Why Heaven dips downwards to the north-west, all rivers and streams roll to the south-east

[Another version of Chinese world creation myth in Lie Tzü, Book V. An ingenious theory to account for the apparent westward revolution of the heavenly bodies, as also for the easterly trend of the great Chinese rivers.]

Heaven and earth are themselves only material objects, and therefore imperfect. Hence it is that Nü Kua of old fashioned many-coloured blocks of stone to repair the defective parts.

He cut off the legs of the Ao (gigantic sea-turtle) and used them to support the four corners of the heavens.

Later on, Kung Kung fought with Chuan Hsü for the throne, and, blundering in his rage against Mount Pu-chou, he snapped the pillar which connects Heaven and earth at the north-western comer.

That is why Heaven dips downwards to the north-west, so that sun, moon and stars travel towards that quarter. The earth, on the other hand, is now not large enough to fill up the south-east, so that all rivers and streams roll in that direction.

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