Transmission of Commandments

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Transmission of Commandments is practiced by the Complete Perfection sect to recruit followers. It was said that Qiu Chuji began this practice, but it was Wang Changyue who made it accessible to the public in the early Qing Dynasty.

When Qiu Chuji began this practice before the end of the Ming Dynasty, it was not open to all. Wang Changyue was the first to made it accessible to the public. He handed down the Commandments for Elementary Perfection ( 初真戒 Chuzhen Jie ), the Commandments for Middle Perfection ( 中極戒 Zhongji Jie ), and the Commandments for Heavenly Immortals ( 天仙戒 Tianxian Jie ). They were called the Great Commandments for the Illumination of the Three Altars ( 三壇圓滿大戒 Santan Yuanman Dajie ). Wang Changyue traveled from Beijing to Yunnan, applying the method of Transmitting Commandments to recruit new members. When the Complete Perfection Sect spread all over China, its Transmission of Commandments became widely accepted.

Transmission of Commandments follows strict rituals. In modern times, Transmission of Commandments has been simplified to catch up with fashion.

The old Transmission of Commandments lasted one hundred days and included many rituals. Nowadays, due to social turbulence, it has been hard to continue this practise. In 1947, Erxian temple in Chengdu conducted this ritual. The White Cloud Temple of Beijing held the ritual for the first time in forty years in November of 1989 (it was from the 15th of the tenth lunar month to the 15th of the eleventh lunar month). It was shortened to twenty days, but the main elements were retained. These included: Rite for Receiving the Master; Rites for Performance; Test of Daoist Hymns ( 考偈 Kaoji ); Examination of Commandments; Chanting Scriptures; Litanies; Discussion of Commandment Items; Passing on the Mantle; issuing Commandment Certificates; Presenting Petitions to Thank the Gods; and Rites for Feeding the Hungry. Ritual positions include Master of Law for Transmitting the Commandments, and assistant masters for recommending, certifying the pledge, supervising the commandment, supervising the rituals ( 糾儀 Jiuyi ), performing the rituals and registrations. Another position is that of Master of Invitations.The Chinese Daoist Association has decided that the Transmission of Commandments ritual has been normalized. The temples which are capable of conducting it will maintain this practice. After the White Cloud Temple in Beijing, Mt. Qingcheng in Sichuan held the ritual, too. The recruitment of followers of the Complete Perfection sect has thus become more regularized.