-The Crab: Fire Stone Crab (Hng kings of the Fire branch or Âu-Cơ side) is at the top, Cosmic Egg Crab (Ancestors of Hng kings) is in the middle and Blue Crab (Hùng kings of the Water branch or Lạc Long Quân side) is at the bottom.
-The Prawn portrays Water Shen Nung branch in the Middle World. Nung Prawn is at the top, Shen Nung Prawn is in the middle and Shen Prawn is at the bottom. Water Sun Lord Lạc Long Quân belonged to this Water side.
Furthermore, our four male Sun rulers Đế Minh, Kì Dương Vương, Lạc Long Quân, and Hùng Vương are symbolized as rayed suns (male suns). The number of sun rays and the color of the suns varied with the yin yang character of each male sun ruler.
Sunlight Emperor Đế Minh is symbolized as a red 8-rayed sun; Earth Sun King Kì Dương Vương, yellow 10-rayed sun; Water Sun lord Lạc Long Quân, yellow–purple 12-rayed sun and Yang Wind Sun Hng king, orange 14 rayed sun (see Decipherment of SouthEasth Asian Yin Yang Bronze Drums). Our four female sun rulers Vụ Tiên, Thần Long, Âu-Cơ and Wife of the first Hng King are delineated as four solar discs without rays (female suns) placed underneath the corresponding male suns. The thickness of the rims of the solar discs and the color of the female suns varied with the yin yang character of each female sun ruler. The appropriated rayed suns or solar discs envelope the corresponding features of the game.
How To Play This Game
The game has 3 dice and a game board. Each die has 6 faces. Each face portrays the features of each Vietnamese creator or sun ruler. The dealer either shakes three dice in a coved bowl or casts the dice. The game comprises of one dealer and unlimited players.
-In a simple way, each player picks one, two or three figures in the game board as he wants. When the dealer opens the cover of the bowl or after the dealer casts the dice, any player who picks the same figure (or figures) in the game board as the one (or ones) that appears (or appear) on the top of the die (or dice) is the winner. If two of the same chosen figures appear on the dice, he will get double reward, if three of the same chosen figures appear on the dice, he will get triple reward.
-In a more complicated way, the player can make a complex choice following the Vietnamese tradition and legends in order to get a higher reward:
.He can choose 3 figures which portray the three Vietnamese Creators (or rulers) of the Triple World: Yen Ti Rooster (Creator of Upper World), Đế Minh Fire Bottle Gourd (Creator of Middle World) and Hng king cosmic Crab (supreme Ancestors of Vietnamese historical kings). When these three figures appear on the dice, he will get a reward equal to 5 or10 times of what he waged (the reward depends on the agreement between the dealer and players).
.He can choose 3 figures which portray the Fire branch (or Âu-Cơ side): if any set of three yang or Fire figures among 6 figures on the yang side appears on the dice, he will be the winner, for example: a set of Fire Bottle Gourd (Đế Minh), Fire Hart (Kì Dương Vương), Fire Water Carp (Lạc Long Quân) or a set of Fire Bottle Gourd (Đế Minh), Fire Water Carp (Lạc Long Quân), Fire Stone Crab (Hùng kings on the Fire branch) or a set of Fire Hart (Kì Dương Vương), Fire Water Carp (Lạc Long Quân), Fire Stone Crab (Hùng kings on the Fire branch), etc.
.He can choose three figures which portray the Water branch (or Lạc Long Quân side): if any set of three figures among 6 figures on the yin side appears on the dice, he will be the winner, for example: a set of Water Bottle Gourd (Lạc Long Quân), Blue Crab (Hùng kings on the Water branch), Water Fire Carp (An Dương Vương) or a set of Water Fire Carp (An Dương Vương), Water Bottle Gourd (Lạc Long Quân), Blue Crab (Hùng king on the Water branch), etc.
.He can choose three figures which portray the three Vietnamese dynasties belonging to the Vietnamese mundane Hồng Bàng Family (mundane Red Family, Sun Family): Hart (Kì Dương Vương), Carp (Lạc Long Quân) and Crab (Hùng kings), etc.
. . . . . . .
In short, this game portrays a kind of I Ching that the author named the Vietnamese I Ching Bầu Cua Cá Cọc or Vietnamese Crab I Ching or Hng King I Ching. This game delineates the entire scope of the Vietnamese tradition, legends and remote history. The core of the Vietnamese culture is the Cosmological religion, Sun worshipping religion. The doctrine of these religions was based on the Vietnamese Nịng Nọc (yin-yang) I Ching. Therefore, in order to understand throughtly, the Vietnamese culture must be viewed under the prism or the scope of the Vietnamese Nịng Nọc I Ching delineated in this game Bầu Cua Cá Cọc.
Lets learn and teach the Vietnamese tradition, legends, remote history and I Ching in an easy way by enjoying this fascinating game.
.Nguyễn Xuân Quang
-Khai Quật Kho Tàng Cổ Sử Hừng Việt (Y Học Thường Thức, 1999).
-Ca Dao Tục Ngữ, Tinh Hoa Dân Việt (Y Học Thường Thức, 2002).
-Tiếng Việt Huyền Diệu (Hừng Việt, 2004).
-Giải Đọc Trống Đồng Đông Nam Á (đang in).
.Joseph Murphy, Secrets of the I Ching, Reward Books, 2000.
.Vũ Quỳnh, Kiều Phú, Lĩnh Nam chích quái (NXB Văn Học, 1960).