Taoism > Masters > Lao-tzu
Who Was Lao-tzu
According to Ch'ien, Lao-tzu was born in the state of Ch'u, and his birthplace was in the nowadays Ho-nan province. He was a curator at the Royal Library in Chou when hemet Confucius to talk about rites. This conversation offers much insight into the huge differences between Taoists and Confucians.
Lao-tzu surname was Li; his name was Erh (meaning ear) - this is why we find him also under the name of Li Erh. As for the name "Lao-tzu" it is only a nickname meaning the Old Sage.
Disguised with the morals at the royal court, Lao-tzu would left and gone West. He met the Guardian of the mountain pass who asked him to compose a book of wisdom. This is how Tao-te ching took birth.
"Lao-tzu cultivated the Tao and its attributes - wrote Ch'ien in his records - the chief aim of his studies being how to keep himself concealed and remain unknown."
At Lao-tzu's Death
Surprisingly enough, a story in the bookChuang-tzu offers us details about Lao-tzu's death. This story describes the funerals of the master with many grieving disciples. Nonetheless - James Legge concludes - this narration might be just another of Chuang-tzu's fancies: "to give him the opportunity of setting forth what, according to his ideal of it, the life of a Taoist master should be, and how even Lao-tzu himself fell short of it".
Further Resources - Teachings about Lao-tzu and his Tao-te ching, his meeting with Confucius and the explanation of the master's concepts are provided through our 12-lesson email course. Click
- Also we published a paper on the meaning of the story about the death of Lao-tzu. Click
- Teachings about Lao-tzu and his Tao-te ching, his meeting with Confucius and the explanation of the master's concepts are provided through our 12-lesson email course. Clickhere to learn more.
- Also we published a paper on the meaning of the story about the death of Lao-tzu. Clickhere to learn more...
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