The Heritage of Tao


Before the existence of mankind, the power of creating mankind

was on Tao.  After mankind appeared, the duty of human procreation

was on mankind.  A human life is formed by combining the physical

body with the soul.  Souls come from Tao which means that it is Godís

will for souls to be the dominion on Earth.  Thus, we all have missions. 

Souls are confined in the Hou-tien,10 which means that souls must be

refined in order to escape from the Hou-tien.


At the beginning of Heaven and Earth when mankind just descended,

souls were pure and perfect.  Only since Si Phase and Wu Phase have

human intellect sprout, and mankind has begun to act as the dominion. 

But the soul and the body were together for such a long time that the

soul took on the habits of the body.  The affinity to the material world

caused souls to become dominated by emotions and desires, and their

original attributes were lost.  Mankind believed that the body was the

self and believed in materialism.  Unknowingly the balance and

harmony among men, animals, plants and all things were disrupted. 

Men started to kill animals for food, thence caused catastrophes and

brought about the six paths of reincarnation.


In order to let his lost children realize the mistakes and thus return

to the right path, God descended Tien-Tao - His True Light (including

True Fire and True Water) - onto capable Saints to establish a link -

the unseen thread - between mankind and God.  These Saints spread

words of Godís existence, love and Tao, so that mankind would seek

Tien-Tao, follow Tao and return to Godís kingdom.  They lighted up

the world.  They maintained the bridge between God and mankind. 

They are the Patriarchs of Tao.  This bridge is called the Heritage

of Tao.


The first Saint of mankind was Fu-xi Shi.  He was born in China

about seven thousand years ago.  He observed the astrological signs

and physical phenomena; by studying natural laws and orders,

he attained Tao.  He used Xian-tien Order of the trigrams* to

disclose the essence of Heaven and Earth, and the Origin of mankind. 

This was the beginning of the descending of Tien-Tao.


Then, there was Shen-nong Shi who tasted all plants and herbs to

identify medicines and the edible.  The third Patriarch was the

Yellow Emperor Xuan-yuan Shi, the first Emperor of China. 

Under his reign, houses were constructed, clothes fabricated,

tools and containers made, Chinese characters invented, propriety

defined and musical notes standardized.  Furthermore, orders of

the society, i.e., the very backbone of ethics and morality, were

established.  Rules, duties and proprieties between rulers and

subjects, parents and children, men and women, among siblings,

etc, were all devised.  Only then was the true social order for

mankind established in China.  After the Yellow Emperor,

Shao-hao, Zuan-xu, Emperor Ku, Emperor Yao and Emperor

Sun (five Saints) continued the Heritage of Tao respectively.


Emperor Yao and Emperor Sun followed Godís will in governing

China and created a harmonious society that satisfied all the people. 

At that time, Tao permeated throughout the society.  Emperor Yao

and Emperor Sun started to pass the essence of Tao from one

Patriarch to another.  Then King Yu, King Tang, King Wen,

King Wu and Duke Zhou (five Saints) continued the Heritage

successively.  From Fu-xi Shi till Duke Zhou was the Green

Yang Period.  It was the period that God descended Tien-Tao -

the unseen thread to Godís kingdom - onto admirable rulers who

governed the world with Tao according to Godís will.  There were

eighteen hundred and eighty-six years from the Yellow Emperor

to Duke Zhou.


In the Zhou Dynasty (around 1000 B.C.), Chinese civilization

reached a peak.  Both material and intellectual developments

flourished.  However, as a decline would always follow a peak,

the Zhou Dynasty started to deteriorate when King You inherited

the throne.  He was not upright and his orders could not be

implemented throughout the country.  The government became

corrupted.  Trickeries and robberies were common.  Godís will

had been distorted.  Thus King You was not granted the Holy Mission.


After King You, the Red Yang Period began and the Heritage of

Tao was carried on by the scholars.  Unlike emperors and kings,

who could rule and lead subjects to follow Godís will, scholars

did not have authority and could only use teachings based on the

Truth to inspire people to bring out the goodness within themselves

and seek for the lost origin.  Since teachings were carried out by

religions, it was a period of spreading Tao by religions.  The first

three great religions appeared in the world about three thousand

years ago, and they were Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.


Lao-tzu was born in China.  He was the first scholar to maintain the

Heritage of Tao.  He taught that Wu-Wei24 was the method of

returning to nature - Tao.  He conveyed the essence of Tao to

Confucius before he went west.  Once Confucius received the

essence of Tao, he exclaimed ďLao-tzu is so mysterious and

profound as a dragon that can fly to Heaven and hide in deep

waters.Ē  A legend says that Lao-tzu travelled to the West and

transmitted the essence of Tao to a prince.  As he was passing

through Fort Han-gu, the commissioner of the Fort, Guan Yin-zi,

begged him to stay.  So Lao-tzu wrote five thousand words down

in Tao-teh Ching and proceeded westward.  He was respected as

the founder of Taoism.


