Monday, September 22, 2008


The 5th lunar day of Chinese New Year is the Welcome Day for the God of Wealth. Many families worship the God of Wealth in the early morning. After the ceremony, people explode firecrackers to invite the God of Wealth to enter the house. That's why we can keep continuously hearing the sparsely sound of firecrackers in the morning.

Many stores open on this day after Chinese New Year holiday. Some religious store owners put a table in the front of company's main entry. They prepare fruit, flower, candy, tea, candles and animal sacrifices on the table to worship the God of Wealth. Some even invite the lion dance team to celebrate the opening ceremony. The mascot of the God of Wealth will appear and enter the store. The store owner will give the mascot a Red Envelope with money reward inside.

Who is the God of Wealth? The answer is more than one Gods of Wealth in the Chinese society. Some selected gods are from the novel of Feng-Shen Bang (The Bulletin Board of Delegated Gods), which is written in Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 AD). The story of the Feng-Shen Bang is talking about the rise of Chou Dynasty (1045 BC to 256 BC). The characters are the historical figures mixing with religious gods, goddesses, devils, demons, immortals, fairy person and spirits from Chinese mythology.

The main character in the Feng-Shen Bang is Chiang Tze-Ya who was a student of Original Supreme God. Mr. Chiang studied to become immortal at age 32 and failed after 40 years later. He went back to his home town and had trouble to make a living as a restaurant owner, businessman, fortuneteller until the founder of Chou Dynasty asked him as the premier when he was 83. He was rewarded the state of Chi after Chou dynasty conquered the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC to. 1046 BC). He lived up to 139 year old, severed for four emperors of Chou Dynasties and had 13 children.

Chao Kung-Ming

The major God of Wealth is Chao Kung-Ming. Before the book of Feng-Shen Bang, Chao Kung-Ming had magic power and was in charge of wind, thunder and rain. Once he was also in charge of plague. That means he can save or take away people's lives. Later, he became a general of millions of ghosts. He had a black face, wore combat uniform with helmet, carried golden wheel and metal chain on the the back of a black tiger.


In the Feng-Shen Bang, Chiang Tze-Ya delegated Chao Kung-Ming as the officer of Dragon-Tiger Black Hall by the decree of Original Supreme God. From then, Chao Kung-Ming was in charge of business of gold, sliver, and jewelry.

Chao Kung-Ming wasn't entitled as the God of Wealth by Chiang Tze-Ya. But because of his position, Chao Kung-Ming became the God of Wealth in Chinese mind. People forgot about his ugly and fierce face and changed his image by adding golden treasure around him.

Chao Kung-Ming was killed by the shooting arrows on this both eyes and heart. People said the God of Wealth is without eyes and heart, which means everyone has the chance to become millionaire from the blessing of the God of Wealth no matter you are rich or poor.

Chao Kung-Ming was a gangster when he was young. He regret what he did in the late age. Once he took off his clothes and asked people to punish him by using firecrackers to bang his body on the Lantern Festival night. To injure himself is to atone the sin and to be responsible the coming disaster. The event of mass firecrackers is still held in the Lantern Festival night today.

Kuan Yu

The mst poupluar God of Wealth is Kuan Yu who was a general in Three Kingdom period, (2211-263 AD), after late Han Dynasty. His trademark is the red face, long beard, long whiskers, green battle uniform and 40-kilogram long broad blade weapon.

He disguised himself with a red face because he killed a bad guy when young. He helped his friend and tried to restore the power of Han Dynasty. He won lots of battles and killed many enemy's generals. But he end with a beheaded general. After his death, his spirit wouldn't die and his divine image appeared on the sky several times. People remembered his brave and fighting skill, faith, righteousness, loyalty to friends, and act of justice. Chinese believe that his spirit can protect themselves and repel the bad luck. He was treated as the God of War before Ming Dynasty.

After Ming Dynasty and Ching Dynasty, more business persons worship General Kuan, because they needs partners in business with righteous, trustful, loyally personality. Also, the business people would like to win the business deal all the time like a ever-win General Kuan. Therefore, Kuan Yu became the God of Wealth.

Both Kuan Yu and Chao Kung-Ming are military officers. They are called The God of Sword Wealth.

Bee Kan

Bee Kan was a smart and loyal officer in Yin ( Late Shang) Dynasty, He was also an uncle of the emperor. Chiang Tze-Ya left him a magic paper and told him to burn and eat it when he was in big emergency.

The emperor's lovely queen was a nine-tail fox transformed into a beautiful woman. Bee Kan killed many foxes related to the queen. The queen wanted to revenge and pretended very sick and told the emperor that she needed the hear of Bee Kan to recover her health. The emperor called Bee Kan into the palace and Bee Kan took out his heart and then walked away.

Bee Kan was without heart, but didn't die because he ate the Chiang Tze-Ya's magic paper before entering the palace. Bee Kan left the palace and donate money and treasure to many people. A person without heart must be fair to the money and business deal. Later Chiang Tze-Ya entitled Bee Kan as the God of Wealth in the Feng-Shen Bang.

Fan li

Fan Li helped the king of Yeuh to regain the state. He was out smarter than the king. He quitted his position and move the state of Chi to prevent to be killed later.

