The Dragon Gate Sect
Patriarch Qiu founded the Dragon Gate Sect
Founded by patriarch Qiu, a disciple of the first patriarch Wang Chongyang between the Song and Yuan dynasties, the Dragon Gate sect ( 龍門派 Longmen Pai ) is a branch of Wang Chongyang's school, which advocates carrying on the Patriarch's teachings:
- Control of anger and desires: keeping the mind and spirit stable, and pursuing the eternal spirit in spite of the short life of the physical body.
- Synthesis of Confucianism and Buddhism: patriarch Wang Chongyang required all of his disciples to read the Book of Mind ( 心經 Xinjing ), the Book of Filial Piety ( 孝經 Xiaojing ) and the Laozi in order for them to have a comprehensive understanding of the Three Teachings (Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism).
- Obedience to rules and commandments: the Dragon Gate sect follows the Great Commandments of the Three Altars ( 三壇大戒 Santan Dajie ), namely the Commandments of Elementary Perfection ( 初真戒 Chunzhen Jie ), the Commandments of the Middle Ultimate ( 中極戒 Zhongji Jie ), and the Commandments of the Heavenly Immortals ( 天仙戒 Tianxian Jie ). The transmission of the commandments lasts 100 days, and there are hundreds of commandments.
- Diligent practice of Inner Alchemy ( 內丹 Neidan ): influenced by The Three Ways Unified and Normalized of the Book of Changes ( 周易參同契 Zhouyi Cantonqi ), this school advocates the cultivation of Inner Alchemy to integrate the Inner Water and Fire so as to attain long life.
In the fourth Xingding year (AD 1220), patriarch Qiu, together with his eighteen disciples, including Yin Ziping, Li Zhichang, and Song Defang, etc., set off with the envoy Liu Zhonglu by imperial order from Laizhou to the great Snow Mountain to meet Genghis Khan and advise him to abandon killing and do kind deeds. The journey lasted two years and took the party ten thousand miles west. The emperor granted him the title "Immortal" and "Great Master". His disciple Li Zhichang gave a relatively detailed account of the journey in his book The Journey to the West of the Perfect Man of Eternal Spring ( 長春真人西遊記 Changchun Zhenren Xiyou Ji ).
The first emperor of the Yuan dynasty conferred upon patriarch Qiu the Tiger Talisman and the imperial seal. Patriarch Qiu was thus put in charge of all Daoist institutions in the world. He exempted Daoist temples and Daoist priests from all taxes and corvees. Thus the Daoist priests gathered and The Doctrine of Mysteries ( 玄教 Xuanjiao ) became more and more prosperous. Eight Daoist communities, named Equality, Numinous Treasure ( 靈寶 Lingbao ), Longevity, Bright Perfection, Peace, Elimination of Disasters, Eternal Spring, and Ten Thousand Lotuses were established in the Yanjing capital, and temples, altars and offerings were set up in different places so as to propagate the Complete Perfection ( 全真 Quanzhen ) doctrine. In the 22nd year of the reign of the first emperor of the Yuan dynasty (1227), the Temple of the Supreme Ultimate ( 太極宮 Taiji Gong ) was proclaimed to be the Eternal Spring Temple, and Qiu Chuji was given the Golden Tiger tablet to take the lead of Daoism. In the seventh month of that year, patriarch Qiu passed away, and his coffin was laid in the Chushun Hall of the White Cloud Temple ( 白雲觀 Baiyun Guan ). The Dragon Gate School thus became less prosperous than before.
Wang Changyue Developed the Dragon Gate sect
In the years during the reign of emperor Kangxi, Wang Changyue, Master of Commandments ( 律師 Lushi ) of the seventh generation of the Dragon Gate sect, obtained the Great Commandments of Heavenly Immortals ( 天仙大戒 Tianxian Dajie ) in person from Zhao Zhensong, the sixth patriarch of the Dragon Gate sect. Wang Changyue made a trip to the capital in the autumn of the twelfth year of the reign of emperor Shunzhi. On the fifteenth day of the third month of the lunar calendar in the following year, he preached commandments at the White Cloud Temple. He ascended the altar to preach commandments three times, and took over one thousand disciples. From then on the Dragon Gate sect became prosperous again.
Later, Wang Changyue led his disciples to the south. They set up altars to spread their teachings on Mt. Wudang, and in Nanjing, Hangzhou, Huzhou and so on. The influence of the Dragon Gate sect spread to both sides of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River.
Wang Changyue was posthumously entitled the "Devotee Who Embraces Oneness ( 抱一居士 Baoyi Jushi )" by emperor Kangxi, who also ordered to construct a shrine and set up his statue at his tomb, and sent officials to render a cult on the date of his death every year. One of Wang Changyue's disciples wrote The Mind Skills of the Dragon Gate Sect ( 龍門心法 Longmen Xinfa ) in two volumes.