ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Prince Bi Gan

Updated on June 4, 2010

Prince Bi Gan was one of the three uncles of the tyranny King Zhou (Chou) of Shang Dynasty.

Bi Gan also written as prince Pi Kan, or the prince Pî-kan, his character and conducts was widely discussed by all kinds of philosophy schools.

Confucius highly praised Bi Gan, and said: “In three of the Yin there was love”. But Chuang Tzu disaproved of Bi Gan's behaviour, he thinks that it's Bi Gan's fond of good fame incurred his own death, in Chuang tzu, chapter IV :

"In ancient times Chieh put Kuan Lung-feng to death and Chou put Prince Pi Kan to death. Both Kuan Lung-feng and Prince Pi Kan were scrupulous in their conduct, bent down to comfort and aid the common people, and used their positions as ministers to oppose their superiors. Therefore their rulers, Chieh and Chou, utilized their scrupulous conduct as a means to trap them, for they were too fond of good fame."

The Death of Bi Gan

Bi Gan repeatedly remonstrated to the king regarding his behavior and incurred the king's wrath, the King shouted at him, "I heard that a sage's heart has seven apertures! Today, I would like to check it out!" The king ordered to cut open Bi Gan's chest to see how many compartments or holes in his heart. Bi Gan cut his heart out by himself.

Legend has it that when his chest was cut open, Bi Gan grabbed his heart and pulled it out of his body to be given to King Chou. He did not lose his life, nor shed a single drop of blood. Instead, he walked out of the palace, and went straight home. Yet upon the last few steps on reaching home, a female huckster yelled from behind, 'Hey, Cheap water spinach!' Bi Gan startled and looked back, then realized that he was walking without heart, and died.

Why did King Chou cut open Prince Bi Gan's heart? Because Bi Gan and Viscount Wei, and lord Chi were together known as "The Three Kindhearted Men of Shang" in the kingdom. King Chou might be jealous of the three men's good fame and wanted to revenge.

In the Book of Investiture of the Gods (or The Creation of the Gods) it was Daji , King Chou's favourite concubine, took revenge on Bi Gan. Once Daji awoke one morning and began to cough blood, she created the excuse that half a person's heart is needed within soup as a medicine to cure her ailment. As the Prime Minister, Bi Gan should sacrifice half his heart as a "showing of love to his king".

The Viscount of Wei resigned and went into exile, the lord of Ch´i became a slave, then he faked insanity and was relieved of his post. But Pi-kan was disemboweled and died for his reproofs.

King Wu raised a tumulus over Pi-kan's grave, and released the viscount of Chi from prison, after he defeated and killed King Chou of Shang.

Prince Bi Gan became the God of Wealth

According to the book The Creation of the Gods, Bi Gan actually didn't die after his heart was dug out, he went into the midst of the common people to distribute treasure, and became the God of Wealth, all merchants under the blessing of Bi Gan do honest business, never cheating anyone.

Descendants of Bi Gan

The Origin of the Lin surname was said to be related to Prince Bi Gan. When he was arrested, Bi Gan's pregnant wife escaped into the forest, and her baby was born in the forest, it is said that she grabbed hold of two trees and gave birth to a baby boy between two trees. The Chinese character of the surname Lin is depicted by two trees.

The Chinese legend also mentions that Wang family are descendants of Prince Bi Gan, and know as the 'The Bi clan of Wang family'.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)