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屏東縣恆春鎮寶靈宮灶君(廖吟梅攝)

灶神又稱灶君、東廚司命竈君、東廚司命、司命竈君,是華人非常古老的信仰,早在商,人們已開始供奉灶神。《論語》裡有則妙喻記載灶神和人們的關係,衛國大夫王孫賈問孔子:「與其媚於奧,寧媚於灶。」也就是這位官員想請教孔子,人們如果希望免難,應該禱求最高的權威,還是該諂媚的請求直接的下層職司呢?這則妙喻反映了時人已有祭灶的風俗。此外,戰國時的楚簡資料也有祭灶的記載。考古和文獻資料都說明早在春秋戰國時,灶神已是普遍的神祗,也如同今天的風俗,職司向上天報告人間事。
關於灶神的起源之說大都與火有關,有的說法認為灶神就是炎帝死後成神,例如《淮南子 · 汜論訓》載:「炎帝於火,死而為灶。」《記》則記載另一種看法,認為灶神是祝融變成的,也就是顓頊之子-黎。此外,還有其它的說法,根據東漢許慎《五經通義》云:「灶神姓張名單,字子郭;其婦姓王名搏頰,字卿忌。」灶神的造形雖然始終以人格神為主,似乎是男身但貌似女子。《莊子》:「竈有髻」成玄英作疏:「灶神,其狀如美女,著赤衣,名髻也。」《酉陽雜俎》似乎延續了上述的說法:「名隗,如美女;又姓張,名單,字子郭;夫人名卿忌;一曰,灶神名壤子也。」另外還有的觀點是認為源於黄帝,黄帝才是灶神;或是古代掌火的神官吳回當為灶神。
此外,關於灶神的性別、名字,也有不同的說法。有人認為灶神是位老婦人,所以也有「種火老母元君」的稱號,以表示灶神是各種火的母親。無論如何,灶神最終還是以男性神得到社會的認可,且有不同的名字,包括禪子郭、蘇吉利、張單,蘇吉利的妻子叫王博頰,張單的妻子叫卿忌。
至於灶神的職能則相當一致,主掌記錄人的善惡功過,並延伸到能影響人們的壽命。例如:東晉葛洪《抱朴子內篇·微旨》「月晦之夜,灶神亦上天白人罪狀,大者奪紀,紀者三百日也,可者奪算?算者三日也。」換言之,灶神上告的罪人裡,犯行情節嚴重的每則減壽三百天,輕者三天。這則記錄也和我們認知灶神每到年終才上天向玉帝報告的概念不同。也因為灶神頗似諸神在人間的間諜,民間也有觸犯灶神會生病的說法。由於灶神的職能與司命重疊,後來灶神就和司命混淆了。在《玉歷鈔傳》裡,灶神已經是在人臨終時,稽考人們一生行為的神官。
灶神也有幾種不同版本的故事,最知名的就是張姓夫妻的悲劇故事,不同版本的故事只在細節略有出入。相關故事的主要內容都是描述灶神的前身乃是位張姓人氏,夫妻兩人感情很好,卻因為家貧而分開,妻子或改嫁、或賣給富人為妾室。因緣際會下兩人得以重逢,卻又因為張生仍然太窮,或乞食不得而死,或是因為乞食恰巧到妻子家中廚房,卻因妻子的丈夫也剛好返家,為保護妻子的名節而躲入灶中,結果被活活燒死。妻子因為不捨張生,也隨之殉情;或是感念與張生的夫妻之情,於是以祭灶為名拜祭前夫。此外,灶神的故事也有詼諧版本,據說灶神貌比潘安,卻性好女色又懶惰,於是眨入凡間,躲在廚房看女子煮飯。
由於灶神職司向上天報告人們的功過,因此和灶神相關的最重要宗教儀式就是要討好灶神,或是讓他無法順利的完成任務。例如唐代《輦下歲時記》記有「以酒糟塗於灶上,使司命(灶君)醉酒」。各地也有不同的風俗,或是請灶神糕點、糖果等甜食,希望灶神多說好話。一般而言,台灣是在農曆十二月二十四日送神時拜灶神,在正月初五接神時請回灶神。
灶神因為位階低,且為家神。台灣多以紅紙書寫司命灶君的字條貼於廚房,或是在神桌上的造像裡和土地公對坐,也沒有太多以為主祀神的宇。台灣以灶神為主祀神的宇有三,分別是宜蘭五結鄉的開基灶君省民堂;新竹五指山的灶君堂,還有屏東東港鎮上的九龍宮。此外,有些宇的偏殿也奉祀社君,例如台南市的天公等。灶神也是餐飲業的行業神,成為師徒傳承的見證人,有些廚師會在灶神前行拜師或謝師
 
