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scriptures for chinese traditional religion?

Discussion in 'Asian Mythology' started by nathanielfirst, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. nathanielfirst

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    hullo, I was wondering if anyone on these boards knew of some scriptures for chinese traditional religion, as I am learning about it...
    I have found one thing out, it is hard to find scriptures for it, maybe it is temple worship only. All I can find is the I ching and the Jade Calender.
    I mean 'Shenism' as wikipedia calls it, not taoism, not confucian, not buddhist, but borrowing elements from all, and more the chinese folk religion that existed before these entered the picture, and has survived, focused on anscestor worship, etc.,

    would anyone happen to know of a few scriptures?
     
  2. Biblestudent_007

    Biblestudent_007 Active Member

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    I don't they think they allow various translations of the different bibles in China.

    To write a Chinese bible is probably the most difficult task to do.
     
  3. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    Tao Te Ching by Laozi had a huge influence in just about every religion in China...

    If you are talking about Shienism, which is closely tied to Taoism in many respects, I don't know of any good English sources with any details. A lot of it is ancestor worship and the Wiki page on it actually has a lot of links to particular clans if you have the time and inclination to read through them for what you need.

    wa:do
     
  4. sampuna

    sampuna Member

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    for the traditional chinese religion, I don't think there is any authoritative scripture for reference as most practices were passed down orally and may differ from one dialect group to another. however, there are liturgies that the devotees recite to invoke certain deities, most originating from the deities themselves through trance sessions. there are also certain groups that recite a corrupted form of Heart Sutra, in their own dialect, invoking the Mahayana Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and a host of other deities for blessing.
     
  5. GoodbyeDave

    GoodbyeDave Well-Known Member

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    The whole point of Paganism is that it doesn't have scriptures. We Hellenists don't, the Africans don't, and the Chinese don't. That's not to say that there aren't people whose writings are highly regarded: Confucius and Mencius from one point of view, Laozi on the other. But these are writings about religion and ethics, not writings on which they are based; like the writings of theologians in Christianity.

    Accounts of Chinese religious practice -- what's been called Shenjiao -- are surprising hard to come by. Schipper's Taoist Body is well-thought of, but I haven't read it yet. Such practice can involve
    - venerating the ancestors and gods at ones home shrine
    - attending a temple
    - meditating
    - using exercises to cultivate the body -- it's believed that the spirit can't be healthy in an unhealthy body
     
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  6. sampuna

    sampuna Member

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    true, there are no authoritative document on this religion but Southeast Asian newspaper articles about the religious festivals can give one an idea about it. Nine Emperor Gods and Ma Tzu festivals are among the most covered Shenjiao celebrations. Here are some Nine Emperor Gods festival blogs. Happy reading!

    Nine Emperor Gods 九皇大帝

    Nine Emperor Gods Festival | Your Almost Official Guide to the Nine Emperor Gods Festival
     
    #6 sampuna, Jun 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
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  7. GoodbyeDave

    GoodbyeDave Well-Known Member

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    Great links! I didn't know the Nine Emperor Gods, because all my reading has been of "Chinese Chinese" material, rather than of Overseas Chinese, but they're obviously the Nine Kings of the Northern Bushel -- I think.
     
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  8. sampuna

    sampuna Member

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    I'm not sure of which star they correspond to. It seems that 8 stars are visible while the remaining one star is said to be a mythical star. happy discovering! Traditional Chinese religion, as practised by the Overseas Chinese evolved, syncretising with local beliefs. The 9 Emperor Gods worship is one good example. The most extreme form can be seen in Phuket , with lots of skewering the body and mutilations while a more common practice as observed by most places involves strict vegetarian diet and daily recitation of a revealed scripture, unique to each temple.

    A temple I attend at Melaka, Malaysia, conducts certain ceremonies on certain days of the 9 Emperor Gods festival, and the main scripture recited is only known to the temple priest. He is the only one who memorized the scripture and would only recite it for certain ceremonies. There there are certain invocations, revealed only to a select group of cymbal clashers , to invoke the deities for trance ceremonies. The devotees just participate in the ceremonies and do as told.
     
  9. GoodbyeDave

    GoodbyeDave Well-Known Member

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    In China, everyone is under the protection of one of the Nine Kings, and you can have a ceremony done to request health and longevity from them. Is the view in Malaysia similar? The festival is certainly splendid.
     
  10. sampuna

    sampuna Member

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    I'm not so sure about the belief that everyone is under the protection of one of the 9 Kings, but we do have ceremonies to request for health & longevity during the festival (the 1st to 9th day of the 9th lunar month).
     
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