Creation of Taoism

       In the period of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Five Pecks of Rice sprang up in Sichuan and its surrounding areas. Its founder was Zhang Daoling. Both Five Pecks of Rice and Peace Sect were derived from Emperor Huang and Laozi School, characterized by worshipping immortals and witchery. However, Five Pecks of Rice was formed in an area in which witchery was popular, and from that it had absorbed something. Because of this, there was a strong tendency of offering sacrifices in the witchery, which is to say, laying particular stress on the religious ceremonies. What’s more, after the Yellow Turbans Uprising led by the Peace Sect was put down, it was forbidden to be spread. With this, Five Pecks of Rice founded by Zhang Daoling grew day by day and became the orthodox of Taoism. For that, Zhang Daoling was generally considered to be the founder of Taoism when talked of its foundation in later ages.

      It was in the years of Emperor Shun of the Eastern Han Dynasty (A.D. 126 – 144) that Zhang Daoling established Five Pecks of Rice. In Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Zhang Lu Biography and Book of Post-Han Dynast: Liu Yan Biography, it read: in the period of Shun Emperor, Zhang Ling was practicing the Taoist doctrines in the mountains of Crane Moo Mountain, Sichuan Province. “He made many of magic signs to delude the people. Those who were willing to follow his teachings paid him Five Pecks of Rice.” For that reason, it was called Five Pecks of Rice. Someone says that Zhang Ling called himself Celestial Master, so Five Pecks of Rice was named Celestial Master Sect in the later ages. After his death, his son Zhang Heng and his grand-son Zhang Lu continued to spread the sect.

         It was in the period of Zhang Lu that Five Pecks of Rice grew and developed greatly. In Book of Post-Han Dynast: Liu Yan Biography, it goes that Liu Yan, governor of Yizhou “appointed Zhang Lu to be Duyi Sima – a minister of defense”. From then on, Zhang Lu got the control of the army into his own hands. He killed the prefect of Hanzhong and seized the whole area. After Liu Yan’s death, Zhang Lu attacked and took Sichuan by surprise. Since then, he had dominated Sichuan and Hanzhong for 28 years, until he surrendered Cao Cao in the year of Jian’an of the Eastern Han Dynasty (A.D. 215).
         In the period of his rule, he practiced a system of integration of religion and state, and Five Pecks of Rice was prevalent in the area. After his surrender to Cao Cao, Cao Cao made him Zhennan General with a title of Langzhong Lord. When he was going to the Central Plains of China, he treated him a guest, conferred all the chiefs under Zhang Lu with the title of nobility. Zhang Lu’s daughter got married with Cao Cao’s son Cao Yu (also called Pengzu). Five Pecks of Rice did never disappeared for Zhang Lu’s disfavor, but followed his transfer to the east,and got spread far to Jiangsu Province and its surrounding areas.