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新北市新店區天聖觀太上混元道府一氣宗主(陳美華攝)
 
一氣宗主又作「一炁宗主」、「無形古佛」或「蕭大宗師」。一氣宗主是天德教創教者蕭昌明的稱號之一,蕭昌明本名蕭始,昌明是他的字,號無形,1894年生,卒於1942年,原藉四川省樂至縣人,是當地興隆場蕭家灣地方的人士。
據說他在六歲時曾有過瀕死經驗,此後言行脫去應有的孩童稚氣,經常對人講說玄妙的道理,主張人們要普度救人。據說在某個夜晚,方才十多歲的他離家不告而去,一説被異人帶走。曾短暫返家又離家進入軍旅,因而結識武舉人鄒雲龍,兩人在宗教方面有些淵源,但詳情不得而知。蕭昌明曾在湘西閉關,誦《玉皇心印妙經》一百遍,後來似乎又經歷某種體悟,於是創立天德教,著有《人生指南》等書。1930年他在南京籌組「宗教哲學研究社」及「東方精神療養院」,與時任財政部長秘書的李玉階認識,李玉階後來成為門徒,並在台灣成立天帝教。1933年後,天德教經由天啟的方式傳下《德教闡微》、《德言》、《法言匯要》等主要經典。1937年,蕭昌明在黃山設天德教總道場,1942年於黃山過世。
天德教除勸化世人為善之外,還結合宗教治療為人醫病、傳教。蕭昌明所傳的宗教療法,應屬氣功一類的民俗療法或另類療法,主張人的病因源於正氣不全或不足,才會使人體內臟腑有不平衡或不協調的情形。是以天德教的宗教療師需以其二十個字核心教義為生活指導,經由適當的修煉後,方能轉化天地間本有的正氣,用以為人治病,其功法稱為天人氣功天德教認為這是一種「精神療養」或「氣功治療」。
天德教目前在台灣發展有天德教天帝教等不同派別的團體。天德教在台北設有總會,全臺有十多個不同區會。天帝教在全臺有超過五十個不同單位,且在日本、美國也設有據點。系出天德教發的不同教派皆以二十字口訣為教義核心,並倡導宗教融合的思想,這二十字口訣是天啟的「忠恕廉明德、正義信忍公、博孝仁慈覺、節儉真和」,它們既為核心教義也是氣功的要旨。關於他們主張的宗教融合,旨在促進不同宗教間的認識,進而消弭宗教間的衝突紛爭,這也是近代華人宗教裡綜攝教派特徵之一。

 
新北市新店區天聖觀太上混元道府一氣宗主(陳美華攝) 
 
 
關鍵詞:一氣宗主、蕭昌明、天德教天帝教

考資料:
  1. 天德教總會。1989。《天德教簡介》。臺北:天德教總會。
 
考網站:
  1. 天帝教內關於蕭昌明的研究。2010.10讀取。
網址http://www.tienti.tw/?q=node/996



I-Qi Zongzhu (一氣宗主) is Xiao Changming’s (蕭昌明) religious title. Xiao Changming is the founder of Tian De Jiao (天德教). Qi (氣) is the fundamental material or vital energy in Chinese cultural. Daoists think that the whole universe comes from the primal qi. Simply, I-qi is the same as the primal qi. The disciples of Tian De Jiao said the I-qi Master is equal to the Formless Primal Buddha (無形古佛) who is not recorded in Chinese Buddhist scriptures. In other words, the I-Qi Master and the Formless Primal Buddha are folk invented ideas.
According to the very rare records, Xiao Changming was born in 1894, a small village in Le Zhi county, Si Chuan Province (四川省樂至縣). It is said that when Xiao Chang-ming was six years old, he had been undergone a near death experience. After this trauma, he seemed to become another person as if he were an adult. He was always preaching some moral or profound dogma to people and asking them to save the world. He left his homeland when he was a teenager at one night and did not leave any message. Some said that he was conducted by a stranger. He had been backed to his homeland briefly and enlisted himself in military service after a while. In the army, he made a friend with a first-degree military scholar (武舉人) whose name is Zou Yun-long (鄒雲龍). Zou influenced Xiao’s religious idea in some aspect. However, the detail is unknown. Then Xiao left army and retreated to western Hunan province (湖南) for years. During this period, he chanted the Scripture of Jade Emperor’s heart seal (玉皇心印妙經) million times. After that, he was enlightened in some mystical experience and founded Tian De Jiao. Then Xiao Chang-ming wrote a moral book, A guide to People’s life (人生指南) and organized some groups and associations in Nanking, 1930. There he met a secretary serving in the Ministry of Finance (財政部) whose name is Lee Yu-jie (李玉階). Lee Yu-jie became Xiao’s disciple later. After 1949, Lee followed KMT government came to Taiwan and became a Legislator. He kept on preaching Xiao’s teaching in Taiwan and finally he founded a cult, Tien Ti Jiao (天帝教). After 1937, Tian De Jiao ‘s disciples get their own scripture by way of spirit writing (扶鸞). Some Scriptures were published such as the De-jiao Chan-wei (德教闡微), De yan (德言),Fa-yan hui-yao (法言匯要) etc. 1937, Xiao set Tian De Jiao ‘s headquarter at Mountain Huang (黃山) where he died in 1942.
In Taiwan, there are two cults of Tian De Jiao. One is still keeping the same name. Another one is Tien Ti Jiao. The head quarter of Tian De Jiao is at Taipei and has overt ten branches in Taiwan. Tien Ti Jiao has over fifty bracnes and departments in Taiwan, Japan and The U.S. Both of them claim same slogans and claim on Qi Gong and the syncretism of world religions.
 
Keywords: I-Qi Zongzhu, Xiao Changming, Tian De Jiao, Tien Ti Jiao, religious syncretism
 
References:
  1. 天德教總會。1989。《天德教簡介》。臺北:天德教總會。
Websites:
  1. 天帝教內關於蕭昌明的研究。2010.10讀取。
網址http://www.tienti.tw/?q=node/996
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