He changed his name in Chi country and made lots of money in business. The king of Chi found his talent and invited him as the premier. But Fan Li gave away all his money to people, then run away again. Fan Li chose another business town to started the new business again. Not too many years later, he became a millionaire again

Fan Li is a symbol of collection of money. He never treasure his money. He can give up the wealth, career, honor and prosperity. What he showed his wisdom and business management skill to people. That's why Fan Li was treated as the God of Wealth after his death.

Bee Kan and \fan Li ware smart statesman. They are called The God of Pen Wealth.

Yao Shaos

According to the Feng-Shen Bang, Mr. Yao had a position of Profit Growth Officers. He was a student of Chao Kung-Ming who was the God of Wealth. Chiang Tze-Ya entitled him Yao Shaos as the Auspicious God. Chinese treat him as the God of Windfall, because the business profit and lucky money from gift are easy money to make people rich faster.

The God of Windfall usually will appear besides the God of Wealth, because people like something extra and easy.

The God of Local Land

The God of Local Land is the lowest rank office in Taoism and very close to people. Many people fulfilled their wishes after they prayed and asked the God of Land for good luck. That's why there are many little roadside shines of the God of Land in the countryside. Therefore, for some people the God of Land is the God of Wealth to them.

Five Different Gods of Wealth

The God of Wealth brings people money. Five Gods of Wealth must make people much richer. One said that Five Gods of Wealth were five friends who had same birthday and met in a temple. Because they came to the temple for the same purpose to pray for money luck, so they became very close friends. Later, all of them became rich because of successful business. Five of them donated money to build a new temple. They are entitled Five Gods of Wealth after death.

The other popular saying that Five Gods of Wealth are Chao Kung-Ming with his four assistants who are in charge of receiving treasure, collecting jewelry, summoning money and raising profit. The picture on the left shows extra the Boy of Wealth.

Five Different Gods of Wealth means the God of Wealth come from different directions - East, West, South, North and Center. No matter where you go, one of the God of Wealth will be there for you.

Some people choose their own Five Gods of Wealth. two are Gods of Sword Wealth, two Gods of Pen Wealth and God of Windfall.

Five Color Gods of Wealth

When people devote in the religious, they don't have time and place to pursuit wealth for the living. So religious people pray for their God of Wealth to increase their wealth easier and faster. Thus, the poor become rich and the rich become much richer.

For example, In Tibetan Buddhism, there are Five different color of God of Wealth - Yellow Jamhhala, Red Jambhala, White Jambhala, Black Jambhala and Green Jambhala. (Jambhala is the Buddhist form of the Hindu God of Wealth) The most popular one is Yellow Jamhhala. He is one of the Four Heavenly Kings who protects the world in Buddhism. He is also a benevolent god who bestows wealth.

The Stories of God of Local Land in Taoism

In Chou dynasty, a government offices Mr. Fu-Der Chang was in charge of income tax. He did many good will and won the reputation of merits and virtues. He died at age 102. The next turn government officer increased the income tax a lot and many people became poor. One poor built a stone house to worship Mr. Fu-Der Chang. Later this poor guy became rich. So many people collected money to build a temple for Mr. Chang and gave him as new name Fu-Der Rightness God . Mr. Chang was born 2nd day of 2nd lunar month in Chinese lunar calendar, which is one of birthdays of Land of God today.

The other story about the God of Land is around Chou dynasty. a servant named Mr. Ming-Der Chang. His master was away home for a while. The daughter of the master was missing her father very much. Mr. Chang escorted her to find her father during the cold winter time. The daughter was cold and very sick. Mr. Chang gave his clothes for her to save her life. But Mr. Chang died cold finally. After he died, the sky showed Fu-Der God Chinese characters. His master built a temple in the name of Mr. Chang to show his appreciation to save her daughter life. The emperor of Chou dynasty gave the temple name as Fu-Der Rightness God.

Another legend said God of Land taught people how to do farmer activity – specially in crop harvest. He was born on 15th day of 8th lunar month. So every year people will worship the God of Land on his birthday and pray for a a plentiful harvest. This is why you will find two different birthdays of the God of Land from the Chinese Farmer Calendar.

The book of Late Hang dynasty mentioned people called the God of Stove as the God of Land mistakenly. During the Sung dynasty, the image of God of Land was finally pictured as an old happy face, white-sliver gray bearded and hair man wearing in white with black hat. Today, we see more God of Land wearing golden hat and clothing. This is from people appreciate God of Land brought them luck and gave God of Land a golden outlook for return. (Note: Ancient China, only the emperor was allowed to wear golden and dragon clothing.)

The God of Land is in charge of the local land. He is treated as a lowest rank office in Taoism and very close to people. He is popular is because that many people also think he can bring people good and money luck. Every family Buddhist altar should have a red paper written Fu-Der Rightness God in Chinese. That means the family offers a place to the God of Land to stay. Every worship event for the God, the God of Land will be invited first as a guest and a guider during the ceremony.

