The Original Deeds of the Lofty Jade Emperor

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The Original Deeds of the Lofty Jade Emperor ( 《高上玉皇本行集經》 Gaoshang Yuhuang Benxing Jijing ), or simply the Book of the Jade Emperor or the Book of the Emperor, based on its description of the Jade Emperor's origin and divinity, was likely written in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).


The Divine Powers of the Heavenly Palace of Pure Subtlety ( 《淸微天宮神通品》 Qingwei Tiangong Shentong Pin ), as the first volume, narrates the Jade Emperor's origin and divinity. The King of the Light-Ornamented State of Subtle Joy ( 光嚴妙樂園 Guangyan Miaole Guo ) hadn't a son yet. Then the queen was pregnant and gave birth to a son after she dreamed of the Supreme Sovereign of Dao ( 太上道君 Tiashang Daojun ) giving her a baby. The prince, after succeeding to the throne, administered the state in correct way with great mercy for the people's suffering. Then he abandoned the throne to cultivate Dao in the mountains. After 3200 great eons' repetition of this way, he realized the fruit of Golden Immortality, was titled Pure and Tranquil Tathagata and Perfected King ( 淸淨覺王如來 Qingjing Juewang Rulai ), and taught bodhisattvas the sudden enlightenment of Mahayana and the gradual entrance to the subtle way to the void. After billions of eons' cultivation in this way, he realized the fruit of Jade Emperor. So the Great Jade Emperor can manifest supernatural powers and tell worlds in ten directions the pure and tranquil way to liberation.


The Great Divine Incantation of Supreme Enlightenment ( 《太上大光明圓滿大神咒品》 Taishang Da Guangming ) and the Jade Emperor's Merit ( 《玉皇功德品》 Yuhuang Gongde Pin ), as the second volume, tells about the divine incantations decreed by Jade Emperor as well as the merits of holding and practicing this scripture. The Great Divine Incantation, as the "subtle language of the Primeval Lord and true decree of the Jade Emperor", can control heavenly mechanisms, and the five numinous and earthly divinities. The incantation is a revised version of the first volume of the Book of Crimson and Jade Characters of the Five Primeval Venerables ( 《元始五老赤書玉字經》 Yuanshi Wulao Chishu Yuzi Jing ). He who holds this scripture is purified of all sins and ascends to heaven after death.


Assistance from the Heavenly and Perfected ( 《天真護持品》 Tianzhen Huchi Pin ) and the Fulfillment of Retribution ( 《報應神驗品》 Baoying Shenyan Pin ), as the third and final volume, tells about the 30 kinds of subtle merits and support from imperial sovereigns and divine generals of the Ten Directions, which are gained through holding this scripture. Non-believers and calumniators gain bad retributions.


As the basic scripture for the Jade Emperor cult, it is often used in Daoist recitations as a basis of the audience ritual, the repentance ritual and the lantern ritual concerning the Jade Emperor. It is very influential among the Daoists and folk people.