The Supreme Venerable Sovereign’s Book of Commandments for Chanting

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The Supreme Venerable Sovereign's Book of Commandments for Chanting ( 老君音誦戒經 Laojun Yinsong Jiejing ) was written in one volume by Kou Qianzhi of the Northern Wei dynasty. In the second Shenrui year during the reign of emperor Mingyuan of the Northern Wei dynasty (AD 415), Kou Qianzhi declared that the Supreme Venerable Sovereign ( 太上老君 Taishang Laojun ) had conferred upon him twenty volumes of Commandments of the New Ordinances from the Clouds ( 雲中音誦新科之戒 Yunzhong Yinsong Xinke Zhijie ), and ordered him to rectify Daoism and get rid of the "false skills of the three persons named Zhang". The Supreme Venerable Sovereign's Book of Commandments for Chanting is the remaining part of the Commandments of the New Ordinances from the Clouds. The book claims that the Venerable Sovereign granted to Kou Qianzhi the orthodox position of Celestial Master ( 天師 Tianshi ), and commanded him to teach the people, assist in governing the state, to carry out the new skill of chanting commandments, and eliminate the "false scriptures and rituals". Moreover, it describes all the miraculous phenomena which took place at the birth of the Venerable Sovereign, and says that the Venerable Sovereign granted to those who are destined to achieve longevity divine elixirs for them to ascend to immortality and be saved. All of the rituals mentioned in the book, such as Founding of Dioceses ( 設治 Shezhi ), Appointment ( 署職 Shuzhi ), Transmission of Registers ( 授籙 Shoulu ), and Presentation of Petitions ( 上章 Shangzhang ), make changes to the Skills of the Zhang Celestial Masters and reflect Kou Qianzhi's desire to rectify the Celestial Masters tradition. The book is collected in the Commandments and Rules subsection ( 戒律 Jiellu ) of the Pervasive Divinity Section ( 洞神部 Dongshen Bu ) of the Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ).