Before nationalism pushed him into the back room around 1950, Wenchang Dijun/Văn Xương Đế Quân 文昌帝君 was the main spirit honored at Ngọc Sơn Temple in Hanoi. Guansheng Dijun/Quan Thánh Đế Quân 關聖帝君 and Lü Dongbin/Lã Động Tân 呂洞賓 were also worshipped, but Wenchang/ Văn Xương was the most important.

Ngọc Sơn Temple was also a major “publishing house,” as it had woodblocks prepared for the publication of numerous books, particularly morality books (shanshu/thiện thư 善書), and especially morality books that had been revealed by Wenchang Dijun/Văn Xương Đế Quân.

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One could order printed, for instance, the Văn Xương toàn thư 文帝全書 [Complete Works of Wenchang]. This collection, consisting of 50 chapters, and 1714 pages long, contained the following works:

Bản truyện 本傳 [Biography] (105 pgs.)

Hóa sinh thượng hạ 化生上下 [Incarnations, parts I and II] (109 pgs.)

Trung kinh 忠經 [Scripture on Loyalty] (11 pgs.)

Hiếu kinh thượng hạ 孝經上下 [Scripture on Filial Piety, parts I and II] (140 pgs.)

Đại động thượng trung hạ 大洞上中下 [Great Grotto, parts I – III] (90 pgs.)

Bản nguyện kinh 本願經 [Scripture on True Wishes] (11 pgs.)

Cứu kiếp kinh 救劫經 [Scripture for Rescuing the Kalpa] (11 pgs.)

Diên tự kinh 延嗣經 [Scripture for Extending Ones Progeny] (14 pgs.)

Ứng nghiệm kinh 應驗經 [Scripture of Prophesies Fulfilled] (5 pgs.)

Thánh huấn thượng trung hạ 聖訓上中下 [Sagely Instructions, parts I – III] (100 pgs.)

Âm chất câu tụng 陰騭句頌 [Hidden Virtues in Gathas] (20 pgs.)

Âm chất văn 陰騭文 [Tract on Hidden Virtues] (192 pgs.)

Đan quế tịch 丹桂籍 [Cinnabar and Cassia Register] (242 pgs.)

Tiêu song thập tắc thượng hạ 蕉窗十則上下 [Ten Principles of the Plantain Window, parts I and II] (62 pgs.)

Trưng Kính tín lục 徵敬信錄上下 [Authenticating the Record of Respect and Trust] (72 pgs.)

Dục hải bảo huấn 慾海寳訓 [Precious Instructions Concerning the Sea of Desire] (28 pgs.)

Đại động chư chú 大洞諸咒 [Various Mantras from the Great Grotto] (15 pgs.)

Khai tâm thú thích 開心咒釋 [Explanation of the Happiness Mantra] (10 pgs.)

Tử Dương lục thượng trung hạ 紫陽錄上中下 [Record of Ziyang, parts I – III] (81 pgs.)

Trị ôn lục thượng hạ 治瘟錄上下 [Record of Curing Pestilence, parts I and II] (36 pgs.)

Ngọc cục tâm sám 玉局心懺 [Repentance from the Jade Bureau] (31 pgs.)

Cung hạnh tân sán 躬行心懺 [Repentance from Personal Practice] (33 pgs.)

Văn Xương tâm sám 文昌心懺 [Repentance of Wenchang] (33 pgs.)

Thanh tĩnh pháp yếu 清靜法要 [Essence of the Method of Stillness] (11 pgs.)

Thanh tĩnh pháp trình 清靜法程 [Path of the Method of Stillness] (20 pgs.)

Lộc tự bí quyết 祿嗣秘訣 [Secret for Blessings and Progeny] (22 pgs.)

Khôn ninh kinh thượng hạ 坤寧經上下 [Scripture on Kun’s Peace, parts I and II] (46 pgs.)

Chất thần lục 質神錄 [Record of Questioning the Spirits] (85 pgs.)

Thánh cáo 聖誥 [Proclamation of the Sage] (6 pgs.)

Thánh quyến 聖眷 [Affection of the Sage] (6 pgs.)

Quần thần cáo 羣神誥 [Proclamations of the Various Spirits] (15 pgs.)

Phụ lục nghệ văn 附錄藝文 [Appended Tract on the Arts] (56 pgs.)


In adding up the pages for each individual title, I came up with 1728. I’m not sure if that is correct or if it was 1714. Either way, it’s a lot of text.

If one did not need, or could not afford, to print so much material on morality, then one could chose a compilation of the following three works:

Âm chất văn 陰騭文 [Tract on Hidden Virtues] (19 pgs.)

Âm chất văn giải 陰騭文解 [Tract on Hidden Virtues Explained] (61 pgs.)

Âm chất văn chú 陰騭文註 [Annotated Tract on Hidden Virtues] (182 pgs.)


Alternately, the following works appear to have been available for individual printing:

Âm chất chú chứng 陰騭註證 [Annotated Evidence of Hidden Virtues] (63 pgs.)

Âm chất thi tiên 陰騭詩箋 [Poetic Notes on Hidden Virtues] (39 pgs.)

Âm chất văn đại bản 陰騭文大板 [Great Placard of the Tract on Hidden Virtues] (2 placards)

Bảo phú trục bần văn 保富逐貧文 [Tract on Maintaining Wealth and Dispelling Poverty] (8 pgs.)

Hiếu kinh chính văn 孝經正文 [True Tract of the Scripture on Filial Piety] (28 pgs.)

Quế cung tích tự 桂宮惜字 [Cherished Writing of Cassia Palace] (46 pgs.)

Đại động thị dộc 大洞示讀 [Explanatory Reading of the Great Grotto] (34 pgs.)

Văn Xương giải ách bảo sám 文昌解厄寳懺 [Wenchang’s Precious Repentance for Resolving Adversity] (32 pgs.)

Văn Đế linh tiêm 文帝靈籖 [Numinous Sticks of Emperor Wen] (64 hexagrams)


Like the Nhân quả thực lục 因果實錄 [Veritable Records of Cause and Effect], the majority (if not all) of these works were first revealed and published in China. And like the Nhân quả thực lục, they all ultimately are about promoting morality.

[I may have made some mistakes in transcribing the titles. If anyone sees mistakes, please let me know. Thanks.]