“Lao Tzu replied, ‘I have many names, for I have appeared in many incarnations. I have taught the Yellow Emperor, as well as the Kings Yao, Shun, and Yu. In my current incarnation, I am named Li Erh.’”
The modern Chinese culture has evolved from a vast diversity of kingdoms and civilizations, spanning over 5000 years. Numerous great philosophers and sages have been born to this great land, including Mencius, ZhuangZi, and Confucius. Among the most respected is the wise and revered Lao Tzu.
Lao Tzu was an enlightened Master who authored the world-renowned Tao Te Ching. Yet His wisdom and teachings reach even beyond this defining work, including many predictions of His reappearance at the end of times. Let us begin this exciting expedition of “Prophecies on the Reappearance of Master Lao Tzu (vegan), the Great Saint of the Tao.”
Lao Tzu, literally meaning “Elder Master,” was a great Saint, an enlightened Master, a venerated Prophet, the Father of Taoism, and a world-renowned philosopher and great thinker. He was born during the 6th century BC, in the ancient Chinese State of Chu, during the Zhou Dynasty.
It is said that Master Lao Tzu’s mother had carried Him for 62 years. At birth, He was fully grown and already had snow-white hair. He was thus called Lao Tzu, which can also mean “Old Child.”
Master Lao Tzu also had long ears and was referred to as Lao Dan in the early Chinese text by Master Chuang Tzu titled Zhuangzi, which is considered the second foundational text of Taoism. The name “Dan” is a name generally understood to depict the bearer’s “long ears,” a mark of auspiciousness and longevity in Chinese physiognomy. Master Lao Tzu indeed lived a long life. According to Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian, during the Han Dynasty, He lived up to 160 and perhaps to more than 200 years old.
The conception of Master Lao Tzu is said to have been magnificent and miraculous. Legend has it that one day, His mother, a Taoist goddess, fell asleep in the Golden Palace of Great Purity. While she slept, she dreamed that the shining sun suddenly became a star that flew into her mouth. In swallowing it, Master Lao Tzu was conceived. At the time of His birth, it was reported that nine dragons came to offer water to bathe His holy body and manifested nine wells; the sun radiated colorful lights while the moon held flowers to celebrate. As soon as He was born, the Holy Lao Tzu immediately walked backward nine steps, each footprint bearing a nine-colored lotus, and said: “Within the Three Realms, I alone am honored as the Ancestor of All.”
Master Lao Tzu, who was also known as Li Erh, already showed extraordinary spirituality at a very young age. During a talk shared with disciples in 2008, Supreme Master Ching Hai revealed some of the special qualities of Li Erh.
“Li Erh was a very exceptional child. He was not normal. ‘At three, his body radiated a golden glow’ – the aura, golden aura already, at three years old – ‘At five, he gazed at the sun and smiled, and looked at the moon and sighed.’ Probably he was a solarian and moonarian, trying to get the energy from the sun to sustain himself, more than the ordinary means or food – the extra, extra. ‘At seven, he learned to swallow the rays of the sun, the moon, and the stars.’ He swallowed them! He eats them? No, but perhaps he has learned the art of taking prana from natural phenomena, from natural bodies in the celestial realm, in the firmament. Just like nowadays, some people live from the sun, Sunrays.”
Li Erh was an extremely intelligent and diligent student. He liked to observe the stars, and quietly contemplate the secrets of the world and the universe. He often asked questions that His family and even His teacher, Shang Rong, a famous sage of the time, was unable to answer – such as; “Beyond the firmament, what are there?” “Where does the power of God come from, and when does God start to have these powers?” “God has the power of change and the power of creation. Why doesn’t He create emperors who act according to His will?”
At the age of 13, Master Lao Tzu was admitted to Imperial College in the capital city of Zhou, where He had the opportunity to meet with knowledgeable and intellectual leaders of the nation. His studies encompassed disciplines such as astronomy, geography, history, and ethics. He read a wide range of renowned books of the time, such as the “Book of Songs,” the “Book of History,” the “Book of Changes,” the “Book of Calendar,” the “Classic of Rites,” and the “Book of Music”. He also studied cultural relics, various decrees, and regulations. His significant progress earned Him the recommendation three years later to work as a clerk in the Royal Library. This position gave Him unlimited access to the works of sage kings such as the Yellow Emperor and Yao and a massive set of classics collected from all over the country. Three years later, He was promoted to the esteemed position of the Curator of the Royal Library.
Master Lao Tzu was highly admired for His profound wisdom, thorough understanding, and deep insight into all disciplines of knowledge. Though He never opened a formal school, His reputation attracted numerous scholars who came to learn from Him. Even the Great Master Confucius once consulted Him about the essence of ‘li,’ or rituals, and marveled at Lao Tzu’s immeasurable wisdom, saying that He was “like a dragon who can soar in the sky, ride on the clouds and fly with the wind.”
At the age of 80, Master Lao Tzu grew weary of the moral decay around Him in the city. He dressed as a farmer and set off on a westward journey to live as a hermit. However, as the sage was about to exit the country via the Hangu Pass, He was recognized by the chief gatekeeper Yin Xi, also known as Wen Shi. Yin Xi had been previously appointed as Royal Astronomer and Astrologer. He was also a sincere seeker of the Tao. Upon hearing that a Great Saint would soon pass through the remote Hangu Pass, Yin Xi relinquished his esteemed position in the palace and took a humble job as a gatekeeper in the pass to wait. Before long, he saw purple air coming from the east, a sign foretelling that this event was about to occur.
The moment Master Lao Tzu arrived, Yin Xi prostrated and expressed his eager desire to become His disciple and learn the Tao, which refers to a deep spiritual understanding of the source of all existence and the creative essence of the Universe. Due to his sincere request, Master Lao Tzu accepted Yin Xi and taught him how to practice the Tao. Before leaving, Yin Xi asked Him to record the most essential teachings of the Tao. These became known as Tao Te Ching, one of the most important contributions to philosophical and spiritual scriptures of the world.
In a conversation with Yin Xi, Master Lao Tzu revealed that he had incarnated on Earth many times, teaching sagely kings such as the Yellow Emperor, Yao, Shun and Yu. Thus, He had repeatedly made great contributions since the civilizations of ancient China.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has also spoken of Master Lao Tzu. In an international conference with Association members, She read a story about Master Lao Tzu that described His earthly reappearance over time.
“Lao Tzu replied, ‘I have many names, for I have appeared in many incarnations. I have taught the Yellow Emperor,’ it means the oldest king of China, one of the oldest kings, ‘as well as the Kings Yao, Shun, and Yu.’ These are the sagely, saintly kings of China, very famous kings for their upright virtue and excellent governance. Yes, very good people. Of course, now that we know why. Lao Tzu had been teaching them all these times. Yes. ‘In my current incarnation, I am named Li Erh.’”
As explained clearly in the story read by Supreme Master Ching Hai, the Master Power is ever-present, traveling across time to wisely guide and uplift humanity.