Keeping A Pure Heart and Few Desires
Weiying, the king of Weihui, entertained the monarchs from various kingdoms in Fantai with a banquet. Liquor was flowing freely and they were heartily enjoying themselves when the king of Weihui proposed a toast to the king of Lugong.
The king of Lugong stood up, moved away from his seat, and said somberly, "Once upon a time, the daughter of king Shun, Lingyidi, made a fine wine and presented it to king Yu. After drinking it, King Yu also thought it tasted very good. But for this reason, he distanced himself from Lingyidi and kept away from fine wines. He said, 'Later generations will surely cause the kingdom to perish on account of fine wines.' One night, the king of Qihuan was hungry and wanted to have something to eat. So his attendant, Yiya, sautéed and fried, stewed and grilled, cooking up an array of delicious gastronomic delights. The king was stuffed and slept soundly, and was still sleeping at dawn. Later he said, 'Later generations will surely cause the kingdom to perish on account of delicious food.' The king of Jinwen met a beautiful woman, Nanzhiwei, and failed to manage state affairs in the imperial court for three days. So he sent Nanzhiwei away and said, 'Later generations will surely cause the kingdom to perish for clinging to beautiful women.' The king of Chuling climbed up Qiangtai to see Mount Beng. On the left was the Yangtze River, and on the right, a large lake. While roaming the place, he indulged himself in the beautiful scenery, forgetting that man is mortal. So he pledged that he would no longer go sightseeing. Later he said, 'Later generations will surely cause the kingdom to perish on account of building observation towers, hillsides, and beautiful ponds.'
Now, your cup is filled with wine as good as the one Lingyidi made; laid on your table are delicacies as delectable as the ones Yiya cooked; Baitai on your left and Lvxu on your right are both as beautiful as Nanzhiwei; in front of you, there is Jialin, and behind you there is Lantai; these are as scenic as Qiangtai. Any of these four is enough to bring about the downfall of a kingdom. But now you have all four of them. Can you not be on your guard?"
After listening, the king of Weihui could not stop praising his persuasive cautionary words.
A pure heart with few desires, restraining greed and attachments is a principle a person that cultivates his xinxing should follow. The ancient sages said that only when a person cultivated himself, could he govern his state and stabilize the world. The king of Lugong cautioned the king of Weihui that a king's indulging himself would reduce his kingdom to ruins. The virtuous and gifted Prime Minister, Wei Zheng, once advised Emperor Tang Taizong to critically examine himself in ten aspects. The memorial to Emperor Tang Taizong was called "The memorial of the ten cautionary considerations for Emperor Tang Taizong" by later generations. The first of these is "If you come across something you desire, just think of contentment to restrain yourself."