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Yü Huang Shang Ti, The August Jade Emperor, Tien Kung

In China the Jade Emperor is emperor of all heavens, immortals, spirits in the three realms and Immortals of the Three Grottoes. He has the power to order the Immortals of the Nine Heavens and to invoke the spirits of the four seas and five sacred mountains. He lives in the Jade Castle of Abstraction, high above the earth and the thirty-three heavens, according to some accounts; or according to others, on the Mountain of Jade in the K’un Lun range. On the shore of the Jade Lake, a Jade Tree three hundred arm lengths across bears red jade fruit that gives eternal life.

The Jade Emperor is son of the King of the Pure Blissful Kingdom of Lofty Heavenly Lights and Ornaments and of the Empress of Precious Moonlight. His birthday is the ninth day of the first lunar month and he was born of flame. Images of the Jade Emperor show him seated in imperial robes, with strings of pearls from his crown. He holds a short, flat tablet in both hands before his chest He went to cultivate Dao on the Mountain of Universal Light and Fragrant Rocks. He is an avatar of the Three Pristine Ones. Therefore, the Jade Emperor is the master of the three fundamentals in charge of the pivot of Heaven, Earth and Man. His sons are the ten Suns. (7, 8)

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