moon, the trunk of his body with hands and feet the four carnival points of the world and the five peaks, 1 his blood the rivers, his muscles and nerves the earth's crust, his flesh the soil, his beard and the hairs on his head the stars, his skin and the hairs on it herbs and trees, his teeth and bones metals and rocks, his brains pearls and precious stones, his perspiration the rain; the worms on his body under the influence of the wind changed into men. 2

This legend of the way in which men and the world were produced is very similar to the story of Purusha among the Hindus. Similar tales are found elsewhere also. The ancestors of the people of Norway and Sweden had almost the same story when they were heathens, and Mani taught something very similar in Persia. 3 But what is said of Yang and Yin is accepted by Chinese philosophers, as for instance by Lao-Tsze, who founded what is known as the Tao system of philosophy. He was born in the year 604 B.C. He adopted and sanctioned most of the beliefs and superstitions of the people, though introducing certain philosophic ideas of his own, He taught that the universe is one large organism of powers and influences, a living machine. The heart of this machine is the great ultimate principle, which comprises the Yang and

1 Five sacred mountains in China. 2 From Georgevski.
3 See the Pahlavi book, Sikand-Gumanik Vijar, chapter xvi, verses 10-20.

Yin, regarded as two cosmic breaths or souls. These souls are deposited more especially in heaven and earth respectively. They produce the four seasons and the phenomena of nature. It is they too which produce and animate the five elements, which are the constituents of the material and immaterial world. L This religious or philosophical system is called Ta'o (ياؤ), which means 'method' or 'path,' because it deals with the way, course or movement of the universe and its processes. The universe is everywhere filled with spirits, which animate everything that exists and which regulate the method of nature and its phenomena. The oldest of the books of the Ta'oist sect is called the Yih King (Book of Changes), though they have many others, such as the Ta'o teh King (Book of the Way and of Virtue.) In this system there are many inferior gods and a great number of demons, but the supreme principle Ta'o is not a personal, living God, but is merely a 'method,' being destitute of action, thought, judgement and intelligence. 2 In this sense Ta'o bears some resemblance to the brahman of Indian philosophy; from it everything proceeds and to it everything returns. Some of the maxims of this religion are very lofty and noble, yet at the present time Ta'oism in China has become so corrupt that its followers believe in magic

1 Mostly taken from J. J. M. de Groot, The Religious System of China, vol. iv., pp. 67-9.
2 Julien, Introduction to Le Livre de la Voie et de la Vertu.