Wang Wengqing

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Life of Wang Wenqing

Wang Wenqing (AD 1093-1153) was a celebrated Daoist priest during the last years of the Northern Song dynasty and the first years of the Southern Song dynasty, and the founder of the Divine Heaven sect ( 神霄派 Shenxiao Pai ). A native of Nanfeng, Jianchang, he styled himself Yu Dao (or Shu Dao) and had the sobriquet Chonghezi. He honored Dao from his childhood, and was good at writing poems and essays. He claimed that he didn't yearn for wealth and rank in the world of mortals but aspired after connections with Perfect Men ( 真 Zhen ) and Immortals ( 仙 Xian ) in the fairyland. In other words, he was desirous of standing aloof from the world. In the first year of Xuanhe, during the reign of emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty, he claimed to have encountered an extraordinary person, who transmitted to him the techniques of presenting memorials to the heavenly Emperor, and books on summoning wind and thunder. Wang Wenqing became famous among the rivers and lakes. In the forth year of Xuanhe, he went to the capital by imperial order, and was invited to live in the Nine Yang Temple of the Assembled Perfect Men ( 九陽總真宮 Jiuyang Zongzhen Gong ). He refused all the handsome rewards, and was later granted the title 'Gentleman of the Sublime Dao of Emptiness' ( 沖虛妙道先生 Chongxu Miaodao Xiansheng ). In the seventh year of Xuanhe, he was further granted the title "Specially Appointed Senior Official of Supreme Simplicity' ( 特授太素大夫 Teshou Taisu Dafu ) and was appointed Document Collator of the Hall of Meditation ( 凝神殿校籍 Ningshen Dian Jiaoji ). Soon afterwards, he was appointed Imperial Attendant of the Hall of Meditation ( 凝神殿侍宸 Ningshen Dian Shichen ) and granted the title Daoist Priest of the Golden Gate' ( 金門羽客 Jinmen Yuke ), and his parents were also granted posthumous titles. Shortly after performing the great ritual in Nanchang to save the souls of the dead, Wang Wenqing was again appointed Imperial Attendant to the Two Wings of Government ( 兩府侍宸 Liangfu Shichen ), and granted the title 'Gentleman of Emptiness in Communion with the Sublime' ( 沖虛通妙先生 Chongxu Tongmiao Xiansheng ), and was ranked equal to Superior Officials of the Supreme Centre ( 太中大夫 Taihong Daifu ). He was specially promoted as a Councillor ( 待制 Daizhi ) in charge of Daoist affairs in the Cabinet of Brilliant Strategies ( 徽猷閣 Huiyou Ge ). His parents, uncle, wife and brothers were all granted titles. In the first year of Jingkang during the reign of emperor Qingzong, he asked to be allowed to return home to take care of his mother. After he was relieved of his office, Wang Wenqing soothed his spirit among the mountains and rivers, and didn't answer emperor Gaozong's call to retuirn to the court. Later, he passed peacefully away.

Transmission of Daoist Magic Skills

Wang Wenqing transmitted the Five Thunder Skills of the Divine Heaven sect ( 神霄五雷法 Shenxiao Wuleifa ), of which he was the founder. His disciples included Zhu Zhiqing, Xiong Shanren, Ping Jingzong, Yuan Tingzhi, and Sa Shoujian, who saw him in Mt. Qingcheng and obtained his secret techniques. At his hometown, he transnmitted his magic skills to Gao Ziyu from Xincheng and his nephew Shangguan. He also had many other disciples. In the Yuan dynasty, he was granted the title 'Perfect Man of Emptiness in Communion with the Sublime' ( 沖虛通妙真人 Chongxu Tongmiao Zhenren ), and in the summer of the third year of Zhishun, he was granted yet another title: 'Luminous and Wise Perfect Man of Emptiness in Communion with the Sublime' ( 沖虛通妙靈惠真人 Chongxu Tongmiao Linghui Zhenren ).