There are many little roadside shines for the God of Land in the countryside, which are for poor people unable to afford a worship place at home. Those people can bring their offerings or sacrifices on every 2nd and 16th lunar days or on the birthdays of God of Land to pray for their luck. In the Chinese traditional graveyard, every tomb has a simple stone statue of God of Land on the side to protect the land and keep the evil spirit away from the tomb.

One of Chinese Yearend events is the Farewell Day for God of Stove on the 24th lunar day of 12th month in Chinese calendar. On this day, God of Stove has return to the Heaven to report his duty to the Jade Emperor, Emperor of Gods. Who is the God of Stove?

In Chou Dynasty (1122 B.C.), Mr. Chang was born in a rich family. He was very wasteful and spend all the family money very quickly. After running out of money, he decided to do a small business, but without money. He sold his wife to someone as a maid. But he promised to buy her back.

Unfortunately, he was a real prodigal and couldn't change his habit. He became a beggar after spending all his wife’s money. Finally, he woke up and was very regret and very sorry for his wife. But he couldn't do anything.

One day he begged for food on the front of his ex-wife’s house. His ex-wife recognized him and brought him into kitchen for better food. Meanwhile, his ex-wife’s husband came back into kitchen. Mr. Chang hided in the stove very quickly and quietly. But the husband put the fire into the stove to prepare hot water for bath. Mr. Chang kept inside and didn’t make a sound to protect his ex-wife reputation. Certainly he was burnt to die.

Later, his ex-wife prayed for Mr. Chang over the kitchen stove every day. People asked her what she was doing. She always answered she worshiped the God of Stove. The name of God of Stove was spread from there.

Friday, September 19, 2008


GUAN-YIN: Goddess of Compassion and Caring, and one of the Four Supreme BODHISATTVAs of Chinese Buddhism.

GUAN-YIN's mission is Victim Support. She supports the distressed and hungry, rescues the unfortunate from peril, and gives comfort and aid wherever it is needed. GUAN-YIN's work would put many a charity to shame — and she doesn't ask for donations.

Otherwise known as AVALOKITESVARA in India, she had finally attained Enlightenment after much non-struggling with non-things. She was just about to enter Heaven to join the other BUDDHAS when she heard the cries of the poor unsaved souls back on Earth.

Her heart touched by pity, she vowed never to rest until every single soul was brought to Buddhahood. The magnitude of contemplating this task made her head explode into a thousand pieces, but she was perfectly fine after BUDDHA gave her a few Aspirin Sutras.

Turning aside from Heaven, GUAN-YIN went to the sacred island of Potuoshan and embarked on her new career. This selfless sacrifice brought her much credit, and reverence which persists to this day.

As a deity often called upon to appear in the most unusual and difficult situations, GUAN-YIN has the ability to transform into any living thing. In fact she's better known in India as a male. But she often appears in female form to avoid gossip — and because she likes it. Like her Japanese equivalent KANNON, GUAN-YIN is known as a female deity, and has taken on a modest amount of fertility work. Childless women pray to her for offspring. In this respect she is also a Goddess of Rice, filling it with her own milk to give nourishing tit-bits.

The Bodhisattva who saves us from the Three Calamities and the Eight Disasters, GUAN-YIN is always on call, and has appeared in many a Chinese tale to help the likes of MONKEY out of tricky situations. His — or her — peaceful benevolence has soothed many a worried brow. We are full of admiration.



MONKEY: The infamous irrepressible Monkey King, Trickster God, and Great Sage Equal Of Heaven.

Star of stage, screen and scroll, MONKEY is the true hero of Journey To The West (Xiyou Ji) — the amazing novel of frivolity and profundity written by Wu Cheng'en in the Sixteenth Century. (It's one of China's Four Great Novels, and we highly recommend it to anyone seeking enlightenment or entertainment.)

From the beginning of time, a certain rock on the Mountain of Fruit and Flowers had been soaking up the goodness of nature and QI energy. One day this pregnant rock released a stone egg, and from it hatched a Stone Ape, who solemnly bowed to the Four Corners of the Earth — then jumped off to have fun.

This was MONKEY. He was high-spirited, egotistical and full of mischievous pranks. He was soon having a wonderful time as King of the Apes. But a niggling worry began to gnaw at him — one which would change his life. The Monkey King feared Death.

To find immortality, MONKEY became the disciple of Father Subodhi, a rather dour DAOist sage. The sage, unimpressed with his simian tricks, gave the Monkey King a new title: 'Disciple Aware of Emptiness'. MONKEY was very pleased with this epithet, not realising it referred to the vacuum in his head.

But after much haggling, Father Subodhi uttered the words of Illumination, explained the process of Cloud-Flying — and also revealed the secret of the Seventy-Two Transformations. Which, thought MONKEY, was extremely good value for money.

Returning home to his monkey subjects, he discovered they were under seige by a fearsome monster. Magic tricks were no good — what he needed was a weapon. So he whizzed off to the Dragon King AO-KUANG and cajoled his way into the Treasury. There he found the great Magic Wishing Staff, a huge rod of black iron which Heaven had used to flatten the bed of the Milky Way. It weighed 13,000 pounds but could expand to fill the Universe or shrink to the size of a needle. MONKEY was delighted with this Weapon of Mass Destruction and used it to bludgeon many a demon thereafter.

