History Of Taoism

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Submitted By: Aisha Ali
UG – 9
The religion Taoism is also know by another name, Daoism. It is a Chinese philosophy attributed to the natural philosopher Lao-Tzu (c.500 BCE). Initially taking form of a folk religion in rural parts of China it later became an official religion in the country during Tang Dynasty. The word ‘Tao’ means ‘path’ or ‘principle’ and Taoism thus emphasizes on ‘going with the flow’ and is coined as ‘The Path of The Universe’. The philosophy emerged through observance of nature and the religion shaped out of a belief in astronomical adjust kept up and controlled by the Tao.
Sima Qian, a historian, narrated that Lao-Tzu was a custodian at Royal Library at state of Chu. He believed that there is a naturally
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369-286 BCE) and the Daozang from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) and Sung Dynasty (960-1234 CE), compiled in the later Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). All these writings have the same essence.
According to Taoist principle, there are only individuals behaving poorly. There is conviction that people are good hearted naturally but just require reminders about their nature to seek uprightness over vices. Provided they are educated and guided, anyone can achieve goodness.
Accordingly, following Tao is in way with nature and opposition to it causes friction in life, ultimately to be acceptable and flexible with what life brings to one. Being adaptable to changes leads to happiness but resistance brings un-satisfaction in life. Living in peace and accepting that life is an eternal binding force that persists through everything is the way of Tao. This philosophy corresponds closely with the Logos of the Roman stoics like Epictetus and Marcus
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Every step of the ritual is to be performed perfectly and prayers be spoken precisely. The Taoist religious festivals are headed by The King of the Priests – The Grandmaster and its lasts from a few days to over a week. Grandmaster and his subordinates must perform the customs to the point or else they consider it a waste, but this concept is contrary to the original teachings. The rituals involve honoring the predecessors of the village town or city while an incense is burned for purification of the area. This purification process is an important element in transformation of common areas into sacred regions.
Altars still have an influence in Taoist customs, viewed as space where natural domain meets with the celestial. The Taoist families have private altars where they supplicate and honor their ancestors. Taoism supports private worshipping at one’s abode but also conducts community festivals to bring community together, but ought not to be compared to practices of other religions in Temples or Synagogues. Festivals are at some instances observed in times of distress or pandemics but generally in times of
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