Prayer Of Confucianism

Confucianism,the religion originating from China, is an ethical and philosophical system that is normallyconsidered one of the world religions.A main idea of Confucianism is the cultivation of virtue and the development of moral perfection.Confucianism has no church, no clergy and no sacred book.It regulates relations between the people.
Most people who adhere to the teachings of Confucius follow Chinese traditional religion, which is a blend of Confucianism, Buddhism,Taoism, and traditional local practices and beliefs.It has spread to Korea,Taiwan and Vietnam.Confucianism is not a religion in the customary sense.It has neither priesthood nor any monastic order.In Confucianism, people are taught and moulded through personal and communal influence
According to Confucianism, death does not mean the annihilation of man.Confucianists believe that, the spirit which wanders in space as an exile should be brought back to the family altar and be worshiped. Besides,respecting the elders, is the primary duty of all Confucianists.That the reason why, on all solemn occasions, the ancestral spirit is invoked and offered liquors, flowers and fruit, accompanied with prayers and incense.
It is developed from the Chinese philosopher,"Confucius" (551-478 BC),born in the feudal State of Lu,on the north-eastern seaboard of China.The name of Confucius in Chinese is Kung-fu-tse(the statesman-philosopher Kung).However,he was called by Latin name- "Confucius",since the Europian scholars found the Chinese name difficult to pronounce.
Confuciasm existed in China long before the time of Confucius.As per the records, he speaks of himself as a 'transmitter' and not a 'maker' or 'originator'.He did not give a new religion or a new ethical code to the world.He gave to the world was a powerful restatement of the fundamental principles of human morality or ethics.The moral code he framed was most admirable,which contained grand ethical truths.


Chinese folk religion must be considered in any study of Chinese people, even though it is difficult to define this religious form. In the past, Chinese folk religion was sometimes mistakenly considered a fusion of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, but it is now widely recognized as a separate system of belief and practice. Many Chinese who would self-consciously claim no religious identity are in fact often adherents of Chinese Folk Religion. Chinese folk religion is a modern idea conceived by contemporary scholars. The very idea of a religion as a differentiated part of culture is new. A Chinese term for religion (zongjiao) came to exist only in the late nineteenth century.
In addition to practicing religion, many persons also follow a collection of beliefs that are deeply ingrained in Chinese culture that can be referred to as "traditional Chinese folk religion." Chinese religion is a diverse mixture of beliefs. Daoism, Buddhism, and thereligious aspects of Confucianism are combined with local folk beliefs and practices to form the backboneof Chinese religion.
Unlike western religions, which are henotheistic - that is, requiring exclusive adherence - eastern religions often are not exclusionary but incorporate different belief systems. Furthermore, the syncretic nature of the Chinese folk religion allows easy incorporation of certain local beliefs and practices. There is no need to drop the Chinese religion in favor of that of the indigenous people.
Chinese Folk Religion is a combination of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism placed atop Chinese archaic Shamanism. In addition to practicing religion, many persons also follow a collection of beliefs that are deeply ingrained in Chinese culture that can be referred to as "traditional Chinese folk religion." These beliefs include, but are not limited to, shamanism, ancestor worship, magic, ghosts and other spirits, and aspects of animism. Such folk religion may overlap with an individual's belief in Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, or other traditional Chinese religions.
Chinese Folk Religion is especially difficult to define, since it's a catch-all phrase for an unofficial mixture. The traditional religion of the Chinese people is often described as a blend of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. However, there is really a fourth element or tradition, which some label classical, that is, folk religion. Chinese folk religion is a faith whose theology, rituals, and officiants are widely diffused into other secular and social institutions. In spite of attempts at symbolic hegemony, Buddhism never came to dominate Chinese folk religion, either symbolically or institutionally.
This folk religion of China is the traditional worship of local deities, including both Buddhist and Taoist figures, astrology, the worship of animal totems, and ancestor worship. In the course of its historical development, the Chinese folk religion had been influenced by various schools of thought, especially Confucianism and Taoism. Taoism has roots in early Chinese folk religion and continues some aspects of it in mysticism. To some, Chinese folk religion is, in fact, simply folk Taoism, the less sophisticated forerunner of the “high Taoism” of the Taoist priests. The exchanges between Taoism and the Chinese folk religion led to the assimilation of religious elements such as local deities and cults into the domain of Taoism. In some countries the term Taoism is applied to the Chinese folk religion, which would otherwise not have a readily recognizable English name. However many, if not most, of its practitioners would not recognize "Taoism" (in any language) as the name of their religion. This is not to mean that Taoism is Chinese folk religion, but that it may be said to represent the most influential strand unifying many diverse manifestations of folk religion.
As ancient as Hinduism, Chinese folk religion is centered on forces of nature particularly its dualistic nature (yin and yang), and on folk deities. A good life and afterlife are attained through rituals and honoring of ancestors. Chinese Folk Religion, in its present form dating back to the Sung Dynasty (960-1279), includes elements traceable to prehistoric times (ancestor worship, shamanism, divination, a belief in ghosts, and sacrificial rituals to the spirits. The central aspect of Chinese folk religion is the performance of rituals for magical purposes. In Chinese folk religion, the belief that two classes of spirits inhabit the universe: kuei — malevolent yin spirits; and shen — benevolent yang spirits.

The Prayer

In the cinnamon-scented tower
Above the Palace of Van Thi (Confucius)
Ninety-five incarnations
Sowing charmed poetic seeds.
Hundred thousand transformations
Manifested lightning quick,
And miraculous as a mountain of pheasants,
Always persevering
Expressing a mountain of goodwill
The goal to cultivate virtue,
Bringing honor to parents and Country.
Intuiting in dreams the way of service 
To one another.
Having compassion for the miserable,
Building humaneness and piety,
Becoming saintly through compassion,
Cultivating mind and honor.
Piety, virtue, faithfulness, compassion;
Even treasure to a king.
These are the attributes of Confucianism.
Confucius engendered prosperity
of the human spirit,
As a lord who lifts his people.
Through purification he gained his insights,
As well as sincerity and equanimity,
And was sainted therefore 
with deep wisdom and unbounded humanity. 

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