- Yuanshi Tianzun (Chinese: 元始天尊; pinyin: Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn, "Lord of Primordial Beginning");
- Lingbao Tianzun (Chinese: 靈寶天尊; pinyin: Língbǎo Tiānzūn, "Lord of the Numinous Treasure");
- Daode Tianzun (Chinese: 道德天尊; pinyin: Dàodé Tiānzūn, "Lord of the Way and its Virtue"), who manifested as Laozi.
From the Tao Te Ching, it is held that «the Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced all things». It is generally agreed that: Tao produced One—Wuji produced Taiji; One produced Two—Taiji produced yin and yang [or Liangyi (兩儀) in scholastic term]. However, the subject of how Two produced Three has remained a popular debate among Taoist scholars. Most scholars believe that it refers to the Interaction between yin and yang, with the presence of qi, or life force.
The Tao, or the source of the universe, is itself personified in some theologies as Hongjun Laozu (鸿钧老祖, "Ancestor of the Great Balance"). In other theologies it is the Taiyi Tianzun (太乙天尊, "Heavenly Lord of the Great Oneness"), or simply Taiyi ("Great Oneness"), represented as a lord riding a lion. In its pre-creating, pre-ordering phase it is the Hundun Wuji Yuanshi Tianwang (混沌無極元始天王, the "Heavenly Ruler of the Indeterminate Chaos", or "Great One of the Infinite Chaos").
- (in Chinese) Yang, Chaoping (December 1, 2007). "道德經第四十二章‧「道生一，一生二，二生三，三生萬物。」".