It wasn't long before reports of MONKEY's tricks started to reach the austere ears of the JADE-EMPEROR. First the DRAGON-KINGS complained of rudeness and theft. Then YEN-LO-WANG, the God of Death, lodged a formal protest. "That intolerable ape has just vandalised my filing system and made monkeys immortal. What are you going to do about it?"

Not wishing to shed needless karma, the JADE-EMPEROR invited MONKEY to Heaven and gave him a job. Without pay, of course. This plan to keep the peace was amazingly successful for an entire day. Then MONKEY discovered that his post as Keeper of the Heavenly Stables was so lowly, even the horse manure ranked higher than him.

Insulted beyond belief, MONKEY ran amok, burst into the JADE-EMPEROR's court and dared to threaten his august person. The Ruler of the Universe sighed, consulted his advisors and bestowed a new title upon him: Great Sage, Equal Of Heaven. "That's much better," said MONKEY, impressed.

But by his very nature the Great Sage was irrepressibly naughty. He just couldn't help it. He gobbled up LAO-ZI's Longevity Pills, stuffed his face with the precious Peaches of Immortality, gatecrashed official parties and made insulting gestures to all and sundry. Finally he left Heaven in disgust, claiming it wasn't good enough for him.

Now the JADE-EMPEROR finally lost his esteemed cool. He sent the Heavenly army to obliterate MONKEY once and for all. Nothing could withstand this mighty force... But the Great Stone Ape — immortal, spiritually illumined and filled with Heavenly essences — was not only indestructable but also pretty handy in a fight. The forces of Heaven made an embarrassing display and slunk off in defeat. There was nothing for it — the Ruler of Heaven called for BUDDHA.

Now BUDDHA, in his infinite wisdom, knew better than to subdue MONKEY by force. Instead he offered him a wager. "If you're so clever, jump off the palm of my hand. If you can do that, I'll take the Emperor in as a lodger and give Heaven to you. But if you can't, I'll expect a full apology and penance."

The Monkey King laughed to himself. He could travel thousands of miles in a single leap. The bet was on. BUDDHA stretched out his hand and MONKEY jumped...

Several thousand miles later, the Great Sage landed in a desolate plain with great columns reaching up the sky. "These must be the Five Pillars of Wisdom at the end of the Universe", he thought. "That BUDDHA is just plain stupid to make such a silly bet." And, to show his disrespect, he pissed all over the nearest pillar and jumped back to claim his reward.

"Is the Emperor packing his bags yet?" asked MONKEY as he landed. The Holy One raised a sublime eyebrow. "I don't know why you're grinning," he said, "you've been on my palm the whole time. Look." An astonished MONKEY rubbed his eyes and stared at the five familiar-looking pink pillars of BUDDHA's hand. Then he smelt the stench of monkey pee and trembled. The next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground with a mountain on top of him.

And there he stayed for five hundred long years, being fed molten copper and iron pills by an attendent demon while the moss grew in his ears. By the time GUAN-YIN came along, the Great Sage Equal of Heaven was a thoroughly humble creature.

As told in Journey To The West, GUAN-YIN enlisted MONKEY as chief disciple of the young Buddhist monk TRIPITAKA. Together with SANDY and PIGSY, he protected the boy on his quest to India, battling demons and righting wrongs along the way. His natural monkey trickery now had a holy purpose which he unleashed with much enthusiasm — and his uncontrollable ego was kept firmly in place by a little device of GUAN-YIN's devising: a head-band made of gold.

The unsuspecting Great Sage was not prepared for the terrible torture of the Headache Sutra! Whenever MONKEY misbehaved, TRIPITAKA recited the Sutra and the golden fillet squeezed until his very eyeballs felt like bursting. Try as he might, he could not remove it. There was no defense except submission, and pretty soon MONKEY was the most humble disciple the world has ever known. Usually.

After many many many many adventures, the travellers fulfilled their quest. MONKEY was rewarded for all his efforts with the title 'Buddha Victorious Against Disaster' and finally made his peace with Heaven. We don't know what the Great Sage gets up to nowadays, but presumably he keeps himself occupied.



TRIPITAKA: The famous Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk who travelled to India to fetch scriptures in the company of MONKEY, PIGSY and SANDY.

Although Buddhism had achieved a foothold in China, knowledge of its more profound mysteries was scarce. The minor (Little Vehicle) Scriptures were constantly consulted, but these were pretty tame and hardly anything to get excited about. Only the Big Vehicle Scriptures could truly save the damned.

BUDDHA was well aware of this little problem, and asked GUAN-YIN to help. "I have three full baskets of Scripture on Earth, waiting at the Temple of the Thunderclap for someone to collect them," he said. "Could you find a pilgrim to travel the hundred thousand leagues from China to India and back?"

"Of course," he mused thoughtfully, "I could just transport them there myself in an instant, but the Chinese people just wouldn't appreciate it."

So GUAN-YIN travelled down to Earth, looking for a humble and pious Chinese monk. Preferably one with stout legs. And a young priest named Xuan Zang seemed to fit the bill perfectly, so with a modest display of holy fireworks, GUAN-YIN persuaded the Emperor to send him on the quest.

