Guan Yu (关羽) is also known as Guan Di(关帝) , Guan Gong（关公）.
Guan Yu (关羽) was a historical person who lived in China during the Three Kingdoms period, (三国) (CE 220-CE 280).
Towards the end of the Han dynasty (汉朝), the emperor had been reduced to a nominal ruler. Powerful clans and court officials fought against each other to become the power behind the throne. Meanwhile, disenfranchised peasant began series of uprising.
As the political disintegration intensified, regional warlords were no longer contented to be the power behind the throne. They aspired to be rulers of their own empire. Nevertheless, others remained loyal to the Han dynasty and sought to restore the power of the Han Emperor.
Guan Yu belonged to the group who aspired to restore the Han Dynasty. He had met two other persons with the same ideal; Liu Bei, (刘备)a distant member of the Han royal family and Zhang Fei (张飞). They became sworn brothers at the Peach Garden (桃园结义) and vowed to work together towards the revival of the Han Dynasty. Liu Bei was the eldest of the three brothers; Guan Yu was the second brother and Zhang Fei the youngest.
When the regional powers Cao Cao (曹操) and Sun Quan (孙权) proclaimed themselves Emperors Wei (魏) and Wu (吴), Liu Bei declared himself the Emperor of Shu (蜀) with the aim of restoring the Han dynasty, often referred to as Shu-Han (蜀汉). With this development, Chinese history entered the Three Kingdoms Period, (三国时代) a political scene that lasted for 60 years from CE 220 to 280.
As a General, Guan Yu was well known for his integrity, and bravery. As an individual, he was respected for his loyalty and righteousness.
During a battle with Wu forces, Guan Yu was captured and beheaded by Sun Quan after refusing to surrender.
Sun Quan sent Guan Yu's severed head to Cao Cao, who performed the proper funeral rites and buried Guan's head with full honours. Guan Yu was granted the posthumous title of "Marquis Zhuangmou" (壯繆侯) in 260 by Liu Shan.
According to Buddhist legends...
In 592, Guan Yu manifested himself one night before Ch'an Master Zhiyi, the founder of the Tiantai school of Buddhism, along with a retinue of spiritual beings. Zhiyi was then in deep meditation on Yuquan Hill (玉泉山) when he was distracted by Guan Yu's presence. Guan Yu then requested the master to teach him about the dharma. After receiving Buddhist teachings from the master, Guan Yu took refuge in the triple gems and also requested the Five Precepts. Henceforth, it is said that Guan Yu made a vow to become a guardian of temples and the dharma. Legends also claim that Guan Yu assisted Zhiyi in the construction of the Yuquan Temple (玉泉寺), which still stands today.
In the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Luo Guanzhong wrote that ...
After Guan Yu's death at the hands of Sun Quan, his spirit roamed the land, crying out, "Return my head!" His spirit came to Yuquan Hill outside Dangyang County (present-day Dangyang, Hubei), and encountered Pujing, the monk who saved his life several years ago at Sishui Pass. Pujing spoke to the spirit, "Now you ask for your head, but from whom should Yan Liang, Wen Chou, the pass guardians and many others ask for theirs?" Guan Yu's spirit was enlightened and disappeared, but henceforth it manifested itself around the hill and protected the locals from evil. The locals built a temple on the hill to worship the spirit.
In modern days, General Guan Yu became the embodiment of loyalty, righteous, bravery and benevolence (忠义勇仁) . Guan Yu’s brotherhood pact with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei provides strong imagery and symbolism for friends to look after each other in times of hardship. This idea offered motivation and role model for Chinese migrants when they arrive in their host society.
The Taoist worshiped Guan Yu as the god of literature、god of war and Martial God of Wealth and is referred to as Guan Gong (关公), Guan Di (关帝), short for his Taoist title "Saintly Emperor Guan" (关圣帝君).
In Chinese Buddhism, Guan Yu is revered as Sangharama Bodhisattva (伽蓝菩萨) - the guardian spirit of Buddha Dharma.
Guan Gong is often depicted in paintings, sculptures and many art forms. When he is depicted with his sworn brothers, Liu Bei as the eldest brother is seated with Guan Gong and Zhang Fei by his side.
He is also represented alone either standing with a saber or seated and at times reading. In many temples, a sculpture of his horse can usually be found.
Statues of Guan Yu on the Altar used by triads tend to hold the saber on the left hand, and statues in police stations tend to hold the saber on the right hand. The notion of brotherhood has been appropriated by triads to emphasize the group identify and brotherhood of triad membership.
If Guan Gong is the central figure, his two assistants, Guan Ping (关平) and Zhou Cang (周仓) stand by his side.
Many overseas Chinese communities worship General Guan Gong and dedicated temples or set up altars in his memory. Such practices reflect the importance these communities placed on social solidarity and the need for mutual support in a foreign land.
The Buddhist worship of Guan Gong as Sangharama Bodhisattva (伽蓝菩萨) is also practiced in some Theravada Buddhist temples and Guan Gong is also one of the pantheons in Vietnam’s Cao Dao religion.
The history and continuous popularity of Guan Gong reflects the collective ideals of the Chinese over time and how these ideals are manifested as they migrate overseas. Among the overseas Chinese community, the temples dedicated to Guan Gong also demonstrated how the traditional social ideals provided a model for migrants as they leave their homeland to seek opportunities.
At the same time, Guan Gong’s appearance in Theravada cultures and Cao Dao in Vietnam also reflect the universality in the values he embodies.
Ordinary people, especially merchants and businessmen admire and respect Master Guan Yu's loyalty, integrity and righteousness, therefore honor him as a patron saint of fortune making. He is also considered as the God of War and symbolises loyalty, integrity and brotherhood. In recent years, more and more people regard him as an all-round guardian angel for all trades as well as a GOD OF WEALTH.
Inviting Guan Yu to possess the Spiritual medium
Take Note:1) For Singaporeans / Malaysians / Indonesians/ Asian Countries:
Guan Di (关帝) do possess the Taoist Medium during Consultation Service in Temple. Approach him if You have important issue or business issue to seek help and not to look for him for Lottery Numbers. He can't give any lottery Numbers. During his Celebration Day, he may ask other Deities,such as Tua Di Ya Peh ( Black and White Brothers from Hell) or Ji-Gong (Crazy God of Wealth) to give out Potential Winning Lottery Numbers on his behalf. He doesn't bother about the Lottery. Just hang around the Temple or Make-Shift Temple during their Celebration Day and You may get to see the Lottery Numbers written on Joss-Papers, given by other Deities.
2) For Folks in Western Countries:
Taoist-Medium Consultation is totally unseen or unheard of in Western Countries. You may know of Guan Di (关帝) from the Novels, China History and from the Movies. Guan Di (关帝) Statue is good to be worshiped at Home and in the Office. Make sure the Statue is consecrated. Only thing is You don't ask him for Lottery Numbers.
Learn How To Empower Your Taoist Deity and the Altar:
Consecration Of Taoist/Chinese Deity Statues
Just want to Strike the Lottery, without praying to Taoist Statue?
Go here>> http://talisman-4-u.blogspot.com
GUAN YU'S MANTRA >> THE TEACHING OF GUAN SHENG DI JUN