(The First Taoism Stele in Singapore)
The stele was officially declared open by His Excellency S R Nathan, President of the Republic of Singapore, on 13th March 2006. The Stele was written by Master Chen Hanbing, a well-known Chinese calligrapher from China. The stele was made of top grade stone material from FujianProvince and was beautifully engraved by skillful craftsmen. The stele was completed and erected in San Qing Gong on an auspicious day of autumn 2005.
The “daodejing”, is known as the “Book of Dao and its Virtue”, was authored by the great philosopher Lao Zi during the Spring and Autumn period (722 – 481 BCE). Lao Zi was born in KunCounty in state of Chu (present day HenanProvince). His surname was Li, and was given the name Er. His courtesy name was Bo Yang and his posthumous name was Dan.
Lao Zi worked as an archivist in the Imperial Library of the Zhou dynasty. He perceived that the kingdom’s affairs were disintegrating and it was time to leave. He travelled west on a buffalo and he came to the Han Gu Pass, which was guarded. The keeper of the pass realized that Lao Zi was leaving permanently, so he requested Lao Zi to write out some of his wisdom so it could be preserved for the later generations. Lao Zi wrote the Book of Dao and its Virtue, consisting five thousand words in two volumes and 81 chapters.
The Book of Dao and its Virtue is the magnum opus of Lao Zi, the five thousands characters summarized the intelligence of Lao Zi, covering large areas of philosophy from individual spirituality and inter-personal dynamics to political techniques. Lao Zi developed the concept of “Dao”, often translated as “the Way”, and widened its meaning to the inherent order of the universe. Today, 2600 years after he wrote the Book of Dao and its Virtue, scholars and researchers all gave the thumbs up for his wisdom, and many nod in agreement that Lao Zi is the best in the world.
In 2005 “World Philosophy Day” organized by the Social and Human Sciences Sector of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Lao Zi’ s Book of Dao and its Virtue was the most popular philosophy text.
The superb writings and wonderful stone carving sum up San Qing Gong’s efforts to infuse art and wisdom into one.