During the period of 770-476, lived a historian who was in
charge of the archives in the State of Zhou BC. ‘Li Er’,
later known as ‘Lao Zi’ or old master, was also the
founder of the Taoist philosophy. He composed the ‘Daode
Jing’, a collection of teachings about Tao, some time
about 650 BC. In 141 AD, ‘Zhang Daoling’ began a
religious movement, based on the local religious practices
and the teachings of the ‘Daode Jing’. Taoism was
started in China.
~ ‘Tao’ (way) is the principle of nature and the law
of life, which is
harmonious and good in and of
~ Taoists believe in many gods as different gods
functions. The different
categories of gods include:
- Supreme gods – Three Pure Ones ‘San Qing’,
the Jade Emperor,
Taoists believe that all man has a limited lifespan and he
should cultivate his potential in body and character.
Faithful devotees should learn to love and take good care
of themselves and not have excessive desires so as to lead
a healthy and long life. Taoists are always urged to
accumulate virtues like loving their fellowmen, be
compassionate, humble and search for inner harmony.
- Nature gods – God of Earth, God of Heaven, God
Fu De Zhen Shen
- Legendary gods and good people who have become
Guan Di, Mazu, Monkey God, Kitchen
Death is treated as the continuation of life into the
phase of the soul. Taoists believes that death is not the
end of life. Thus, they perform rituals for the dead to
guide the wandering soul to its new home. It is an
obligatory duty for the descendants to carry out prayer
and acts of penance for the dead.
The living believes that the ancestor’s soul is always
watching over them and the ancestors communicate with the
living through dreams.