7 Taoist Masters


pp. 153-158 – 26.

pp. 153-154 rain-bringing

p. 153

"there was a drought in the northern plains. ... In despair the emperor called together his ministers ... . ... One elderly minister replied, "... there are people who command tremendous power. They can summon rain ... . ..." ... When the emperor saw Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un he recognized that the Taoist monk was a man of power. ... Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un prostrated himself before the altar, uttered incantations, and prayed for three days ... . On the third day, at noon,

p. 154

... a small black cloud appeared. The cloud grew in size until ..., with a clap of thunder, rains poured from the sky".

pp. 156-157 fae:ry capable of changing the shapes of humans

p. 156

"Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un ... prepared a talisman and sent it to the palace of the Empress of Heaven. The talisman summoned a powerful fairy who was capable of changing shapes and forms. ... Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un said, "Go to the chamber of the empress. When the baby is born, I want you to open your gourd, capture the spirit of the female baby, and replace it with a male."

p. 157

... after the baby’s birth the fairy had captured the spirit of the female child and replaced it with a male."

{Possibly, the male "changeling" was actually the son of some politically powerful relative of the emperor. In that case, the official "changeling" story may have been intended to render the slight heirship-irregularity glamorously acceptable in royal court circles.}


pp. 159-166 – 27.

pp. 159-160 Taoist monks are magically created

p. 159

"Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un stepped outside the monastery and took his whisk out of his sleeves, Gently he blew at the whisk, and a wind arose. The wind whipped up some dry leaves and carried them down the hill. ... The dry leaves that the wind had whipped up and sent down the hill were changed into monks. At the command of Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un, they took life for a short time and occupied White Cloud Monastery until the exchange of Buddhist and Taoist monks was completed and Pai-yu:n and his followers had left. ... If Pai-yu:n had not been turned out of his monastery to experience such

p. 160

hardships once again, many of the good works that he had accumulated would have become as nothing."

p. 162 the 3 ways of entering the Tao


way of entering


"meditate and cultivate the internal energy."


"chant the scriptures devotedly."


"do good deeds by attending to the daily chores in the monastery."

pp. 163-165 quondam brigands become Taoist monks

p. 163

"After parting with Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un, Chao Pi and his followers had ... settled in the towns and villages and made an honest living as merchants or farmers. Ten years had passed, and one day Chao Pi heard that a Taoist monk by the name of Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un was inviting seekers of the Tao to White Cloud Monastery."

p. 164

Upon visiting C^>iu C^>ang-c^>un at the Monastery, "Chao Pi and his friends fell on their knees and said, "Master, ... We expected you to be much older but you look younger than when we parted ten years ago. We, on thew other hand, have grown old."

p. 165

"on an auspicious day Chao Pi and his friends took the monk’s oath and became disciples of Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un."

pp. 164-165 autobiographical statement, to quondam brigands, by C^>iu C^>an-c^>un

p. 164

"When I was young I realized that I had no desire for living in the material world. ...

p. 165

I have been starved seventy-two times. ... For six years, in rain or shine, I carried people across a river. Eventually I came to the attention of the emperor because I prayed to the Lords of Heaven to relieve a drought in a small province."

pp. 165-166 problem concerning the changeling heir to the throne : a test is proposed

p. 165

"The empress replied, "... I just don’t understand how my baby could have changed from a

p. 166

girl to a boy." Pai-yu:n said, "...Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un ... must have commanded an evil spirit to steal the soul of your girl and exchange it for a boy. ..." The empress ... said, "... If I were to tell ... that the son ... is the work of an evil force, I am afraid that I would be charged with treason.""


According to the history, during the T>an dynasty, in the emperor’s presence the Taoist official C^an Kuo-lao had imbibed a potent drug, and therewith slumbering "lay there for half an hour. ... But then he rose ... . ... The T>ang emperor finally believed that Chang Kuo-lao was an immortal."


pp. 167-172 – 28.

pp. 167-168 bathing in 24 tubs; opening the Gate of Heaven {brahma-randhra}

p. 167

C^>iu C^>ang-c^>un "instructed his disciples to fill twenty-four tubs with cold water. ... Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un ... immediately jumped into the first tub of cold water. When the water became hot, he got out and jumped into the next tub. When Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un got into the twenty-fourth tub, he found that the water came up only to his chest." {[Similarly, in Irish legend,] Cu` Chulainn’s bodily "heat ... was so great that he had sometimes to be plunged into a series of vats of cold water to restore him to a normal state" (M&SPE, p. 84).} Therefore, the magical heat "that remained in the upper part of his body could not be neutralized. It rose to the top of his head and burned off some of his hair, leaving a bald spot on the top of his head." {This may be a legendary account of the origin of monkish tonsure.}

p. 168

Describing the experience whereto the bathing in 24 tubs full of water was the response, C^>iu C^>ang-c^>un declared : "Last night the empress presented me with the wine of immortality. It was so strong that the Gate of Heaven on top of my head was opened, enabling my spirit to ascend to the Palace of the Immortals."

