Sky in high
Taoism developed in the vast lands of China. ``Tao’ literally means ` The way’. Sometimes it means the way of natural life, sometimes it means the way of self-restraint and some time it means the discreet way of life. Tao believed that ideas are superficial, and then what is deeper and real? They are deeds. He was very right. We may have very lofty ideas but they are of no avail until our deeds are good and lofty. He rightly believed that learning is our artificial dress which hides our real self. Our real self is what we actually do. Our deeds are our real self.
The representative –book of Taoism is ``Tao-Te-Ching’’. It is the essence of Taoism. It was written by Lao-tse. Lao-tse literally means the old master. His ideas were very original. Lao-tse believed that the life of a man could be fully fruitful only if he submitted to Taoism and led a natural life. Artificial life breeds artificiality. Natural rules ensure our maximum development. He preached simple living and shunning selfishness. He believed that inventions were making our lives artificial and complex. They hampered man’s physical and natural liberty. Mans was moving away from nature. It added too his woes. Nature gives us health, beauty and knowledge.
Taoism is very clear about God. God enlightens the universe. God has covered the entire universe as clothes cover the bodies. God is one whom we cannot hear cannot touch. He is the supreme ruler. Nothing happens without his will.
According to Taoism, the difference in the world is artificial. The second important religious leader of Taoism was Chang Chao. He explained the principles of Taoism in detail. In his view there is no difference between good and evil, true and false, big and small, high and low, rich and poor, young and life and death. Basically they are the same. The visible difference in them is only outer and artificial. Treating them differently creates all the conflict in the world. So long as the sense of difference remains, human beings cannot get real liberty and peace. So we should extend our vision.
According to Taoism, when we sleep our soul is awake. The soul is conscious. It neither sleeps nor dies. It is immortal. When we are awake the body becomes free. Man works freely. It means that Taoism considers man free in his actions. Lao- tse preached that man should keep away from luxury and prosperity. The more we indulge in luxury and prosperity, the father we are from nature and purity. He laid stress on leading a pure life. He advocated retuning good for evil. Goodness is the basic emotion of man according to him. Nobody, therefore, can feel happy by not being good. We can help others by being good to tem. Taoism is a very old religion of China. Its followers believed in hard penance. It appears to have been influenced by the Indian yoga system.
Lao-tse is considered to be one of the founders of the great religions of the world.
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