Meng Po

Meng Po

Meng Po (Chinese: 孟婆; pinyin: Mèng Pó) is the Lady of Forgetfulness in Chinese mythology.

Literally means Old Lady Meng, Meng Po serves in Diyu, the Chinese realm of the dead. It is her task to ensure that souls who are ready to be reincarnated do not remember their previous life or their time in hell.

To this end she collects herbs from various earthly ponds and streams to make her Five Flavored Tea of Forgetfulness (Mi-hun-t'ang). This is given to each soul to drink before they leave Diyu. The brew induces instant and permanent amnesia, and all memory of other lives is lost.

Having been purged of all previous sins and knowledge, the dead spirit is sent to be reborn in a new earthly incarnation, and the cycle begins again.

Occasionally people are able to avoid drinking the brew, resulting in past life memories surfacing in children.[1]

References

  1. ^ "CHINESE MYTHOLOGY". New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. p. 399. http://www.openbase.in.th/files/New%20Larousse%20Encyclopedia%20of%20Mythology%20part%207.txt. "There are legends relating to miraculous births - a child is able to speak as soon as born because the soul inhabiting its body had been successful in escaping the vigilance of the guardians of Hell, and had avoided drinking the Broth of Oblivion." 

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