This is the annotated version of the original book. We had annotated this by adding an approximate 72% to 75% summary at the end of the book consisting of approximately 7700 words in red fonts. We had an annotated 72% to 75% approximate summary so that we can explain the book content in a better manner. The Brief Summary of this book is written as follows:-
This is the English Version of the Chinese Book related to religion. The Tao Te Ching is a Chinese classic text traditionally credited to the 6th-century BC sage Lao Tzu also known as Laozi. The text's authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated. The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC, but modern scholarship dates other parts of the text as having been writtenor at least compiledlater than the earliest portions of the Zhuangzi.
The Tao Te Ching, along with the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It also strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including Legalism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was originally introduced to China. Many artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and gardeners, have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has spread widely outside East Asia and it is among the most translated works in world literature.
The Tao Te Ching has a long and complex textual history. Known versions and commentaries date back two millennia, including ancient bamboo, silk, and paper manuscripts discovered in the twentieth century.
Among the many transmitted editions of the Tao Te Ching text, the three primary ones are named after early commentaries. The "Yan Zun Version", which is only extant for the Te Ching, derives from a commentary attributed to Han dynasty scholar Yan Zun ( 80 BC - 10 AD). The "Heshang Gong Version" is named after the legendary Heshang Gong who supposedly lived during the reign (180-157 BC) of Emperor Wen of Han. This commentary has a preface written by Ge Xuan 164-244 AD), granduncle of Ge Hong, and scholarship dates this version to around the 3rd century AD. The "Wang Bi Version" has more verifiable origins than either of the above. Wang Bi (, 226-249 AD) was a famous Three Kingdoms period philosopher and commentator on the Tao Te Ching and the I Ching.
Tao Te Ching scholarship has advanced from archeological discoveries of manuscripts, some of which are older than any of the received texts. Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, Marc Aurel Stein and others found thousands of scrolls in the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang. They included more than 50 partial and complete "Tao Te Ching" manuscripts. One written by the scribe So/Su Dan is dated 270 AD and corresponds closely with the Heshang Gong version. Another partial manuscript has the Xiang'er commentary, which had previously been lost.
Mawangdui and Guodian texts
In 1973, archeologists discovered copies of early Chinese books, known as the Mawangdui Silk Texts, in a tomb dating from 168 BC. They included two nearly complete copies of the text, referred to as Text A and Text B, both of which reverse the traditional ordering and put the Te Ching section before the Tao Ching, which is why the Henricks translation of them is named "Te-Tao Ching". Based on calligraphic styles and imperial naming taboo avoidances, scholars believe that Text A can be dated to about the first decade and Text B to about the third decade of the 2nd century BC.
In 1993, the oldest known version of the text, written on bamboo tablets, was found in a tomb near the town of Guodian in Jingmen, Hubei, and dated prior to 300 BC. The Guodian Chu Slips comprise about 800 slips of bamboo with a total of over 13,000 characters, about 2,000 of which correspond with the Tao Te Ching.
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