(Clearwisdom.net) Chen Gongcai was a man of outstanding literary talent. One day in a dream, a divine being told him that he was the "Number-One Scholar in Being Drunk," and he would continue to pass imperial exams at different levels. After waking up, he felt puzzled, so he told other people about this dream. One person said, "Isn't the (Chinese) character 'drunk' made up of two parts, Xin and You, and when combined, Xin and You indicate a specific year in the Chinese Lunar Calendar? It probably means that you will become the Number-One Scholar on the highest imperial exam in the year of Xinyou."

Later, Chen Gongcai indeed passed the provincial exam in the year of Xinyou, but he did not pass the imperial exam in the capital. Therefore, he decided that the dream he had was not accurate.

However, he encountered that divine being again in a dream on another night. This time, the divine being told him that predestination is certain, but the person himself decides whether he or she will have blessings or misfortune. For example, an emperor favors a minister and grants him with a high official position and riches, but this minister is not loyal to the emperor. Couldn't the emperor take away the rank and wealth granted to him? If some ministers become vicious and petulant, monopolize power and assign unfair penalties to citizens while relying on the emperor's favor, couldn't the same action be taken against them? Predestination is in fact similar to the law in the human world. The five things that you did after passing the provincial exam and your acceptance of a bribe made you lose too much virtue. How could you blame Heaven for depriving you of blessings and wealth? If from today, you do good deeds, accumulate virtue, and improve your moral integrity, you may be able to spend your remaining years in contentment. Otherwise, Heaven might even take away your life.

After hearing this, Chen Gongcai woke up with a start and began to weep and kowtow to show gratitude. After that, he repented and became benevolent. He tried to do good deeds and accumulate virtue. In the end, he spent his remaining years in contentment and died a natural death.

September 19, 2006