The primary scripture of Taoism is the "Tao Te Ching," which is also sometimes called the "Laozi" after its purported author, Lao Tzu. However, Taoists also venerate many other works, including the "Zhuangzi" and the "Liezi," authored by Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu respectively. The term "tzu," or "zi," roughly translates to "master."Know More
According to legend, Lao Tzu was traveling out of China in the sixth century B.C. when a guard at the Great Wall asked him to relay his wisdom for the ages. Master Lao dictated the entirety of the "Tao Te Ching" to this guard, and it was passed down through history. Most modern Taoist scholars believe Lao Tzu was an invented character, and the book simply represents a collection of the wisdom of the earliest Taoist sages.
While the "Tao Te Ching" is considered Taoist scripture, it is not venerated to the extent that holy books in Western religions are. The book opens with an admonition that "the Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao," meaning that the wisdom described in the book is only a pale shadow of the true path. The text is filled with duality and paradox, and the classical Chinese in which the original text is written is notoriously difficult to translate. With no punctuation marks, the meanings of specific passages can be altered by the translator, leading to many different versions of the text.Learn more about Religion
The Buddhist holy book is known as the Tipitaka. The Buddha’s teachings were preserved in the Pali Canon, which acts as an extensive analytical record written in Pali, the Buddha’s native dialect. Pali is considered the classical language of Buddhism, and the documents preserved in Pali make up the Tipitaka as well as other Buddhist documents such as the Atthakatha, Tika, Anu-tika and Madhu-tika.Full Answer >
The holy book of the Sikh religion is the Guru Granth Sahib. Originally, the religion relied on the teaching of living gurus. The 10th guru, Gobind Singh, declared that he would have no living successor, and this collection of teachings would become the ultimate guru for the Sikh.Full Answer >
The Taoism place of worship is a temple and these temples can be located in many different places. Taoism followers will come to the temple to perform rituals for their deities and to meditate as well as chant ancient prayers.Full Answer >
The spiritual leaders of Taoism are typically priests that are in charge of rituals in a particular community or monastery. Priests in the Taoist religion can be either male or female, and some may also be unaffiliated with a monastery and keep a family while maintaining their ritualistic duties.Full Answer >