Lao Tzu was an enlightened Sage in ancient China and author of the Tao Te Ching. The Tao Te Ching contains “The Book of the Way” (the Tao) and “The Book of Virtue or Power” (the Te). It is generally believed that on this day in 571 BC, the great Sage Lao Tzu was born in Li Village, Ku County, in the State of Chu from the East Zhou Dynasty. Lao Tzu’s surname is Li, Erh is the given name, and Dan is the style name. Lao Tzu serves in the Chou Imperial Court as a Shou Zang Official, a historian official. He is considered the wisest man in politics and history. With rich knowledge in history and Divine wisdom, Lao Tzu develops a deep understanding of the way of the Universe in life on Earth. During a 1993 lecture in Taiwan, also known as Formosa, Supreme Master Ching Hai recounted a story of Lao Zi’s legendary wisdom and power.
In the “Tao Te Ching,” Lao Tzu expounds on many principles of self-cultivation and the governing of the state, such as how to fulfill our worldly duties and achieve balance and harmony in our lives by conforming to the heavenly Tao. In order to find this eternal Truth or Tao, Lao Tzu tells us that we should seek it from within. We must learn wu wei (“flowing” or “effortless action”), a sort of purposeful acceptance of the way of the Tao and living in harmony with it.
For all enlightened beings, compassion is always the primary and fundamental principle. Lao Tzu said: “I live based on three important and precious principles: First is compassion. Second is frugality. Third, do not aggressively seek for material achievement.” As all living beings are created by Tao, or the Origin of the universe, one must respect all lives in the universe. Lao Tzu has a loving heart that extends to all sentient beings with sympathy and forgiveness. “Having Compassion for Everything” is the key principle of “being with Tao.” “If you delight in killing, you cannot fulfill yourself.”
Lao Tzu’s teachings have been translated into more than 30 languages, with hundreds of versions all over the world. Next to the Bible, the Tao Te Ching is the most translated work in world literature. After more than two millennia, Lao Tzu’s noble spirit remains with us, guiding Truth seekers on the path to return to the perfect Tao. Supreme Master Ching Hai expounded on these profound teachings during a 1993 lecture in Singapore.