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Home  |  Gods   |  Asian Gods   |  Chinese Gods   |  Jade Emperor : The Supreme God

Jade Emperor : The Supreme God

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At a glance

Description
Origin Chinese Mythology
Classification Gods
Family Members Xiwangmu (Wife)
Region China
Associated With Supreme Power, Taoism

Jade Emperor

Introduction

The first emperor of China and the highest ruler of Heaven, the Jade Emperor, is a popular figure in Chinese mythology. He is also regarded as a Taoist deity. Like other Chinese monarchies, the court of the Jade Emperor has multiple social hierarchies and specialized roles. Its traits, such as compassion, fairness, and mercy, were sought after by Chinese emperors.

Today, the Jade Emperor is a significant figure in Chinese culture, especially during the holiday of Chinese New Year. According to tradition, the emperor will punish or reward people for their actions throughout the previous year. In Chinese culture, the Yudi or Jade Emperor is regarded as a deity. In traditional religions, he is one of the first deities. He is often associated with the Three Pure Ones, which are the emanations of the Tao, and he is the assistant of Yuan Shi Tianzun, who is a Taoist deity.

Physical Traits

The image of the Jade Emperor in cinema and art is typically that of a middle-aged man with a goatee and a thin mustache. He typically appears in robes and on a royal throne, though he can also be depicted with a sword. The emperor is typically depicted with long hair and mustache, and he is seated on a throne that’s adorned with a full imperial costume, including a long, embroidered robe and hat with 13 pearl-strung tassels.

Family

The Jade Emperor is married to Xiwangmu, who is a Chinese goddess of fertility. The couple has several daughters that have made significant appearances in Chinese mythology. This includes a fertility goddess known as Zhu niang-niang who can help couples in need of children and a protector of the blind called Yen-kuang-nian-niang who can grant vision to those in need. Their daughter, known as Zhin, is revered for her actions instead of her role as a goddess. She reportedly fell in love with a  mortal person and suffered because of it.

The emperor is believed to be the reincarnation of Yuanshi Tianzun, who was the ruler of Heaven and the universe at the time of the death of the Buddha. The Jade Emperor passes the reins of power to the One of the Dawn of Jade, who is also known as Kin-kue Yu-chen Tien-tsun. In heaven, the emperor lives with his wife, the Jade Empress, and their large family.

His nephew, Yang Shen, is also a prominent member of the family. He is the Second Lord of the Quality and is known for chasing away evil spirits through his pet dog, Tiangou. One of the emperor’s other wives is known as the Horse Head goddess, who is said to be a silkworm expert. Shi Quning is one of the god’s daughters who is often approached by young women to reveal their future husbands’ identities.

Other names

Commonly, the term Heavenly Grandfather refers to the commoner’s use of the term “Heavenly Duke.” The other names given to the emperor include the Great Emperor of Jade, the Highest Emperor, and the Jade Lord. The name of the deity, which means “emperor,” is derived from the Chinese characters “y” and “d”. The full title of the Jade Emperor is “Y Hung Shng D”, which literally means “The Pure August Emperor on High.” It is seldom used and instead, he is often called “Tiang Gng” or “Heavenly Grandfather.”

Powers and Abilities

The Taoists believe that the Jade Emperor is the ultimate ruler of all things, including the dead and heaven. According to legend, he was once a prince who would help those in need in his kingdom. After becoming immortal, he was chosen by a group of sages to be the ruler of all things. The emperor’s most significant theme is the mind’s superior power over physical reality.

In Chinese mythology, Yu Huang is able to become immortal by meditation. When he encounters a demon that’s trying to overtake Heaven, he uses his mind to fight against them instead of using weapons. The god was first established in Chinese folklore and oral mythology. It was incorporated into the state-sanctioned religion of the Song Dynasty after the king claimed to have seen it in a vision during a 1007 CE event.

Modern Day Influence

Although he was originally derived from Taoist beliefs, the emperor has become a significant figure in Chinese culture. There are numerous temples dedicated to him all across Asia, and almost every temple has one shrine dedicated to him. The emperor is regarded as a mythical ruler who can judge a person’s good and bad deeds.

During the Chinese New Year, people traditionally burn a paper depicting a god known as the Stove God, which relays household activities throughout the previous year. Everyone’s deeds are then told to the emperor by the god, Zao Jun, who lives in the kitchen. The emperor decides whether or not a family should be punished or rewarded based on their previous behavior. In China, people would often give sweets to Zao Jun, who then can’t speak because of the sticky substance in his mouth.

The emperor has also appeared in various anime and television shows outside of China, such as the Japanese anime series “Fushigi Yugi” and the American show “Stargate SG-1. He also features as a playable mage in the MOBA video game Smite.

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Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.