AskDefine | Define tao

Dictionary Definition

Tao

Noun

1 an adherent of any branch of Taoism [syn: Taoist]
2 the ultimate principle of the universe

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Alternative spellings

Etymology

From Chinese (dào; Wade-Giles tao) ‘way, path’.

Pronunciation

/taʊ/

Noun

  1. (Taoism) The essential principle underlying existence; ultimate reality.
  2. (Confucianism) The way or path to be followed

Translations

  • Chinese: (dào)
  • Finnish: tao

See also

Finnish

Etymology 1

Verb

tao

Etymology 2

Noun

  1. tao

Anagrams

Ilocano

Noun

tao

Malagasy

Etymology

Common Malayo-Polynesian, compare Indonesian taruh

Verb

tao (used in the form manao)
  1. to do

Mandarin

Pinyin syllable

tao
  1. A transliteration of any of a number of Chinese characters properly represented as having one of four tones, tāo, táo, tǎo, or tào.

Usage notes

English transcriptions of Chinese speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Chinese language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.

Maori

Noun

tao

Tagalog

Pronunciation

  • tah'-oh

Noun

tao

Extensive Definition

Tao or Dao (道) literally means "the way", is the order of the Universe, when used in Wuji, Tao is a primordial state of non-being in ontology, a state without bounds or limits in the Taoist cosmogony, intangible, unfathomable and un-analyzable empirically and taxonomically (Tao Te Ching; Verse 1). Tao is the unmoved mover, the first cause in teleology and in Taoist eschatology.
The first manifested state from Tao is Taiji, a state that which is with bounds, the concept of Being becoming intelligible, and a state where Being was in a state of Becoming in the Chinese creation story (TTC Verse 1 and 42). This state is referred to as the Oneness (TTC Verse 39), just before and necessary for creation.
In the Taoists’ cosmology, Tao in its manifested state was the prime cause of the yin and yang, two aspects, four realms, Wuxing, Bagua, sixty-four gua and all sentient beings. In the Chinese theology the supra being out of Tao transformed twice- the first time as the Three Pure Ones and again in the Five Supremes before the incubation of the first man and woman.
By definition Tao is a Chinese character commonly translated as a path or a way.
Lao Tsu, the author of the Tao Te Ching, was the first to provide a comprehensive definition of Tao and the states of beings thereafter, and he is venerated by the orthodox Taoists as the originator of Tao or Daozu. In Qingjing Jing (verse 1 to 8) the abstract Tao was amplified further. The school and knowledge based on the concept of Tao and De is called Daomen (TTC Verse 1 last stanza) or Daojia, which is a way of life specifically a way of transcending life by way of attuning the energy within the human anatomy by Xiuzhen, in tandem with a code to conduct to lead one’s life as part of Xiushen. Lao Tsu taught that, He who follows the Tao is one with the Tao, and Being at one with the Tao is eternal, though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away. (TTC Verses 16 & 23)

Etymology

The composition of 道 (dào) is 首 (shǒu) meaning 'head' and 辶 (辵 chuò) 'go' (Source: Wenlin). The parsed etymology for the character 首 is distinguished by the tufts at the top, representing the distinctive hairstyle of the warrior class (a "bun"). The character 首 itself is used to refer to concepts related to the head, such as leadership and rulership.

References

  • Chang, Dr. Stephen T. The Great Tao. Tao Publishing, imprint of Tao Longevity LLC. 1985. ISBN 0-942196-01-5.
  • Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English (translators). 1972. Lao Tsu/Tao Te Ching. New York: Vintage Books.
  • Rose Quong (Author) & Dr. Kinn Wei Shaw (Illustrator). 1944. Chinese Characters: Their Wit and Wisdom. Ram Press.
  • Lao Tzu; Lau, D.C. (translator); Sarah Allan (editor). Tao Te Ching: Translation of the Ma Wang Tui Manuscripts, Everyman's Library, 1994.
  • Lao Tzu; Chuang Tzu; Legge, James (translator), The Sacred Books of China: The Texts of Taoism, Dover Publications, Inc., 1962.
  • Robinet, Isabelle. Taoism: Growth of a Religion (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997 [original French 1992]) page 14,20. ISBN 0-8047-2839-9.
  • Wei, Wei Wu,"Why Lazarus Laughed: The Essential Doctrine Zen-Advaita-Tantra", Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., London, 1960. http://www.weiwuwei.8k.com/
  • Characteristics of Dao- Qing Qi Shen constituents in [http://219.76.217.108/2003/Medit2003/M2003L01.htm],[http://219.76.217.108/2003/Medit2003/M2003L02.htm], [http://219.76.217.108/2003/Medit2003/M2003L03.htm] and [http://219.76.217.108/2001/Activity/TaoFest01/speech01.htm]
  • 道德經 Dàodéjīng / Tao Te Ching / Tao Te King
tao in German: Dao
tao in Estonian: Tao
tao in Spanish: Tao
tao in Esperanto: Tao
tao in French: Dào
tao in Italian: Tao
tao in Lithuanian: Dao (filosofija)
tao in Dutch: Tao
tao in Japanese: 道 (哲学)
tao in Norwegian: Tao
tao in Polish: Tao
tao in Portuguese: Tao
tao in Romanian: Tao
tao in Russian: Дао
tao in Slovak: Tao
tao in Serbian: Тао
tao in Finnish: Tao
tao in Swedish: Dao
tao in Turkish: Tao (Taoizm)
tao in Chinese: 道
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