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Tai-yue da-di

by Micha F. Lindemans
The most important and most popular of the Taoist mountain deities. He is considered to be the ruler of Earth and mankind. The Great Ruler of the Eastern Peak (the sacred mountain Tai-shan) regulates human affairs and determining the time of a person's life and death. In a register he keeps track of the lives and reincarnations of people. He has the power to decide their social position, wealth, and progeny. His superior is Yu-huang, the Jade Emperor.

Tai-yue da-di has an enormous administration to help him with all the responsibilities, which is an exact copy of the administration of the state. It consists of various departments, such as one for births, one for deaths, one for determining a person's fate in the light of his good or bad deeds, and so forth. The administrative staff is recruited from among the dead.

Tai-yue da-di is portrayed in imperial dress and his facial expression is impersonal. In the houses of Taoist families it is not his image that is venerated, but rather his seal or amulets dedicated to him. Those attributes have to power to dispel evil spirits.

Article details:

  • Also known as:
    T'ai-yüeh ta'ti

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