Author: Desaview2

The Rise of the Tao [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2011-10-29 13:49:06 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sillyoldman at 2011-12-31 20:46
Originally posted by correction at 2010-11-10 16:36
The Temple of Heaven, where Shangdi is worshipped.
From the earliest eras of Chinese history, Shangdi was officially worshipped through sacrificial rituals. Shangdi is believed to rule over natura ...

Shangdi 上帝 was not worshipped in the Temple of Heaven but 皇天上帝 Huangtian Shangdi is. 皇天上帝 Huangtian Shangdi was the main ancestral tablet 祖仙神位 of the Qing emperors whereas Shangdi was the ancestral gods of the Shang Kings. Refer to my previous post on 皇天上帝 Huangtian Shangdi in this thread.

Shangdi 上帝 was not monotheist but polytheist as Ancient China Religion was Polytheism ( Shangdi could be Shang kings’ 先帝 Sen-di and 古帝 Gu-di, including 皇皇后帝 Huang Huang Hou Di and 三皇五帝 San Huang Wu Di).

In a poem from SHI JING [Book of Odes] 魯頌 (PRAISE-SONGS OF LU) 300 閟宮 BI GONG in website:,
Shangdi was皇皇后帝 Huang Huang Hou Di which translates as sovereign/royal (king/emperor & queen/empress) God/s. Thus Shangdi 上帝 included male and female divine beings.

In this Ode, Shangdi 上帝 had millet, rice and the black millet including roast pig, minced meat [pork], and soups sacrifices whereas the Bible God only receives lamb sacrifices and is all one male divine being.

In 1715 Pope Clement XI passed a decree rejecting Shangdi 上帝, Confucian ceremonies 禮 and the Chinese ancestor worship 敬祖 as pagan 異教徒 rituals in website:

The proclamation of the Pope’s decree angered Emperor Kangxi 康熙皇帝 resulting a ban on Christianity. His successor Emperor Yongzheng 雍正皇帝 intensified his father’s ban by ejecting all missionaries, closing down all churches and ordering Chinese Christians to renounce their beliefs or face death. The greatest oppression on Christianity, however, came from Emperor Yongzheng’s son Emperor Qian Long 乾隆皇帝. During Emperor Qian Long's 60 year reign, almost no Chinese dared to claim being a Christian in public. The Christian ban lasted for about a century.

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Post time 2011-10-29 14:42:12 |Display all floors

Chinese Lantern Festival

The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival because the first lunar month is called yuan-month and in the ancient times people called night Xiao. The 15th day is the first night to see a full moon. So the day is also called Yuan Xiao Festival in China.According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. At this time, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball) and get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere. History. Until the Sui Dynasty in the sixth century, Emperor Yangdi invited envoys from other countries to China to see the colorful lighted lanterns and enjoy the gala erformances. By the beginning of the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century, the lantern displays would last three days. The emperor also lifted the curfew, allowing the people to enjoy the festive lanterns day and night. It is not difficult to find Chinese poems which describe this happy scene. In the Song Dynasty, the festival was celebrated for five days and the activities began to spread to many of the big cities in China.Colorful glass and even jade were used to make lanterns, with figures from folk tales painted on the lanterns. However, the largest Lantern Festival celebration took place in the early part of the 15th century. The festivities continued for ten days. Emperor Chengzu had the downtown area set aside as a center for displaying the lanterns. Even today,there is a place in Beijing called Dengshikou.In Chinese,Deng means lantern and Shi is arket.The area became a market where lanterns were sold during the day.In the evening, the local people would go there to see the beautiful lighted lanterns on display. Today, the displaying of lanterns is still a big event on the 15th day of the first lunar month throughout China. People enjoy the brightly lit night. Chengdu in Southwest
China's Sichuan Province, for example, holds a lantern fair each year in the Cultural Park.


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Post time 2011-10-29 14:46:03 |Display all floors
Both Taoism and Confucius's teachings became enmeshed in the arts of Cong Fu and Go-Ti.


