School of the five bushels of rice
The School of the five bushels of rice (Wǔdoǔmǐ daò 五斗米道), still called Way of the celestial Masters (Tiānshī daò 天師道), appeared under the Eastern Han between 120 and 145 with the Sichuan, is one of the first schools known taoists. Towards 191, it was established by Zhang Lu, grandson of the founder Zhang Ling, in an autonomous local authority with Hanzhong (current Shaanxi with the borders of Sichuan). From 215, its structure was dismantled by CAD CAD, but its Masters were authorized to continue to teach their rites. Zhang Lu and part of its flocks “was invited” to approach the capital of the Wei, and the practice of the celestial Maîtres diffused very widely in the North of the China at the time of the Three kingdoms, then in the south (area of the Chang Jiang) under the Jin, benefitting from the reunification of the empire. There were soon many groups claiming themselves them, centered around religious leaders with the hereditary position; some practical, qualified “sorcery” or “vices”, were worth criticisms to them. At the end of the 5th century, two reformers tried to structure the current again and to make it acceptable to the eyes of the authorities. Kou Qianzhi created the current of the celestial Maîtres North (or New celestial Masters) integral of the influences confucéennes and Bouddhiste S, which obtained a statute of official religion under the Wei of North; Lu Xiujing, compiler of the first Canon, constituted the celestial Maîtres South by integrating the practices of other schools, Lingbao in particular.
The descent of Zhang Daoling, the celestial Main Zhang , then did not make already more speak about it. Nevertheless, after a few centuries of silence, it re-appears under the Song under the name of Maîtres of Longhu, “mount of the dragon and the tiger” located at the Jiangxi, where the fourth patriarch would have settled. Having begun again importance, they founded Zhengyi Mengwei “Powerful alliance of the truth and the unit”, become since the Yuan one of the two large currents taoists with Quanzhen CAD.
The name by which the school is commonly called comes from the rice requested from its followers like import duty and in payment of certain services.
See also: Zhang Daoling
First historical tracesThe figure of Zhang Daoling appears under one day rather legendary, and of his son Zhang Heng one knows almost nothing. The history of the school really starts with the third Master Zhang Lu, kind of lord of war which controlled Hanzhong according to the principles of the Five bushels lasting nearly 25 years after being seized about it. Its religious authority and its local prestige were such as CAD CAD offered to him into 215 exceptional conditions of rendering: it was titrated like its five sons, and his/her daughter married a son of CAD CAD. Zhang and part of their disciples had to give up their stronghold for the areas closer to the capital, but accepted the authorization to continue their religious activities. It is true that the Five bushels of Zhang Lu had known essentially to keep away from the revolts; CAD CAD intended to use its influence. The current was a great success in the kingdom of Wei founded by CAD pi and was spread even more largely under the Jin. The large calligrapher Wang Xizhi and his son would have belonged to it. This expansion was accompanied by the dispersion of the religious capacity at the expense of the Zhang family, which made an ultimate attempt to take again the control of her former disciples while launching an order of restriction, but in vain. During the era Yongjia (303-313) of Jin of North, the third wire of Zhang Lu, fourth of the title, would have been installed on the Longhu mount which remained until our days the principal seat of the school Zhengyi.
When one evokes the historical birth of the Five bushels, it is necessary to mention the somewhat mysterious character of Zhang Xiu (without relationship with the Zhang Masters), also designated as the chief of the Five bushels instead of Zhang Lu in certain passages of the Chroniques of the Three Kingdoms . Another passage of the Chroniques shows it at the same time charged as Zhang Lu, by a family member imperial rebels, to take Hanzhong with the Han governor. It would have killed this last, but Zhang Lu would have gotten rid of him immediately to occupy only the city; it is perhaps for that Zhang Xiu is mentioned as rebellious in a passage of the Livre of Han posterior whereas Zhang Lu, in control of the city and temporarily out of reach of the Han armies, will be sometimes presented like a governor acting on behalf of the emperor, although this fiction did not mislead anybody. Some propose that the religious mode imposed by Zhang Lu was constituted on the basis of sect of Zhang Xiu, as much if not more than on the religion of his/her grandfather.
Five bushels with HanzhongIn the historical sources, the religion of Zhang Lu and Zhang Xiu is alternatively indicated like Five bushels or Voie of the spirits/demons , term which indicates in general religions aboriginals with the magic practices or shamanic. The area of current Sichuan where Zhang Daoling developed its school was largely populated of not-Hans, particularly the Di ethnos groups and Qiang which one knows that they returned before Han a worship to divinities similar to the Three governors of the Five bushels. Specialists such as Meng Wentong thus proposed to see an influence of their traditions in the thought and the practices of the school. The sources mention besides that Zhang Lu was as popular near the “barbarians” as of the sinicized populations. On another side, one finds in the beliefs of the Five bushels of the topics originating in the Shandong and the coasts in the Hebei, like the belief in the immortal , and perhaps the Huanglao. A version of the Taiping jing , gun of the rebel movement of the Grande peace, from which the first grinding comes, seems it, of Shandong, had to belong to the basic texts of the sect.
