Lao Zi (Li Er) - the legendary author of ancient Chinese treatise "Lao Tzu" (the ancient name - "Tao Te Ching, 4-3 cc. BC. E.), The canonical works of Taoism. The basic concept of the treatise - the Tao, which is metaphorically likened to water (suppleness and invincibility). Flowing from the Tao way of action - inaction (Wu Wei): acquiescence, obedience, renunciation of desire and struggle.
The ruler-sage should be rejecting the luxury and war, to return people to the primitive simplicity, purity and ignorance that existed before the emergence of culture and morality. Lao Tzu - Founder of the religious and philosophical direction of Taoism, an enigmatic figure in many respects. Under this name, which is most likely a nickname, and literally means "old sage" (and even "old baby"), in the tradition appear at least three different characters.
Li Er (Lao Dan, Li Boyan, Lao Lai Tzu), a native of the village parish Tsyuyzhen Lee County Ky kingdom of Chu, who was born in 604 BC. E. According to this version, which dates back to the chapter "The Biography of Lao-Tzu Han Fei-tzu" in the "Historical notes" (Shi Ji), the great historian Sima Qian (about 145-86 BC. E.), Lao-Tzu served as archivist in chzhouskom stacks . Met with Confucius, who was 55 years younger than him, and this meeting made the young Confucius indelible impression.
By the end of his career, disillusioned with contemporary reality, and went west to ever leave China. In the border area of Hangu (territory of modern Henan Province), he was stopped by a "guardian of the gates" Yin Xi (Yin Kuan-tzu), at whose request written or dictated to five thousand words, so there was a main text of Taoism - the book "Tao Te Ching" ( The Book of Tao and Te ").
Then he continued on his way to India, where his preaching led to the emergence of Buddhism (Lao-Tzu were almost the father of the founder of Buddhism - Siddhartha Gautama). Lao-Tzu was known as Lao-chun, as the supreme deity of Taoist pantheon and the embodiment of the Tao. In one of the later legends say that he was born in 1358 BC. E. from the divine "Jade Maiden" (Yuynyuy). In honor of Lao-Tzu was established official cult: the first victims were brought to him by Emperor in his homeland in 156 BC. E.
Later in the so-called "folk religion" Lao-Tzu (Lao-chun) became one of the three highest deities in the pantheon, composition, along with the "Jade Emperor" (Yuhuan Shandy) and "Great Initial (Tai Chi), a popular figure since called "three pure" (San Qing), who often worshiped as a deity.
Finally, the name of Lao-Tzu should be named and the real author (or authors) of philosophical aphorisms, collected in the book "Tao Te Ching." The pathos of philosophizing in the style of Lao Tzu - in exposing the distortions of human nature, caused by the repression imposed by the individual culture, which means first and foremost Confucian morality and appeals to return to a kind of simple and natural relationship of conventional rural idyll.