Taoism is the indigenous religion of Chinese. The key purpose of the religion is to learn the “Dao”, cultivate the “Dao” and practice the “Dao”. As “Dao” is a central to belief of this faith, the religion is called “Daoism” or “Taoism”.
Taoism has existed since the time of the Yellow Emperor some 4,700 years ago. Promoted by Lao Tzu during the Spring and Autumn period, it was organized as a religious movement during later years of the Eastern Han Dynasty by Celestial Master Zhang Daoling.
The Boo of Dao and its' Virtue (Dao De Jing), regarded as the main text of Taoism, establishes that one can attain immortality through self cultivation. Although there are many Taoist sects today, their teachings are all based on the principles of “Dao”.
The fundamental believe of Taoism is “Dao”, a belief that myriad things of the universe are created by “Dao”. Taoist believes that “Dao” is eternal and everlasting, and hence through cultivation one can achieve the “Dao”, enjoy good fortune and blissful life on earth, and also live on eternally in the heavenly realms.
Taoist strongly believes in accumulating merits and doing good deeds to benefits society, and also in educating and encouraging others to develop their morality and value system. There is a Taoist saying which goes like this: “By doing 3,000 good deeds, one will accumulate 800 merits”, which means that if one hopes to attain immortality, he/she must at least perform 3,000 good deeds to reach this state of perfection.
What is “Dao”?
“Dao” originally refers to the “ways” or the “path” taken by Taoist masters. Over time the meaning has expanded to incorporate rules and regulations as well. The movement changes between Heaven and Earth, it is believed, also follows a set of rules and order, and that is how the concept of “Heavenly Dao”, or the “Heavenly way” was developed.
“Dao”, an eternal and interminable element, is considered the life-force of the universe which surrounds us all the time, regardless of time and distance, although it cannot be seen, heard or touched.
According to Taoist belief, deities are the manifestation of “Dao”, and they have been created by the formless vapour of “Dao". In Taoism, one can attain the “Dao” (immortality) through cultivating and practicing the “Dao”.