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Post time 2011-11-7 19:50:59 |Display all floors
Originally posted by correction at 2010-11-10 16:36
“…The ruler of China in every Chinese dynasty would perform annual sacrificial rituals to Shangdi at the great Temple of Heaven in the imperial capital. During the ritual a completely healthy bull would be slaughtered and presented as an animal sacrifice to Shangdi…”

Animal sacrifice has been a common practice throughout much of the world from the Hebrews to the Greeks, Romans, Hindus, Ancient Egyptians and not excluding the Chinese.

In many religions, it is a means of appeasing a god or gods or ancestors to perceive a method of communicating with the gods to change the course of nature. The worshiper hopes that the god or gods or ancestors to whom he is offering a sacrifice will reciprocate, bringing good fortune, good harvests or success in battle, etc.  The sacrificial offerings are objects of great value and serve as symbolic significance given to the gods to earn their favour.

Henceforth, no one religion has the exclusive claim over another religion over animal sacrifice.  Each sacrifice is unique to one’s culture and belief and the method in executing the offering. For example, there are great difference in the methods and objectives between the Christian Bible and Chinese State/Suburban Sacrifices and Offerings. The Bible rituals were usually performed to Bible God as sins offering and purification of the temple/place whereas the Chinese emperors asked the Gods and their ancestors to grant them good harvests and other special favours and blessings but not sin offering. The Chinese emperors used ox, pigs and goats and other animals as sacrificial offering but in the Bible, ox, goats, lamb and other animals were used but never pigs.

The question is, does Bible God desire animal sacrifices? The answer is 9 “yes” and 9 “no”. The 9 “yes” are in Genesis 4:4, Genesis 8:20-21, Genesis 15:9-10, Exodus 20:24,Exodus 29:11-37, Leviticus 1:5, Leviticus 23:12-18, Numbers 18:17-19 and Deuteronomy 12:27. The 9 “No” are Psalm 40:6, Psalm 50:13, Psalm 51:16, Isaiah 1:11, Isaiah 66:3, Jeremiah 6:20, Micah 6:6-7, Matthew 9:13 and Matthew12:7.

In Leviticus 16:8-22 of the Bible describe God’s rules for scapegoats for sin offering. Kill a bullock for sin offering. Bring two goats and kill one for sin offering. Wipe, smear and sprinkle the blood of the killed goat around seven times. Take of the blood of the bullock and the goat, and put them upon the horns of the altar round about. Then sprinkle the blood seven times. Lay the sins of all the people on the live goat and send the “scapegoat” off  into the wilderness. The goat shall bear upon him all the people iniquities.

In the Chinese Sacrificial Offering, Terry Kleeman’s Licentious Cults and Bloody Victuals: Sacrifice … in Traditional China:  ,
Terry Kleeman wrote:

“… The objects sacrificed were also subjected to sumptuary regulations of considerable details. The following passage from Discourse of the States records a discussion of this matter at the court of King Chao of Ch’u 楚昭王 (515-489 BC). When his younger brother, the great officer Tzu Ch’i 子期 sacrifices an ox to their father and presented the meat to King Chao, the king asked a minister about the restrictions on sacrifice. The minister replied:

“A sacrifice 祀 must be greater than a banquet 舉. The son of Heaven uses a t’ai-lao 太牢 (“large set of penned animals,” a set of pig, sheep (goat) or ox) for the banquet and a hui 會 (“collection,” or three sets of t’ai-lao) for the sacrifice. The feudal uses a single ox for the banquet and a t’ai-lao for the sacrifice. The minister of the state uses a shao-lao 少牢 (“small set of penned animals,” a set of pig and one sheep (goat)) for the banquet and an ox for the sacrifice. The great officer uses a single animal (that is, a pig) for the banquet and a set of shao-lao for the sacrifice. The shih eats fried fish and uses a single animal for the sacrifice. The common people eat vegetables and used a fish for the sacrifice”.  Unquote

And in “ State sacrifices and music in Ming China…” by Joseph Sui Ching Lam: ... e&q&f=false , Joseph Lam gave a comprehensive detailed description of State sacrifices and music in Ming China.

