The Daoist Canon

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The Daoist Canon ( 道藏 Daozang ) is a comprehensive collection of Daoist scriptures. Its compilation began in the Tang dynasty. Daoist books increased day by day after the Wei and Jin dynasties. Chapter "Xialan" (extensive review) of The Inner Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity ( 抱朴子内篇 Baopuzi Neipian ) had already registered over 600 volumes of Daoist books by then. During the Southern and Northern Dynasties, Lu Xiujing classified the books into "Three Grottoes" ( 三洞 Sandong ) and compiled The Catalogue of Scriptures of the Three Grottoes ( 三洞經書目錄 Sandong Jingshu Mulu ), the first catalogue of scriptures in the history of Daoism. Afterwards, ritual master Zheng compiled The Catalogue of the Seven Sections of the Jade Apocrypha ( 玉緯七部經書目 Yuwei Qibu Jing Shumu ) according to the classification of the Three Grottoes and the Four Complements ( 四輔 Sifu ). Later, Tao Hongjing compiled The Catalogue and The Catalogue of All the Supreme Scriptures ( 太上衆經目 Taishang Zhongjing Mu ). It was not until the Kaiyuan era of the Tang dynasty (A.D. 713-741) that for the first time Daoist books were compiled into a corpus, namely The Daoist Canon of the Kaiyuan Era, the first Daoist corpus in Chinese history. Daoist books were missing in large numbers due to the turmoil at the end of the Tang dynasty and in the Five Dynasties. After the founding of the Song dynasty, Daoist scriptures were collected and collated on five occasions, and The Daoist Canon was re-compiled. Completed altogether were The Comprehensive Catalogue of Precious Literature ( 寶文統目 Baowen Tonglu ), The Precious Canon of Heavenly Palace ( 天宮寶藏 Tiangong Baozang ), The Daoist Canon of the Wanshou Era, and The Precious Canon of Exquisite Writings ( 瓊章寶藏 Qiongzhang Baozang ). Compiled in the Jin dynasty was The Precious Canon of the Mysterious Metropolis of the Great Jin ( 大金玄都寶藏 Dajin Xuandu Baozang ), and compiled in the Yuan dynasty was The Precious Canon of the Mysterious Metropolis. These Daoist canons were lost long before after suffering from wars and the burning in the Yuan dynasty. Extant today are The Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ) printed in the tenth Zhengtong year of the Ming dynasty (1445) and The Supplementary Daoist Canon of the Wanli Era ( 萬曆續道藏 Wanli Xu Daozang ) compiled and printed by Zhang Guoxiang in the 35th Wanli year (1607).