In honor of his mission, Xuan adopted the name TRIPITAKA (which means 'Three Baskets' in Sanskrit). And off he went on the dangerous and incredibly long journey to India, taking only a horse, a change of underwear and a golden begging bowl.

Now TRIPITAKA, being young and foolish, was probably the least likely hero imaginable. When faced with danger he was liable to fiddle with joss sticks and burst into tears. Luckily GUAN-YIN had provided backup in the form of MONKEY, PIGSY and SANDY. They were not a well-knit team, and argued constantly, but in the course of time TRIPITAKA's disciples became used to his silly human ways and fought tooth and nail to protect him.

The four travellers (plus horse) negotiated their way through eighty-one disasters and many exciting adventures before arriving, many years later, at the Temple of the Thunderclap. Achieving enlightenment, TRIPITAKA passed into Buddhist Heaven with much ceremonial hoo-hah and prepared to fulfill his mission. So he was somewhat disconcerted when ANANDA and KASYAPA tried to fob him off with blank scrolls.

BUDDHA was somewhat peeved. "Such knowledge is infinitely precious, and not to be given away lightly. Everything has its price, even in Heaven," he said. "Give them your golden begging bowl as payment and we'll call it a deal. Although," he added, "to be perfectly honest, those blank scrolls are actually far more illuminating than the real ones."

Convincing BUDDHA that the Chinese people would much prefer scriptures with writing on, TRIPITAKA handed over his bowl, collected five thousand and forty-eight precious scrolls and headed back to China, taking the illuminated Buddhist Express which got him there in double-quick time.

And so at last his mission was fulfilled. He now takes his place in Buddhist Heaven and is known as the 'Buddha of Precocious Merit'.

also known as zhu bajie

PIGSY: A Pig Spirit, ex-Marshall of the Hosts of Heaven, and one of TRIPITAKA's disciples.

As told in Journey To The West, the Marshall was by nature a sensual spirit, lusting after angels and stuffing his face with food at every opportunity. Being a good general, his indiscretions were generally overlooked, until one day he guzzled too much peach wine and misbehaved with CHANG-O, Goddess of the Moon.

His drunken advances were very unwelcome to the chaste Goddess. She raised such a fuss that armed guards grabbed the drunken Captain and hauled him off to the JADE-EMPEROR. Punishment was swift, and the Marshall found himself kicked out of Heaven.

Landing on Earth, he discovered he'd been turned into a monstrously ugly pig spirit, complete with snout, curly tail and boar-like tusks. This was supposed to teach him a lesson. But it didn't work. His lustful nature multiplied and soon he was revelling in troughs and chasing pretty ladies for all he was worth.

Then along came GUAN-YIN, who offered him salvation — provided he become a Buddhist and help protect the young monk TRIPITAKA. The ex-Marshall of the Heavenly Hosts reluctantly agreed, and adopted the name of PIGSY.

In the company of MONKEY and SANDY, PIGSY travelled to India, carrying TRIPITAKA's baggage and fighting demons along the way. His lustful nature caused many embarrassments, and he fell pray to many of MONKEY's little jokes.

Finally their quest was fulfilled and PIGSY achieved enlightenment. Arriving at Buddhist Heaven, he was rewarded with the title Cleaner of the Holy Altar. That sounds like a very menial job for an ex-Marshall of the Heavenly Hosts, but as BUDDHA explained, thousands of worshippers send offerings to that altar every day.

So now PIGSY gets all the best pickings — and even his enormous appetite is satisfied.

also known as Sha Wujing

Sandy - large

SANDY: A Fish Spirit, ex-Marshall of Heaven and disciple of TRIPITAKA.

As told in Journey To The West, he was once the official in charge of Heavenly banners and ceremonial drapes. One day he accidentally broke the JADE-EMPEROR's favorite crystal dish. As punishment, he was chucked out of Heaven, transformed into an Earth-bound fish spirit, tormented with flying swords and generally made extremely miserable.

Life wasn't easy for fish spirits in those days, particularly ones as monstrous and ugly as him. SANDY barely scraped a living in the River of Sands by munching the flesh of the occasional passing peasant. He became morose, philosophical and a frightful pessimist.

A chance to redeem himself came when GUAN-YIN, looking for heroic candidates to assist TRIPITAKA, persuaded him to become a Buddhist. He embraced the faith and adopted the name Sandy Monk. Then it was adventures all the way to India in the company of MONKEY and PIGSY.

SANDY's special jobs were leading the horse, which he did with much devotion, and fighting demons, which he did with much complaint. When at last the quest was over, he achieved enlightenment and was rewarded the title 'Golden Bodied Arhat'. He now spends his time in Buddhist Heaven practising austerities.



Gods and Goddesses

Monotheist concept

In Taoism, there are many Gods and Goddesses. For those who get used to the "monotheist god", this concept can be very confusing to them.
This differences is simply caused by different point of view, understanding and tradition. Basically speaking, the concept of God is Taoism is not far different from other "Monotheist religion".

In Taoism there is a single highest, non-form, "Un-name-able God", that is located in VOID / nothingness. Has no form, entity of male/female, has no space or time. Because there no name that can be used to represent God, In book of Dao de Ching, therefore, the borrowed-word of TAO is used to represent. So TAO can be translated as "Origin of The creator of the universe", to make an easier understanding, sometime TAO is also called the universe itself.

