Thien Y A Na
Thien Y A Na may be the ancient creator goddess of Champa, or she may be a deified queen. According to legend, the goddess Thien Y A Na was once queen of the ancient kingdom of Champa, located in what is now southern and central Vietnam. Her husband, the king, was killed during conflicts with the Vietnamese.
To avoid capture, Thien Y A Na threw herself from a cliff but, as luck would have it, a passing Chinese prince happened to be sailing by. He rescued Thien Y A Na, fell in love with her, and decided to marry her. The wedding was scheduled to be held on the boat. At the very last moment, Thien Y A Na could not go through with the marriage. She threw herself from the boat, and this time her suicide attempt was successful.
Her drowned body caught on a log of sandalwood and floated back to Champa, where it was discovered on the beach, still fragrant, beautiful, and recognizable. Her subjects erected a shrine for her where her corpse washed ashore. Reports soon arose of Thien Y A Na calming winds and waves and saving seagoers.
Many ethnic Cham people believe that Cham spirits are claimed by Vietnamese people who then venerate them via traditional Vietnamese rituals. Spirits’ names may be adjusted to sound more Vietnamese, thus Thien Y A Na may or may not be the same spirit as Ba Chua
Xu. She certainly has the same volatile temperament when it comes to reneged promises, disrespect, and theft. Be sure to fulfill all vows in a timely manner.
Those who ply their living from the sea (traders, travelers, fishers)
Her early-seventeenth-century temple on Hon Ba Island, Vietnam
Flowers, incense, candles
Ba Chua Kho; Ba Chua Xu; Ma Zu
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.