[2/7] KOREAN GODS AND GODDESSES | SEOKGA
Seokga (석가) is rebellious trickster god in Korean mythology. He and Mireuk were responsible for the creation of the world. His name is also used to refer to Siddhartha Gautama in Korean.
According to the Changsega, the deity Seokga attempted to usurp Mireuk, the initial creator of the world, in three contests. In the first contest, which judged who could stretch their ropes across the East Sea, Seokga’s silver rope broke, but Mireuk’s golden rope did not. Thus, Mireuk claimed victory. In the second contest, the deities had to make the Seongcheon river connect to all other rivers in the universe. Seokga called on rainstorms, but he could not make the Seongcheon connect with all other rivers. Mireuk called on winter ice, and made the Seongcheon connect with all other rivers, as water expands when frozen.
In the final contest, Mireuk and Seokga grew a magnolia flower. While the two deities were sleeping, the deity that the magnolia reached for would be the winner. The magnolia reached for Mireuk, but Seokga severed the magnolia and put it in his lap. The angered Mireuk cursed the earth, creating imperfections of the world. Seokga, the injust victor, then imprisoned Mireuk. In three days, Mireuk fled his prison by transforming into a musk deer. In response, Seokga led his three thousand priests to kill Mireuk. While he was successful, it was futile venture: the earth was already left in a flawed state.