top of page
  • Writer's picture Даосская Ассоциация России

Three Supreme Primes三清


Cheng Bohan

In Daoist Sanqing Palace, three dignified gods are usually enshrined, representing the highest gods of Daoism, known as the “Three Pure One’s” or “Three Supreme Primes”: Yuqing Yuan Shi Tianzun玉清元始天尊, Shangqing Lingbao Tianzun上清灵宝天尊, and Taiqing Dao De Tianzun.”太清道德天尊

Chapter 42 of the “Dao De Jing” states: “The Dao gives birth to One, One gives birth to Two, Two gives birth to Three, and Three gives birth to all things. All things carry Yin yet embrace Yang, blending these forces to achieve harmony.”


The “Daojiao Yishu” 道教义枢 Volume Seven quotes the “Taizhen Section” saying: “The Da Luo gives birth to the Primordial Three Qi, transforming into the Three Pure Heavens: firstly, the Qingwei Heaven, the realm of Yuqing, formed by the Shi Qi; secondly, the Remaining Yuyu Heaven, the realm of Shangqing, formed by the Yuan Qi; thirdly, the Da Chi Heaven, the realm of Tai Qing, formed by the Xuan Qi. From these, the three Qi are born separately.'


The “Daozang - Taiping Volume - San Dong Zhu Nang” Volume Seven quotes “The Holy Miracles of Laojun,” saying: “This is the realm of Yuqing, the position of Yuan Shi Tianzun, above the thirty-five heavens. This is the realm of Shangqing the position of Taishang Da Daojun (Lingbao Tianzun), above the thirty-four heavens. The realm of Taiqing is the Palace of the Taiji, the position of Daode Tianzun(Taishang Laojun), above the thirty-three heavens.'


Daoism believes that the universe was born from the interaction of Yin and Yang in a great explosion. The Dao gives birth to One, where One represents the limitless. The limitless gives birth to Two, representing Yin and Yang, which, through their union, give birth to Three, representing the Three Pure One’s. Therefore, the Three Supreme Primes are considered the highest gods in Daoism.


In the Three Pure Halls of Daoist temples, Yuan Shi Tianzun holds a Holy pearl and occupies the central position. His birthday is on the Winter Solstice of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Lingbao Tianzun often holds an Ruyi(A artifact that symbols power) in his hand and occupies the left-hand position of Yuan Shi Tianzun. His birthday is on the Summer Solstice of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Dao De Tianzun, as known as the Taishang Laojun often holds a dust whisk or a fan in his hand and occupies the right-hand position of Yuan Shi Tianzun. His birthday is on the fifteenth day of the second month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar."


bottom of page