After Confucius received the essence of Tao, he carried on the

mission of spreading Tao.  He travelled through many states to

spread the Truth.  He edited the Scriptures written down by

ancient Saints and clearly stated that these Scriptures are the

everlasting Truth and the unalterable principle and guideline for

human behaviour (benevolence, justice, propriety, wisdom and faith). 

The Great Learning left by Zeng-zi and The Doctrine of the Mean

written by Zi-si embed the profundity and mysticism of Tao. 

Confucius was respected as the founder of Confucianism.


Confucius conveyed the essence of Tao to Zeng-zi.  Zeng-zi

conveyed It to Zi-si.  Zi-si conveyed It to Mencius.  By the time

Mencius received the essence of Tao, China was in turmoil. 

It was the Warring States in Chinese history.  States were

independent and constantly waged wars against the others. 

Human mind was unpredictable and heresies prevailed. 

There wasnít anyone who could continue to carry on the mission

of spreading Tao, and the Heritage of Tao ceased to continue in

China.  Beginning with Fu-xi Shi and ended with Mencius, there

were eighteen Saints who carried on the Heritage of Tao in China,

and they were called the First Eighteen Patriarchs of Tao in the East.


About three thousand years ago, an admirable prince was born in

the West.  He was Sakyamuni Buddha who gave up his princedom

to practice Tao in deep forest at a young age.  At thirty-five, he was

enlightened, thus carried on the mission of spreading Tao.  He was

respected as the founder of Buddhism.  After lecturing for forty-nine

years, he passed on the essence of Tao to his first disciple

Mahakasyapa, who became the first Patriarch of Tao in the

West.  Since then, Buddhism carried on the Heritage of Tao

in the West until Patriarch Da-Muo Zu-Shi (Bodhidarma)

came to China.


One thousand years after Lao-tzu, Confucius and Sakyamuni

Buddha, two more Saints appeared in the western world and took

on the mission of spreading Tao.  They were Jesus Christ and

Prophet Mohammed.  In accordance with the cultural backgrounds,

time and environment, they devised the most effective and the most

acceptable methods of spreading Godís Truth in different regions,

and became the founders of Christianity and Islam.  As Jesus became

a martyr of Tao, he left Gospels of God in The New Testament

After Prophet Mohammed returned to Heaven, he left the words

of Allah in The Koran.  However, after Jesus Christ and Prophet

Mohammed, there wasnít any Saint like them to receive the essence

of Tao and carry on the missions of Christianity and Islam.


There were twenty-eight Patriarchs of Tao in the West.  They

were Mahakasyapa, Ananda, Sanavasa, Upagupta, Dhritaka,

Michaka, Vasumitra, Buddhanandi, Buddhamitra, Parsva,

Punyayasas, Asyaghosa, Kapimala, Nagarjuna, Kanadeva,

Rahulata, Sanghanandi, Sanghayasas, Kumarata, Jayata,

Vasubandhu, Manura, Haklenayasas, Sinha, Vasiastia,

Punyamitra, Prajnatara and Da-Muo Zu-Shi (Bodhidharma).


When Da-Muo Zu-Zhi received the essence of Tao, India was

in turmoil.  There were numerous heresies, thus the essence of

Tao could not be passed on in India.  Comprehending a bright

purple light coming from the East, in inspiration, Da-Muo Zu-Shi

realized Godís message that the East was a harmonious place and

he should seek for a successor there.  Thus he travelled eastward

and reached China when Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty

(from 502 A.D. to 550 A.D.) was reigning the southern half of China.


Da-Muo Zu-Shi showed that he was with the True Tao by displaying

the miracle of crossing a river using only a reed.  He passed on the

essence of Tao to Hui-ke and said ďI bring no word with me from

the West.  My practice purely emphasizes on the heart and the True

Self.  If one can transcend the cycle of birth, death and rebirth only

by reciting Sutras, how would ancient Saints attain Tao when there

wasnít any Sutra?  Therefore, I convey the essence of Tao to you

through the meeting of our hearts and the passing of the secret

verbal message.Ē  Da-Muo Zu-Shi started to use the robe and the

elm bowl as the insignia of The Patriarchate in China.  Then, the

essence of Tao was transmitted from Hui-ke to Sen-can, Dao-xin,

Hong-ren and Hui-neng in succession.