Declarations of the Perfected

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The Declarations of the Perfected ( 真誥 Zhengao ) was complied by Tao Hongjing of the Liang dynasty. The title refers to the commandments and advice imparted orally by Daoist Immortals and Perfect Men. It is said that in the years of Xingning during the reign of emperor Aidi of the Eastern Jin dynasty (AD 363-365), Yang Xi, Xu Mi and somebody else produced the so-called Handwritten Revelations by the Three Sovereigns ( 三君手書 Sanjun Shoushu ) of the Mt. Mao Lineage ( 茅山宗 Maoshan Zong ) in the name of "the Perfect Men (who) transferred" the handwritten scriptures. Tao Hongjing sorted them out and made brief annotations according to the declarations imparted orally by the Perfect Men which had been arranged by Gu Huan of the Southern Qi dynasty, thus compiling the Declarations of the Perfected. The whole book has ten chapters and twenty volumes. Volumes one to sixteen were written by Yang and Xu in the name of the "Perfect Men who imparted them orally". Volumes seventeen and eighteen are handwritten commentaries by Yang and Xu. Volumes nineteen and twenty were written by Tao Hongjing. The book is varied and jumbled in content. It records not only Immortals' and Perfect Men's transmission of perfect formulae but also discussion of Predestined Fate ( 冥數 Mingshu ), fortune and misfortune, as well as medicine, Gymnastics ( 導引 Daoyin ), massage, and affairs about Nourishing Life ( 攝養 Sheyang ) and Religious Practice ( 修持 Xiuxhi ). Also, it gives an account of the famous Daoist mountains and grottoes, and the ranks of the Perfect Men and ranks of the Perfect Men and Immortals, etc. The book is an important source for the study of the Mt. Mao Lineage of Daoism and the evolution of the Supreme Clarity ( 上清 Shangqing ) scriptures. It is collected in the Supreme Mystery Section ( 太玄部 Taixuan Bu ) of the Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ).