According to Fengshen Yanyi (封神演義), Nezha was born during the Shang Dynasty in a military fortress at Chentang Pass. His father was a military commander named Li Jing, who became the "Pagoda-wielding Heavenly King" later. Nezha's mother, Lady Yin, gave birth to a ball of flesh after being pregnant with him for three years and six months. Li Jing thought that his wife had given birth to a demon and he attacked the ball with his sword. The ball split open and Nezha jumped out as a boy instead of an infant. Nezha could speak and walk immediately after birth. He is accepted by the immortal Taiyi Zhenren as a student later. He had two older brothers, Jinzha, a disciple of Manjusri Bodhisattva, and Muzha, a disciple of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva.
One day, while playing near the sea, Nezha fought and killed Ao Bing, the third son of the East Sea Dragon King Ao Guang. Ao Guang called for his brothers and confronted Nezha and his family. He threatened to flood Chentang Pass and report Nezha to the Jade Emperor. To save his family, Nezha flayed and disemboweled himself to return his body to his parents. The Dragon Kings were moved by his filial piety and spared his family. Nezha was later brought back to life by his teacher, Taiyi Zhenren, who used lotus roots to construct a human body for his soul.
Nezha is often depicted as a youth, instead of an adult. He is often shown flying in the sky riding on the Wind Fire Wheels (風火輪), a golden hoop (乾坤圈) around his body (sometimes on his left hand), a red sash around his shoulder and a Fire Spear (火箭槍) in his right hand. Sometimes, he is shown having three heads and six arms (三頭六臂). He has the ability to spit fire in some legends.
"Nezha of Chinese lore, a god said to have the form of a never-aging young man. In "Journey to the West", he fought an intense battle with Sun Wukong. He was born with his trusty weapon Qiankun Quan (Universe Ring) and his trademark Hun Tian Ling (Red Armillary Sash). He committed suicide to atone for killing a Dragon King, but was brought back to life using lotus roots."
—Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers 3DS Compendium
Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha Vs. King AbaddonEdit
"The Taoist war god Dai-Rasen, reincarnated as a young boy to fight the evil spirits of the world. After his father forced him to kill himself, Siddhartha resurrected him and he became a mountain sage."
—Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon Devil Chart