The Livre of Han posterior praises the mode founded by Zhang Lu like “based on sincerity and prohibiting the lie”. The taxes are theoretically used for the public property. Roads are arranged, partly thanks to a penal system which grants three chances of repentance, then makes it possible to pay the sorrow while taking part in the installation a certain length of road. The religious executives, called Masters of the drinkings jijiu (祭酒), install at the edge of the roads of small shelters yishe (義舍) container drink and food for the passers by. A curse calling the demons of the diseases on those which would misuse this liberality is placed in obviousness. The fight against the diseases is one of the principal religious activities besides. It includes a phase of repentance in a part calms jingshi (静室) because the physical disorders are regarded as resulting from faults morals. The patient has to remind the faults made since the seven years age. The treatment which consists with (to make) writing a confession, or the name of the disease, on three papers which will be presented to the Three governors (deposited on a mountain for the Governor of the Earth, thrown in a river for the Governor of water, burned for the Governor of the Sky). One can also absorb a talisman dissolved in water. Alcohol is interdict apart from the ritual needs and no animal must be killed in spring and in summer.
Practices and beliefs of the celestial MastersInformation concerning the Five bushels and the current of the celestial Masters, since the Chronic of the three Kingdoms until sources much later ( Yunjiqiqian of the Song e.g.), comes from dates on which the movement already essaimé and, although sometimes claiming to describe the time of Zhang Daoling, are later and Sichuan and Hanzhong do not concern exclusively any more. Constant features are found, but one cannot affirm that the practices described in a given text were shared by all the celestial Masters.
StructureThe school would have constituted in the beginning a structure including/understanding twenty-eight branches called zhi . There were of them initially twenty-four, like the sections of the agricultural calendar, then their number was increased by four located around the capital Luoyang, undoubtedly after Zhang had left their stronghold. Twenty-eight are the number of the astral houses. The principal branch was that of Yangping and the official seal of the school was marked “palate of the jurisdiction of Yangping”. The zhi included/understood later subdivisions, the read and the jing , terms which in the beginning indicated the parts where the faithful ones were locked up to meditate on their faults passed at the time of the ritual ones of cure.
The faithful ones were treated on a hierarchical basis. The new followers named “servants of the spirits”; the “civils servant of the spirits” undertook ritual cure. ; most advanced, which framed the beginners, two levels of “Master of the drinkings formed”. Their function will become often hereditary, it against what the reformers Lu Xiujing and Kou Qianzhi will try to found promotion with the merit. In Hangzhong, Zhang Lu supervised the whole with the title of “Master-lord” shijun because he was at the same time celestial Maître ( shi ) and temporal sovereign of the city ( jun ). The hierarchy had to become complicated with time. Lu Xiujing (Ve century) mentions at least eleven other titles imitating the titles of the civil or military civils servant.
Gods and ritualThe principal divinities of the Five bushels were, in addition to Lao Zi, the Three Governors governing the sky, the ground and water. The alliances, sealed by ritual seals, were concluded by oath between faithful and the gods and spirits, with disease and died like punishment for the perjuries. According to certain sources, the worship of the gods not approved as well as the practice of other worships that those of the school were prohibited, and the followers did not comply with the rules commonly allowed concerning the records days and harmful, estimating to have concluded their own agreement with the divinities. Two important regular worships were that of old or ancestors the 5th day of the 12th month, and that of the furnace.
The three days mode of meeting gathered the faithful ones in the Master of the drinkings of which they depended 5th during the day on the first month, 7th during the day of the 7th month and 5th during the day of the 10th month. They presented to the inspection a kind of family booklet of civil statue, were intended to point out the rules, took stock of their acts passed, witnessed ceremonies of alliance with the divinities guaranteeing protection against the diseases and the calamities. He was requested from the followers five bushels of rice for payment and deposit charges in kind for the various services. In certain cases, it seems that rice offerings were jointly brought a particular day named futiancang (gift with the celestial barn), given in a source like the first day of the 10th month.
As one saw in Hanzhong, protection against the diseases and the disasters was an objective of first importance for the faithful ones. Except the confessions and the ceremonies of alliance with the gods, the magic practices seem to have abounded and, with sexual practices called “way yellow and red” or “union of the breaths masculine and female” were worth many critics with the current, especially starting from Jin, on behalf of the partisans of public morals or Buddhism. An example is the civil servant and Buddhist mathematician Zhen Luan of the Zhou of the North (557-581) which wrote Ridiculous Taoism .
TextsThe CAD De Jing was to be memorized and recited regularly. There were texts for all and of the texts esoteric which were not to be revealed apart from the sect, whose undoubtedly formed part the comment Xiang' er of CAD De Jing found with Dunhuang. The Taiping dongji jing was probably the exclusive version at the school of the Taiping jing , gun principal of the Taiping. the other quoted texts are the Livre of the seals of the Governor of the Sky , the Livre of the talismans and ceremonies , the Way of the powerful alliance of the orthodoxe unit , Rule the three days and the yellow Livre , this last in connection with the sexual practices. To the wire of the centuries, the works taoists allotted many writings to Zhang Daoling, ancestor official of the celestial Masters, but the first three Zhang should not have been prolific authors and it does not remain only one can allot to them with certainty.
Derived branchesThe School of pure water, rested by a servant of the Zhang family, was active especially under Jin. Its characteristic rite was a prayer above a clear water earthenware jar for the period of Qingming to draw aside the diseases.
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