General Treatise on the Transmission of the Scriptures, Commandments and Registers of the Three Grottoes

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General Treatise on the Transmission of the Scriptures, Commandments and Registers of the Three Grottoes ( 《傳授三洞經戒法籙略說》 Chuanshou Sandong ) by the Tang Daoist, Zhang Wangfu, has two volumes. The postscript says: Zhang Wangfu, a Daoist in Supreme Purity Temple ( 太清觀 Taiqing Guan ), on Oct. 12th of the 1st year of the Xiantian era of the Great Tang. Therefore the book must have been completed during the reign of the Xuanzong Emperor. The book briefly introduces Daoist commandments as requisites for becoming immortals, just as a ship is required to cross an ocean. Transmission of commandments varies according to the status, intelligence and character of the initiate. Listed in the book are the three-refugee ( 三皈 Sangui ) commandments for beginners, five commandments for cultivation of five virtues and abandoning of the five desires, eight commandments for correspondence with spirit and the highest ten commandments for lay Daoists to cultivate ten merits. Commandments are different for Daoists of different levels and traditions, such as the Orthodox-oneness sect ( 正一 Zhengyi ), the Three emperors sect ( 三皇 Sanhuang ), the Numinous Treasure sect ( 靈寶 Lingbao ) and the Highest Clarity sect ( 上清 Shangqing ). This reflects the situation of commandments transmission. As an assemblage of contemporary Daoist commandments, collected in the Orthodox Oneness Section of the Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era, the book is material for the study of the Transmission of the Scriptures, Commandments and Registers of Three Grottos in Tang dynasty.