Celestial Worthy of Primordial Beginning, Yuanshi tianzun
The Three Pure Ones, are gods conceived as pure emanations of the Tao. They are the Celestial Worthy of Primordial Beginning, Yuanshi tianzun (center), The Celestial Worthy of Numinous Treasure, Lingbao tiazun (right), and the Celestial Worthy of the Way and Its Power, Daode tianzun (left). The last of these is the deified Laozi (Lao-Tzu), the sage who traditionally is believed to have transmitted the Taoist scripture called the Classic of the Way [Tao] and Its Power (Daode jing) in the sixth century BC. The character at the bottom center of his painting reads “Tao”.