The Seven Perfect Ones of the North
Origin of the Seven Perfect Ones of the North
As seven disciples taught directly by Wang Chongyang, the founder of the Complete Perfection tradition, they are Ma Yu, Tan Chuduan, Liu Chuxuan, Qiu Chuji, Wang Chuyi, Hao Datong and Sun Bu'er, a group which has contributed a lot to the development and transmission of the Complete Perfection tradition, and, consequently, are worshipped as Perfect Ones. Also, because their main activities take place in Northern China, they are known as the Seven Perfect Ones of the North ( 北七真 Beiqi Zhen ).
- Integration of the Three Doctrines: Considering that the Three Doctrines (Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism) came from a common origin, they appealed to equality and unity among the Three Doctrines.
- Enlightenment of Mind and Revelation of Spiritual Nature ( 明心見性 Mingxin Jianxing ), Precedence of Spiritual Nature over Bodily Life ( 先性後命 Xianxing Houming ), and Integrated Cultivation of Spiritual Nature and Bodily Life ( 性命雙修 Xingming Shuangxiu ): They paid much attention to the Refinement and Cultivation of one's Spiritual Nature and Mind, and considered the purity and tranquility of one's mind as the prerequisite for the Refinement of Inner Alchemy, which they advocated to bring forth one's transcendence.
- Poverty and Humility: They suggested that practitioners get rid of all sensual desires and personal demands for wealth, and keep to purity and tranquility.
Sects and Branches
The Complete Perfection tradition witnessed its great development during the lives of the Seven Perfect Ones of the North, who contributed a lot to it by creating new sects and branches under the Complete Perfection tradition, includding
- the Encountering Immortality sect ( 遇仙派 Yuxian Pai ) founded by Ma Yu,
- the Namo sect ( 南無派 Nanwu Pai ) founded by Tan Chuduan,
- the Mt Sui sect ( 隨山派 Suishan Pai ) founded by Liu Chuxuan,
- the Dragon Gate sect ( 龍門派 Longmen Pai ) founded by Qiu Chuji,
- the Mt Yu sect ( 崳山派 Yushan Pai ) founded by Wang Chuyi,
- the Mt Hua sect ( 華山派 Huashan Pai ) founded by Hao Datong, and
- the Purity and Tranquility sect ( 清靜派 Qingjing Pai ) founded by Shun Bu'er.
Most of the Seven Perfect Ones of the North were intellectuals before joining Daoism, and had a high level in culture and literature. This enabled them to write many books and pass them down. The list of books left by the Seven Perfect Ones of the North includes
- Essays of Gold and Jade of the Pervasive Mystery ( 洞玄金玉集 Dongxuan Jinyu Ji ), Essays on Gradual Understanding ( 漸悟集 Jianwu Ji ), Brilliance of Divine Light ( 神光璨 Shenguang Can ) by Ma Yu,
- Essays of Water and Clouds ( 水雲集 Shuiyun Ji ) by Tan Chuduan,
- Collection of Heavenly Music ( 仙樂集 Xianle Ji ), Commentary to the Book of Dao and its Virtue ( 道德經注 Daodejing Zhu ), Elaboration of the Book of Secret Correspondence ( 陰符演 Yinfu Yan ), Quotations of Higher Perfection ( 至真語錄 Zhizhen Yulu ) and Explanation of the Book of the Yellow Court ( 黃庭述 Huangting Shu ) by Liu Chuxuan;
- Direct Pointers to the Great Elixir ( 大丹直指 Dadan Zhizhi ), Essays on Advocating Dao ( 鳴道集 Mingdao Ji ), Pan Stream Essays ( 磻溪集 Panxi Ji ) and On Nourishing Life by Waxing and Waning ( 攝生消息論 Shesheng Xiaoxi Lun ) by Qiu Chuji;
- Essays of Clouds and Light ( 雲光集 Yunguang Ji ), The Record of Mt. Hua, the Sacred Mountain of the West ( 西嶽華山志 Xiyue Huashan Zhi ), Essays of Purity and Perfection ( 清真集 Qingzhen Ji ) by Wang Chuyi,
- Essays of the Daoist Priest of Remote Antiquity ( 太古集 Taigu Ji ), Illustration of the Supreme Ultimate ( 太易圖 Taiyi Tu ) by Hao Datong; and Primordial Sovereign Shun Bu'er's Quotations on Dao ( 孫不二元君法語 Sun Bu’er Yuanjun Fayu ) and the Secret Book of Alchemical Skills Imparted by Primordial Sovereign Sun Bu'er ( 孫不二元君傳述丹道秘書 Sun bu’er Yuanjun Chuanshu Dandao Mishu ).