M&SPE = Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson : Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe. Manchester University Pr, 1988. http://books.google.com/books?id=XSnDAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=

p. 168 miraculous flattening of a piece of gold

"An attendant brought Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un a gold bar. Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un took the gold bar and gently blew at it. When the fires of his internal energy fanned the gold, the bar became soft as mud. {So, is the Taoist term ‘mud-ball’ (/ni-wan/), signifying ‘brain’, actually an allusion to al-chemic gold?} Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un took the softened gold, fashioned it into a headband, and tied it around his head. It is said that from then on Taoist monks have worn yellow headbands on festive occasions."

pp. 170-172 West Wind Monastery

p. 170

A C^>an monk said : "I propose that we build a Buddhist monastery behind White Cloud Monastery. Our Monastery will be named West Wind Monastery. As the saying goes, ‘The west wind blows away the white clouds,’ I predict that once our

p. 171

monastery is built ... White Cloud Monastery wil[l] fall to ruin."

"So the monk began to approach the wealthy families of the capital, saying that the Buddhists needed ... the West Wind Monastery".

p. 172

But some Taoist monk said : "When the wind returns to the West Wind Monastery, let’s have it carry a little flame with it. With a little magic, West Wind Monastery will surely burn down."

"in a duel of Buddhist and Taoist magic, West Wind Monastery ... was burned down."


pp. 173-176 – 29.

pp. 173 authorships of 2 much-esteemed religious novels

"Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un wrote a book called Journey to the West. In it he discussed the pitfalls that obstruct the path to enlightenment. He discussed the emotions and desires that the seeker of the Tao would have to overcome."

he likened __

to __

"monsters of the mind"

"wild horses"

"uncultivated intelligence"

"a mischievous monkey"

"After the book was completed Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un sought out his friend Pai-yu:n and presented it to him. ... Inspired by Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un’s work, Pai-yu:n also wrote a book documenting the experiences and visions that occur on the path to enlightenment. The book was titled Legends of the Gods."

pp. 173-174 glorification, among deities in Heaven, of the 7 Taoist Masters

p. 173

"Ch>iu Ch>ang-ch>un attained enlightenment shortly afterward and ascended to the Palace of Heaven. ... When he arrived before the Jade Emperor, Immortal Lu:, and the Lords of heaven, Earth, and Water, he saw the other six disciples of Wang Ch>ung-yang. They had all attained the Tao and were waiting for the Empress of Heaven and the Jade Emperor to confer upon them the status of immortality.


The Lords of Heaven, Earth, and Water unfolded a scroll and read aloud the accomplishments of each of the seven disciples."







C^>iu C^>an-c^>un

"unshakeable faith and endurance"

p. 173-4


Liu C^>an-s^en

"intuitive understanding of the mysterious ways of the Tao"

p. 174


T>an C^>an-c^en

"stability in attitude and behavior"



Ma Tan-yan

"quite and calm disposition"; "simple and straightforward approach to the Tao"



Hao T>ai-ku

"untainted by material and personal interest"



Wan Yu:-yan

"steadfastness in maintaining stillness"



+Sun Pu-erh

"was the first to embrace the Tao. ... she far surpassed the rest."


"the seven ... receive the status of immortality."

p. 176 Lord of Thundre; immortality-peach banquet

"The Lord of Thunder ... said, "... I shall pledge to be the guardian of all who walk the path to enlightenment. My help will be given according to the effort of the seeker. ... Those who labor hard in their quest can count on my support without fail. ...""

"Then came the day when the immortal peach ripened and all the gods and immortals were invited by the empress of heaven to share in the tasting of the peach."


Eva Wong (translatrix) : Seven Taoist Masters. Shambhala Publ, Boston, 1990.

{N.B. Insignificance of the 6th chapter as is a reflection of the unluckiness of # 666; while insignificance of the 13th chapter is a reflection of # 13 as being the 6th prime. The total of 29 chapters is a reflection of the luckiness of # 29 in rN~in-ma numerology.}