But polytheist.....

This "Unnamable-TAO"; Tai Shang Lao Jun, created many Gods and Goddess to create the universe.
This is just like President doesn't have to go to the war, he has general and the general have military army to go to the war and so on.

Thus, the position of Taoist Gods and Goddess is similar the concept of Angels, Prophets, Saints, Buddha /arahats, etc in different religion/belief.

The "Great Tao" then appointed "Yu Wang Da Di / Jade Emperor" as Their Avatar to rule / lead / manage All Taoist Gods and Goddesses.

Another name of "Yu Wang Da Di" is "Yu Wang Shang Di", aka: just "Shang Di" which is the term used in Christian referring as The God/Father in heaven.

Note: In Taoism, Even though "Shang Di" is the God who is the King of all Deities, Angel, Minister, Official, etc, Yet, There are absolute spiritual forces higher than "Shang Di"/The God, known as "Tai Shang Lao Jun", "Yuan Shi Tian Zun", "Ling Bao Tian Zun".

Yi Huang Da Di / Shang Di- Jade emperor / Emperor of Heaven

Celestial bureaucracy

The Celestial Bureaucracy is organized similarly to a government administration, where the Jade Emperor / Yu Wang Da Di would be the highest President to whom other Deities must report.

When a mortal have successfully cultivated 'Tao' and have the ability to transcend their "10 parts soul/spirit" from mortal realm to the Immortal realm, Then he/she will become a God or Goddess.
To create an illustration, Living in the world is University. When one pass the final exam, then will receive a degree. Therefore, Male/female that already "pass the education" become "Gods and Goddess"

All Gods and Goddess have a duty / work. They govern certain aspect of our world, life, planet, galaxy and universe. For example, to save mankind, to educate mankind, to manage the rotation of certain planet/galaxy, etc.

When they perform their duty and well done, Each will received recognition by the
Jade emperor. When they earn many awards and recognition from the Jade emperor, They can get a higher position/rank within the 32 level of Heaven.

Levels of Heaven

Level of Heaven God or Goddess Realm name Position Existence

Celestial worthy of primordial beings
Yuan Shi Tian Zun / 元始天尊 Yu Qing
1st of 3 void Highest Wu Chi / Emptyness
35th Great Old Exalted One
Tai Sang Lao Jun (太上老君) Tai Qing
2nd of 3 void Highest Wu Chi / Emptyness
34th Celestial worthy of Numinous treasures
Ling Pao Tian Zun / 灵宝天尊 Shang Qing
3rd of 3 void Highest Wu Chi / Emptyness
33rd Jade Emperor / Yu Wang Da Di;
The avatar of 3 Void / pure Ones. Cing Tian / Heaven Avatar Tai Chi /
32nd All other Gods and Goddess
who are ruled under Jade Emperor Cing Tian / Heaven Deities Tai Chi /

San Qing (Pure palaces realm) is the palace of VOID/WU-CHI, where The TAO (Highest one) / "Un-nameable GOD" that exist before the universe, resides.

These three are trinity means it's three but it is One.

The palace of San Qing is divided by three; Yu Qing, Tai Qing and Shang Qing; which are the VOID realm where The Taoist Trinity resides

From 32nd level all the way down to the first level of heaven can be divided again by4 cardinal directions (North, West, South, North) and then distributed equally to another 6 directions (NE, SE, SW, NW, Above and below), therefore it makes 10 directions in totals.

The names of all 32 level of heavens are
Heaven name Cardinal direction
Taihuang Huangceng Heaven East
Taiming Yuwan Heaven East
Qingming Hetong Heaven East
Xuantai Pingyu Heaven East
Yuanming Wenju Heaven East
Shangming Qiyao Moyi Heaven East
Xuwu Yueheng Heaven East
Taiji Mengyi Heaven East

Ciming Heyang Heaven South
Xuanming Gonghua Heaven South
Yaoming Zhongpiao Heaven South
Zhuluo Huangjia Heaven South
Xuming Tangliao Heaven South
Guanming Duanjing Heaven South
Xuanming Gongqing Heaven South
Taihuan Jiyao Heaven South

Yuanzai Kongshen Heaven West
Tai'an Wangya Heaven West
Xianding Jifeng Heaven West
Sihuang Xiaomang Heaven West
Taiji Weng Chongfu Rong Heaven West
Wusi Jiangyou Heaven West
Shangshe Ruanle Heaven West
Wuji Fangshi Heaven West

Haoting Xiaodu Heaven East
Yuantong Yuandong Heaven East
Taiwen Hanchong Miaocheng Heaven East
Taisu Xiule Jingshang Heaven East
Taisu Wushang Changrong Heaven East
Taishi Yulong Tengsheng Heaven East
Longbian Fandu Heaven East
Taiji Pingyu Jiayi Heaven East

Brief explanations

God and Goddess in the Tai Chi Realm (33rd to 1st level of Heaven)

There are many other Gods/Goddesses outside the "San Qing" realm of Wu-Ci / VOID, called the realm of Tai Chi Yin Yang.