In pages 22 & 23, he wrote:

“…State sacrifices were traditionally ranked as great, middle, and small ceremonial according to three basic criteria: importance of the deities being worshipped; the court’s assessment of the ceremonials; and particular contextual considerations. As reported in Ming History, the Ming system included thirteen great state sacrifices, twenty-five middle ones and eight small ones. Such ranking of ceremonials was relatively consistent: great sacrifices were seldom demoted; ambiguities and fluctuations in ranking mostly involved the middle ceremonials and those performed irregularly. For example, ceremonials honoring Heaven were always great sacrifices, and the state sacrifice to Confucius was always a middle ceremonial.

The three ranks of state sacrifices were general classifications. Ceremonials belonging to the same rank could be further differentiated by the use of various ritual and musical elements, such as the types of sacrificial jade, the colors of the sacrificial silk, and the sizes of the escort for the celebrants. For example, the state sacrifices offered to the progenitors of agriculture and sericulture were both classified as middle ceremonials. However, the former ceremonial involved the sacrificial victims of an ox, a pig and a goat while the latter, only a pig, and a goat; the size of the altar proper for former was longer than that of the latter…”                                                                                          Unquote

It shall be noted that all the sacrificial animals were inspected by the emperor before the animals were slaughtered in the Slaughter Pavilion. They were then cooked or roasted before offered as sacrifices to the Gods and ancestors by the emperor.

During the Qing Dynasty, the tablets of 皇天上帝 Huangtian Shangdi (the emperor’s main ancestral tablet), former dead emperors, and other Gods were carried to the Circular Mound Altar of the Hall of Prayers for Good Harvests. During the presentation of the calf, the music began playing and the official poured boiling broth over the roasted calf in the container to offer sacrifice to the Heavenly Gods and the emperor’s ancestors.

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Post time 2011-11-8 15:46:15 |Display all floors
Huang Tian Shang Di” (皇天 上帝) and former eight emperors in Qing Dynasty

Thanks to Beijing Tour Guide website,  :

“…In Qing Dynasty they were worshipped separately, but when the emperors worshipped the heaven they also worshipped their ancestors in the Temple of Heaven, because that originated the idea of “Offering Tribute to Heaven and Respecting Ancestors” of ancient Chinese people. In olden days the belief was held that “everything under heaven owes its origin to heaven and human beings find their root in ancestors”. The emperors also believed that their ancestors lived in heaven after died. In the Temple of Heaven you can see the tablet of Heavenly King [Kings] flanked by the tablets of the first eight Qing Dynasty emperors from Nurhachi to Daoguang. As you know the tablets represented the Heavenly King [Kings] and the emperor’s ancestors…”                unquote

One can confidently confirm the eight former Qing emperor tablets in the Temple of Heaven belong to the following emperors:

1.        Nurhaci 努爾哈赤 (太祖), 1616-1636
2.        Huang Taiji 皇太極 (太宗), 1626-1643
3.        Fulin 福臨, the Shunzhi Emperor 順治, 1643-1661
4.        Xuanye 玄燁, the Kangxi Emperor 康熙, 1661-1722
5.        Yinzhen 胤禛, the Yongzheng Emperor 雍正, 1722-1735
6.        Hongli 弘曆, the Qianlong Emperor 乾隆, 1735-1796
7.        Yongyan 顒琰, the Jiaqing Emperor 嘉慶, 1796-1820
8.        Minning 旻寧, the Daoguang Emperor 道光, 1820-1850

The eight past Qing emperor tablets alongside their main ancestral tablet of 皇天上帝 Huangtian Shangdi (interpreted as Heavenly King [Kings] confirmed that the Temple of Heaven was built as an Ancestor Temple to house the main ancestral and past emperors’ tablets and for worshipping the ancestors.

It should be noted Shunzhi Emperor to Daoguang Emperors were the Qing Emperors of China whereas Nuraci and Taiji were grandfather and father of Shunzhi Emperor who were king/emperor of Manchuria nevertheless regarded as Emperors of the Qing Dynasty  by their descendants.

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