Zhongli Quan

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The Life of Zhongli Quan Family Name

Family name: Zhongli

Given Name: Quan

Literary Name: Yunfang or Jidao

Alias: Master Zhengyang or Master Hegu

Height: 8 feet tall

Birthday: 15th day of the 4th lunar month

Date of Ascension: 18th day of the 5th lunar month

Zhongli Quan was born in Xianyang in the Han Dynasty. As a little boy, he displayed a great liking to and talent for literature. The highest official position he took was as Senior General of the Han Dynasty. Having been beaten in a battle, he hid on Mt Zhongnan, where he came across Wang Xuanpu, the Donghua Imperial Sovereign ( 東華帝君 Donghua Dijun ), and learned the essence of Dao from Wang. Then he retired to the Tornado Mountain of Jinzhou Prefecture to practice Daoism. When he attained the perfect Dao he tied his hair in two buns and wore daimyo oak leaves, calling himself Zhong Liquan, the Freest Man in the World." He was later honored as the "Zhengyang Patriarch" by the Complete Perfection Doctrine ( 全真教 Quanzhen Jiao ) of Daoism and listed as the second of the Five Northern Patriarchs ( 北五祖 Bei Wuzu ). He was also one of the Eight Immortals ( 八仙 Baxian ) in Chinese folklore.


It was recorded that Zhongli Quan learned from Imperial Sovereign Donghua the Red Talisman and Jade Seal ( 赤符 Chifu ), 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 ). A little later he met the Perfect Man of Huayang and learned from him the Jade Knife of Supreme Oneness ( 太乙刀圭 Taiyi Daogui ) and the Golden Elixir of the Fire Talisman ( 火符金丹 Huofu Jindan ), thus achieving a profound understanding of the ways in which the mysterious Dao works. No sooner had he found the Secret Formula of the Jade Box ( 玉匣秘訣 Yuxia Mijue ) hidden by the Yellow Emperor in a grotto in Mt Kongdong than he became a real Immortal. One day when he was travelling in the Lü Mountains, he came upon Lu Dongbin to whom he imparted the Swordplay of the Heavenly Concealment of the Great Dao ( 大道天遁 Dadao Tiandun ) and the Secret Formula for Making Elixirs of the Dragon and Tiger. Zhongli and Lülater formed the Golden Elixir sect of Zhong and Lu ( 鍾呂金丹派 Zhonglu Jindan Pai ), which exerted a profound influence upon the development of Daoism in the Song and Yuan dynasties.


After he imparted the Swordplay of the Heavenly Concealment of the Great Dao and the Secret Formula for Making Dragon and Tiger Elixirs to LüDongbin, Zhongli Quan continued on his trip around the Lushan Mountains. He stepped onto the third flight of a red building and leisurely ascended to Heaven. The following poem praises him:

Iron Flute heard about the Immortal riding on the back of a tiger, Who imparted to the sovereign the secret formula for making elixirs. Before ascending to heaven he rendered the skills to Master Chunyang. Stepping three flights he flew to the blue sky.

Works by Zhongli Quan

The Song of the Reversion Elixir ( 還丹歌 Huadan Ge ), The Song of Dispelling Illusion and Rectifying Dao ( 破迷正道歌 Pomi Zhengdao Ge )


Emperor Shizu of the Yuan Dynasty granted him the title "Perfect Sovereign Zhengyang Who Enlightens and Transmits Dao" ( 正陽開悟傳道真君 Zhengyang Kaiwu Chuandao Dijun ) and Emperor Wuzong granted him the title "Imperial Sovereign Zhengyang of Manifold Teachings Who Enlightens and Transmits Dao" ( 正陽開悟傳道重教帝君 Zhengyang Kaiwu Chuandao Chongjiao Dijun ).