關鍵詞:灶君、灶神、東廚司命
 
考書目
  1. 江燦騰。1995。〈臺灣灶神信仰瑣談〉。《歷史月刊》,85:55-58。
  2. 徐麗霞。2000。〈灶神(上、下)〉。《中國語文》,87(4-5):105-114。
  3. 鄒濬智。2007。〈西漢以前家宅五祀及其相關信仰研究--以楚地簡帛文獻資料為討論焦〉。台北:國立臺灣師範大學國文學系博士論文。
  4. 蔡伊達。2004。〈灶神民間故事類型與灶神形象研究〉。花蓮:花蓮師範學院民間文學研究所碩士論文。

Zao shen, the kitchen god, or the stove god, is also called Zao jun (灶君), Dongchu Siming Zaojun (東廚司命竃君), or Siming Zaojun (司命竃君). The worship of stove god has lasted for a long period of time since Shang dynasty (商) up to now. In Analects, Wang Sun Jia (王孫賈) asked Confucius what a saying’s means. The saying is “it is better to pay obsequious to the stove god than to the highest family god.” Original, this dialogue is about inquiring the strategy of adulatory in relation to the officialdom. However, it shows a hint which the ancient religious practice of kitchen god does exist. Besides, regarding to the record on bamboo slips during the Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC.) in Chu state (楚國), the worship of kitchen god was very important and popular practice in royal house and folk family.
People thought that the origin of kitchen god is in relation of fire. It is said that Yan di (炎帝), became the kitchen of god after he was dead. According to the Book of Rite (記), Li (黎), the son of Zhu rong (祝融), became the kitchen god. There are still some other ideas about the kitchen god’s identity. Regarding to the Wu jing zheng-yi (五經正義), a book in Eastern Han dynasty, Zao shen was a man living on earth whose name was Zhang Dan (張單), courtesy name (字) was Ziguo (子郭). Zhang Dan was a married man. His wife’s name was Wang Bo-jia (王搏頰).
Besides, the kitchen god is a man with woman like face, and he is gorgeous. There is also other ideas about Huang di (黃帝) became the kitchen god and the gender of kitchen god is female.
Though the kitchen god’s identity and gender have some noises, the function of kitchen god is consistency. The kitchen god is always in charge of reporting people’s right and wrong doing to Jade Emperor (玉帝). The differences between various records are about the frequency and the affect of kitchen god’s report. It is said that the kitchen god report to the heaven once a year, once a month, or once in a man’s whole life. Jade Emperor will punish a person respectively according to this report. If a person’s sin is minor, a person will be depraved his live three days. If the sin is major, he or she will be depraved three hundred days of his or her live.
There are various versions stories about the kitchen god. The differences between them are in some details. Their common character is tragedy. Kitchen god’s story is about a married man whose first name is Zhang. He and his wife is an affectionate couple. But they are too poor, they had to be separated. It is said his wife remarried or be sold to a rich man. Coincidently, Zhang begged for a living elsewhere and met his ex-wife. His ex-wife was doing charity that provides food to the poor. Poor Zhang lined up and wanted to get some food. However, Zhang was too late to get a food and starved. His ex-wife was heartbroken and committed suicide. Finally, Jade Emperor commiserated them and edicted them to be the kitchen god. In another version of story, the kitchen god is never been a person but a god. However, he is handsome but lustful and lazy. Jade Emperor sees him as courtier and loves him. Because he transgressed the divine rule, jade emperor punished him became the kitchen god to watch women doing kitchen affairs.
Because the kitchen god is a spy in family, the goal of worship kitchen god is to disturb his mission in a soft way. People offer him some candies or cakes to please him. In Tang dynasty, it is said people offer distillers' grains as offering to make him drunk.
In Taiwan, there are about three temples dedicated to the kitchen god. They are located in Yilan (宜蘭), Xinzhu (新竹) , and Pingdong (屏東) separately. Since the kitchen god is a family god, the number of kitchen god’s temple is few. Besides, the kitchen god is cook’s god of trade. Some cooks become disciples would take place a ritual in front of the statue of kitchen god. The kitchen god will be the witness and bless those new cooks and their masters.
 
Keywords: the kitchen god, Zhang Dan, Dongchu Siming Zaojun
 
References:
  1. 江燦騰。1995。〈臺灣灶神信仰瑣談〉。《歷史月刊》,85:55-58。
  2. 徐麗霞。2000。〈灶神(上、下)〉。《中國語文》,87(4-5):105-114。
  3. 鄒濬智。2007。〈西漢以前家宅五祀及其相關信仰研究--以楚地簡帛文獻資料為討論焦〉。台北:國立臺灣師範大學國文學系博士論文。
  4. 蔡伊達。2004。〈灶神民間故事類型與灶神形象研究〉。花蓮:花蓮師範學院民間文學研究所碩士論文。
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