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In Chinese mythology, Lei Gong (Chinese: 雷公; pinyin: léi gōng; Wade–Giles: lei2 kung1; literally "Duke of Thunder") or Lei Shen (Chinese: 雷神; pinyin: léi shén; literally "Thunder God"), is the Chinese Taoist deity who, when so ordered by heaven, punishes both earthly mortals guilty of secret crimes and evil spirits who have used their knowledge of Taoism to harm human beings. Lei Gong carries a drum and mallet to produce thunder, and a chisel to punish evildoers. He rides a chariot driven by a young boy named A Xiang.
Lei Gong is depicted as a fearsome creature with claws, bat wings, and a blue face with a bird's beak who wears only a loincloth. Temples dedicated to him are rare, but some people honor him in the hope that he will take revenge on their personal enemies.
Since Lei Gong's specialty is thunder, he has assistants capable of producing other types of heavenly phenomena. Dian Mu (電母) ("Mother of Lightning"), also known as Tian-mu, Lei-zi or Lei Zi, is Lei Kung's wife and the Goddess of Lightning, who is said to have used flashing mirrors to send bolts of lightning across the sky. Other companions are Yun Tong ("Cloud Youth"), who whips up clouds, and Yu Zi ("Rain Master") who causes downpours by dipping his sword into a pot. Roaring winds rush forth from a type of goatskin bag manipulated by Feng Bo ("Earl of Wind"), who was later transformed into Feng Po Po ("Madame Wind").
Lei Gong began life as a mortal. While on earth, he encountered a peach tree that originated from Heaven during the struggle between the Fox Demon and one of the Celestial Warriors. When Lei Gong took a bite out of one of its fruit he was transformed into his godly form. He soon received a mace and a hammer that could create thunder.
Lei Gong is said to be extremely prudish, and will not enter a house where copulation is taking place. Pictures of this act are also supposed to have the same effect.
- Storm, Rachel: The Encyclopedia of Eastern Mythology: Legends of the East: Myths and Tales of the Heroes, Gods and Warriors of Ancient Egypt, Arabia, Persia, India, Tibet, China and Japan. ISBN 978-0-7548-0069-9
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