The Purse of Pearls from the Three Grottoes

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The Purse of Pearls from the Three Grottoes ( 三洞珠囊 Sandong Zhunang ) is a Daoist encyclopedia. It is written, "This book is compiled by Luhai Daoist Wang Xuanhe of the great Tang dynasty". Collecting the essential parts from 212 Daoist books of the Three Grottoes ( 三洞 Sandong ), the book is therefore titled The Purse of Pearls from the Three Grottoes. Emperor Wudi Yu Wenyong of the Northern Zhou dynasty once ordered the Daoist Wang Yan of the Tongdao Temple to collate the scriptures of and charts of the Three Grottoes. The seven-volume The Purse of Pearls from the Three Grottoes compiled by Wang Yan has been lost. Wang Xuanhe lived in a period later than Wang Yan. He was a Daoist of the Tang dynasty, but there is no record of his life. The title of the book he compiled is the same as that compiled by Wang Yan. Both the category of immortals in chapter "bibliographies" of History of the Song and the subcategory of philosophical Daoism, category of various philosophical theories in Summary of Comprehensive Records record that the book has 30 volumes, and 10 volumes, 30 sections are collected in the Supreme Peace Section ( 太平部 Taiping Bu ) of The Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era ( 正統道藏 Zhengtong Daozang ). Most of them are ancient mythologies and deeds of Daoists before the Southern and Northern Dynasties, and some are collections of inner and outer alchemy and fasting rituals and precepts. The Purse of Pearls from the Three Grottoes contains many lost Daoist books. It is an important reference for the study of the history of Daoism before the Tang dynasties.