All ruled under Jade emperor, the Avatar of three Pure Ones, who resides in 33th level of Heaven.

Yi Huang Da Di - Jade emperor / Emperor of Heaven

Yi Huang Da Di is picked and chosen directly by the Tai Sang Lao Jun as the transcendence form of the primordial trinity / three pure ones (San Ching).

Tai Sang Lao Jun - Exalted One

Detail explanations

In summary, all the Shen Sien (Gods) and Xian Nu (Goddess) can be categorized into 2 kinds;

I. Xian Tian Zhen Shen (Ancient God and Goddess)
II. Hou Tian Shen Ming
(God and Goddess that originated from a human who become immortal)

I. Xian Tian Zhen Shen (Ancient God and Goddess)
Meaning They will perform work within the universe / heaven scope.

There are at least 190 Gods in this category.

1A. Highest GOD; Three pure ones of VOID
1B. Jade Emperor; Avatar of three pure ones.
2. Father heaven God and Mother earth Goddess
3. Queen mother Goddess of West heaven and Grandpa God of East heaven(YinYang)
4. Four heavenly minister / Si Yu Da Di< 四極大帝>;
i. Emperor of the highest palace of Polaris
ii. Emperor of North pole star of purple subtlety
iii. Emperor of eternal South pole
iv. Emperor of Earth.
5. Princes and Princesses of Heaven
6. Gods of The emperor of 3 world (Sky, Earth and water)
7. Celestial Emperor of Five direction
8. 32 Various Celestial emperor and generals
9. Celestial Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery that rules 5 Heavens
10. God of North and South side of Heaven
11. Gods & Goddesses of Stars / Planet / Constellations
i. Mother of stars and her nine sons(9 stars of big dipper)
ii. Five constellation star Gods
iii. 28 constellation star / lunar mansion Gods and Goddess.
iv. Gods of 9 planets;
(Sun, Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Mercury, Lunar&Solar eclipse)
v. 3 Stars Gods of luck, fame and longevity / Orion Belt God
12. God of the guard in the border between Heaven and Earth.
13. Gods of Time / Grand Duke of Jupiter rotation - 60 years cycle Gods.

II. Hou Tian Shen Ming /
(God and Goddess that originated from a human who become immortal)
A. Heaven scope 天; Ruler of earth
Meaning They perform work such as time, mountains, after death-
realm, elements, temple/house/building, rains, crops, flood, snow, community and city,
who is going to hell and heaven and other nature matter

There are at least 152 Gods in this category.

1. Gods of Earth
2. Gods of 36 high-rank officer of Sky
3. Celestial officers
4. Nature Gods & Goddesses
i. God of Wind
ii. God of Rain
iii. Father thunder God and mother lightning Goddess.
iv. 5 supreme commander of thunder
v. God of Cloud.
5. Gods of 5 Mountains
6. Gods of the guardian of mountains, oceans, rivers and water.
7. Gods of soil and earth-crops.
8. Gods of Guardian of Fire and water
9. Gods of house foundation, door, water pipe, kitchen and a well.
10. Gods of City protector and It's helper.
11. Gods of Protector of city river, temple, public safety & warehouse
12. 13 Great Guardians God.

B. Earth scope 地; Rule over fate and professions.
Meaning They perform work on Humans, such as birth, death, sick, become old, luck,
wealth, soul mate, job position, and other human matter

There are at least 160 Gods in this category.

1. Gods of wealth; have 4 ambassadors;
2. Gods of Arts
3. Gods of education
4. Gods of Medicine
5. Gods of Love and Soul mate
6. Goddes of fertility
7. Goddesses of protection of pregnancy and birth.
8. Goddesses of guardian of beds.
9. Gods of longevity
10. Gods of War
11. Gods of Army and soldier protector
12. Goddesses of Sailor protector
13. Gods of Farms and Fields
14. Gods of carpentry and paper business
15. Gods of clothing, silk-worm, metal, gold-silver smith and other business
16. Gods of physic / shaman protection
17. Gods of local-government protector
18. Gods of protection from disaster
19. Gods of protection from disease.
20. Gods and Goddesses of protection for children.
21. Gods of protection of deceased spirit.
22. Gods of protector of some Chinese surname descendant
23. 8 Immortals
24. Local Taoist Gods and Goddesses in Southeast Asia (Taoist who became immortal)
A. Immortals from Indonesia
B. Immortals from Thailand
C. Immortals from Malaysia
D. Immortals from Singapore
E. Immortals from Philippine
25. Local Taoist immortal from China.
26. Local Taoist immortal from Taiwan.
27. God of immigrant's protector.
28. Three Mao Brothers from Mount Mao.
29. Goddess of compassion; Guan Yin

C. Underworld / Di Yu / ; Rule over death realm
There are at least 18 Gods in this category.

1. King of Hell
2. 10 Gods of "after death realm"
3. Bai Wu Chang
4. Hei Wu Chang
5. Bull General
6. Horse General
7. Patrol god of Day and Night / Ri Ye Xun
8. Demon Emperor / Gui Wang


The history of Chinese Taoist talismans stretches back over 5000 years into the mists of time. The symbols that cover the talisman contain the secrets of the Universe.

Although they were conceived thousands of years ago they are based on sound scientific principles of the creative and destructive processes of the

universe and the psychological makeup of the human race. The symbols are pictorial representations, e.g. one stroke equals one heaven; one dot equals one universe.

To explain how Talismans work, we must first explore the theories and concepts behind them:

When the first caveman drew the first stick figure on a cave wall, he was using a symbol. He was using a symbol to represent part of his world. Ever since then, Man has used symbols not only to illustrate concepts, but to manipulate his reality. Because our world is constantly changing, we have used words and names to record what has happened. Every name is a symbol; your name written down symbolises you. Where and when your name is written has an effect on your life and reality.

Everything on Earth is just like a symbol, for example the Tai Chi sign represents the whole Universe; One straight line represents Yang, the male energy of the Universe, and a Broken line represents Yin the female energy of the Universe.

For instance the Pa Qua represents the 8 Directions, different people, parts of your body, elements, seasons, natural phenomenon (like Fire, wind, Earth, Forests, Sun, Moon, lake, thunder, Earth etc.), family relationships etc, it also represents change and non-change.

The talisman uses the whole universal form, transformed into a symbol and changes the way things are.

The Application of Talisman in Feng Shui
Original writer (Chinese Text): Mrs. Jia Yin Smith of San Francisco, California (USA). Translated and edited by Mr. K.C. Goh of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In ancient times, Talismans or Fu Zhou (magic figures or incantations) were objects for matching up. A bamboo board was typically broken into two pieces which were used for corroboration. Talisman or Fu Zhou originated during the period of the Three Kings and the Five Emperors. The first king was Fu Xi who observed the sky and surveyed the geographical features from the tracks of birds and animals and also invented Ba Gua, using Ba Gua to form the language in the talismans. These ancient talismans reflected how people use Ba Gua to make predictions in those days and these symbols were compiled to form the Book of Change or Yi Jing( I Ching). Talismans were associated with an Emperor by the name of Xuan Yuan or Huang Di.

The mechanism of talismans or Fu Zhou are not based on the material used but on maneuvering the Chi. When writing symbols on the talisman, one is actually matching the Chi of the universe and using the strength of the reflecting stars. When I was in primary school, I had a classmate who suffered from a parotid gland infection named boar head skin disease by the common people. A stamp inscribed with the Chinese character tiger was dipped in blue-black ink and was used to stamp the infected area of the patient. Two weeks later the patient recovered. Isn that incredible? The Tiger character is supposed to be able to eat the boar, metaphorically. The ancient Chinese physicians used talismans to cure sickness. This branch of knowledge is called the discipline of Zhu You section. When writing talismans, one is supposed to chant holy words. These talismans can be consumed by burning the paper and drinking the ashes with water. Alternatively, one can just keep the talismans for protection to bring good fortune and to ward off evil spirits as well as people with evil intentions.

Traditionally, feng shui masters have used talismans to help ward off bad luck or Sha. For example, when a house is directly facing the road, the master would place a stone inscribed with. Tai Shan stone dares to resist (the evil influences) in front of the house. Incidentally, Tai Shan is China most celebrated mountain range and it is believed that the stone from this mountain range has the ability to fend off Sha (noxious vapors) and Kuei (various kinds of demons). Houses that are facing temples and shrines are considered bad because it is believed that evil spirits normally gather outside the temple. Placing a piece of stone inscribed with Yu Qing (literally translation means pure jade which has the ability to fend off evil spirits) is an extension of the application of talisman.

The Yang Chai Ten Book states to renovate a house and to relocate a door if one does not have resources, this could not be done. Even if one has resources, one still needs to select an auspicious day and time. If the omen of the house is bad and one could not wait for the appropriate day and time, one can use talismans to protect the house for peace and security. In terms of function, there are two kinds of talisman: The first one is direction talisman and the other one is time talisman. Examples of direction talisman are: (1) stone dares to resist (the evil influences), (2) mountain and water protection, (3) tai ji symbol, (4) ba gua talisman and (5) wording talisman. These talismans are normally placed in inauspicious locations of the house, for instance the main door or walkway or bridge leading to the main door, the corner of the house, the position directly facing the roof-top and places in front or at the back of the house which are considered to have bad feng shui.

When performing renovation on a day that happens to be inauspicious according to the Chinese almanac, then time talisman could be used. Feng shui masters can use holy words and symbols to write talisman to change the bad omen into good luck.

Using talisman in feng shui, removes the psychological barrier and deals with the taboos of the culture. With the application of talisman, the feng shui master can stay away from an awkward predicament where there are no other feng shui cures.

Note: There were many versions concerning the name of the three Kings. Some regarded Fu Xi, Zhu Rong, and Shen Nong as the three Kings. Some textbook mentioned Sui Ren, Fu Xi, and Shen Nong. Some people considered Fu Xi, Nu Wa, and Shen Nong.

The five emperors refer to Huang Di, ZhuanXu, Di Ku,Di Yao,Di Shun. Huang Di was born 5000 year ago during the New Stone Age. His family name is Gongsun and he is being called Xuan Yuan.