Taoism (or Daoism)
Taoism, like Confucianism is a native Chinese religion. Its root's go back to the 5000 years of history of China. However, only by 100 BC Taoism evolved as an organized religion. Taoism is a reasoned doctrine and also the basis for Traditional Chinese Medication. Together with Confucianism and Buddhism, it has been invariably guiding Chinese in conduct and exercising authority.
Five Elements of Universe
Taoism emphasized on the relative "stability", which can be attained when a harmony is reached between "Yin" and "Yang", which are said to be the opposite but related natural powers of the universe.
Taoism Religion guides Chinese about the role of these elements into ones life and to attain harmony. It requires meditation to attain intellectual calmness. Any act to one extreme will cause the opposite reaction in force until the balance is reached.
Taoism teaches that everyone should try to achieve two goals, happiness and immortality. The religion aims at securing longevity or attaining a kind of immortality, which could be attained through proceedings like-- medical treatment, breathing techniques, meditation, gymnastics, communal funeral etc.
By meditating them with deep concentration, speculating them in their respective domains of the body during three specific nights each month, one could prevent the departing of sole. The Taoists also gained their expertise in medicines. They invented their own occultism - that is, by consuming some specific drugs, one can attain the path of mortality.
Taoists worship more deities than do the followers of almost any other religion. Some deities are ancestors and others are the spirits of famous people.
The more worshipped gods in Taoist religion are the Trinity San Qing - The Three Pure Gods. They are-- Yu Qing -Jade Pure, the emperor who ruled the Earth, Shang Qing - Upper Pure and Tai Qing -Great Pure. God Tai Qing is considered as an immortal, divined and powerful of the other two.
The other deities include Empress of Heaven, and Laozy - an ancient Chinese philosopher who is also the founder of Taoism.
Famous Taoist Holy Temples
Temples and ceremonies show the influence of Buddhism. By A.D.1000, Taoism had divided into many sects. Some of the sects withdrew from daily routine to meditate and study in Monasteries. Other sects were based in temples. The temple priests passed on their position to their children.
Some of the most renowned temples on Taoism are--
Famous Taoist Holy Mountains
Some of the diviner elevated lands in Taoist religion are - Mountain Hua, Heng, Longhu, Qingcheng, Song, Tai, Wuyi and Mt.Qiyun.
Taoism Gaining Popularity
In mid 1900's, the Chinese government opposed the authenticity of this religion as it was claimed that Taoism is based on superstitious belief. Today, the Chinese Government allows the practice of the religion and the followers are gradually increasing in number.