What is Taoism?
Taoism, which is sometimes referred to as Daoism, is a set of religious practices that started in mainland China. It is believed to be founded by both Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu and attracted immense attention and gained many followers during the Tang Dynasty.
Taoism comes from the root word Tao that means the path or way. It revolves around the concept of the existing relationship of humanity and the universe. Its main purpose is to keep the universe in perfect balance as if love can never exist without hatred. It teaches many values and insights but these all relate to a common belief or principle.
Taoism encourages one to observe compassion, moderation, and humility in every action that they commit. These three are called as The Three Jewels of the Tao. It also teaches the concept of Wu Wei, which means an action without action or simply an effortless effort.
Like any other religious organizations, Taoism also practices ritual rites like offering food to the spirits of their descendants. These foods are commonly meat from a slaughtered animal or may just be a basket of fruits. Another ritual rite is the burning of Hell Bank Notes because Taoism believes that whatever is being drawn or written on a piece of paper before setting it to fire will materialize in heaven so their deceased relatives could use it.
There are also special dates that all Taoism followers observe full fasting. This religious tradition is often symbolized by the Yin and Yang, which annotates balance and harmony, but in rare cases, a Bagua or an eight-sided figure with a mirror on its center sometimes represents it.
Several temples were built in China to honor Taoism. These can be easily identified because of a dragon or phoenix sculpture mounted on the temple’s roof sidings. As of present, there are about 225 million followers across the globe but most of these also identify themselves with other religious traditions.