Imperial Lord Donghua is also known as Lord Dongwang, Father Dongwang, Great Lord Fusang, Imperial Lord Shaoyang, Lord Shaoyang of the Purple Residence. During the reign of Emperor Shizu of the Yuan dynasty, the deity was bestowed the title, ‘Lord Shaoyang of the Donghua Purple Residence’. A Taoist document titled Precious Penance of the Everlasting Great Taoist Lord Donghua addressed the deity as ‘The Honoured Lord Shaoyang of the Donghua Ministry’.

  •   During Jin and Yuan dynasties, Lord Donghua was elevated to the status of the first forefather of Quanzhen Taoism, as recorded in Song De-Fang’s List of Ancestors of the Quanzhen Sect as well as Record of the Golden Lotus Orthodoxy by Qin Zhi-An. Together with Zhong Liquan, Lü Dongbin, Liu Haichan and Wang Chong-Yang, they were known as the ‘Five Forefathers of the North’. Another saying about the origin of Imperial Lord Donghua came from Gan Dou’s In Search of the Supernatural in Jin dynasty: Imperial Lord Donghua and Queen Mother were both incarnated from the essence of vital breaths. They controlled the two breaths to nourish the heaven and earth and help the men immortalized.

      Volume 1 of Dao Zang - Li Shi Zhen Xian Ti Dao Tong Jian complied by Zhao Dao-I, a Taoist in Yuan dynasty described a legend about Mu Gong: ‘The gods are divided into nine levels: First, Jiu Tian Emperor; second, San Tian Emperor; third, Tai Shang Zhen Ren; fourth, Fei Tian Zhen Ren; fifth, Ling Xian; six, Zhen Ren; seventh, Ling Ren; eighth; Fei Xian; ninth, Xian Ren. The division of levels cannot be different. When the gods rise to the heaven, the worshippers should first worship Mu Gong and then Jin Mu. After they rise to Jiu Tian, they should worship the Three Pure Ones and honor Yuan Shi Tian Zun.’

      In Transformation of Dong Wang Gong’s Divinity, Xiao Deng-Fu suggested, ‘Since Tang and Song Dynasty, Dong Wang Gong had often been named Mu Gong. The description of Dong Wang Gong’s divinity above varied, but He was usually regarded as the source of sun or sun god. Only the names and the god’s level changed. In Southern Song, Fu Sang Tai Di Dong Wang Gong’s divinity and name started undergoing restructuring and disparities. Book of Tao separated Fu Sang Tai Di from Dong Wang Gong and combined Dong Wang Gong with Shang Xian Qing Tong Jun and Imperial Lord Donghua, named Dong Hua Mu Gong Shang Xian Qing Tong Jun.’