Wang Xuanpu

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The Life of Wang Xuanpu Family name

Family name: Wang

Given name: Cheng

Literary name: Xuanpu

Alias: Imperial Sovereign Donghua ( 東華帝君 Donghua Dijun ); Lesser Yang Sovereign of the Purple Mansion ( 紫府少陽帝君 Zifu Shaoyang Dijun )

Birthday: 15th day of the 6th lunar month

Wang Xuanpu was born in Donghai (now Gunzhou, Shangdong Province) in the Han Dynasty. He admired the demeanors of Perfect Men ( 真人 Zhenren ) ever since he was young. Later he was led by Baiyun Shangzhen into the practice of Daoism and retreated to the Yanxia Grotto of the Kunlun Mountain, leading a hermit's life for the sake of practicing Daoism. Later he moved to the Zifu (Purple Mansion) Grotto. Having lived in the world for several hundred years, Wang Xuanpu remained as young as ever. He later accepted Zhongli Quan as his disciple and preached Daoism to the masses. The Complete Perfection Doctrine ( 全真教 Quanzhen Jiao ) thus came into being and he was honored as the predecessor of the Five Northern Patriarchs ( 北五祖 Bei Wuzu ).


According to the Records of the Orthodox Sect of the Golden Lotus ( 金蓮正宗記 Jinlian Zhengzong Ji ), Wang Xuanpu learned from Baiyun Shangzhen the Black Talisman ( 青符 Qingfu ) and Jade Seal ( 玉篆 Yuzhuan ), the Golden Rules and Numinous Writs ( 金科靈文 Jinke Lingwen ), the Secret Formula for the Great Elixir ( 大丹秘訣 Dadan Mijue ), the Fire Phases of the Cosmic Orbit ( 周天火候 Zhoutian Huohou ) and the Black Dragon Swordplay ( 青龍劍法 Qinglong Jianfa ). When he was at the Ningyang Grotto of Mt Zhongnan, he imparted the Perfect Formula for Longevity ( 長生真訣 Changsheng Zhenjue ), the Fire Phases for Refining Golden Elixirs ( 金丹火候 Jindan Huohou ) and the Black Dragon Swordplay to Zhongli Quan. The Golden Elixir sect of Zhong and Lu ( 鍾呂金丹法 Zhonglu Jindan Pai ) (Zhongli Quan and Lu Dongbin) was later formed on the basis of the above-mentioned knowledge.


Wang Xuanpu, having learned the essence of Baiyun Shangzhen's teaching, practiced it for three years and became an expert of it. Then he carried his sword and set out to do justice in the world. While practicing poetical justice, he would gather and wield the Vital Breath ( 氣 Qi ) of the Supreme Ultimate ( 太極 Taiji ). After he finished annihilating evil people, his two swords would fly up into the sky and then fly back to him. A poem that praises him goes as follows:

At the dimly-lit Dragon Building, in the auspicious pink clouds, Was the remarkable Lesser Yang Sovereign of the Purple Mansion. The Kunlun Mountain scraped the sky and the rays stretched afar, And this was the first flower of the Complete Perfection Doctrine.


Wang Xuanpu was granted the titles of "Imperial Lesser Yang Sovereign Donghua of the Purple Mansion" by Emperor Shizu of the Yuan Dynasty, and of "Great Imperial Sovereign Donghua of the Purple Palace Who Assists the Origin and Establishes the Ultimate" ( 東華紫府輔元立極大帝君 Donghua Zifu Fuyuan Liji Dadijun ) by Emperor Wuzong of the Yuan Dynasty.