Blessed by Virtue
(Clearwisdom.net) Li Yu, of Jiangyang County, Guangling Town of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD), was a particularly mild and prudent man from a family that had been selling grain in town for generations. When he was 15, his father put him in charge of the family business.
When customers came, he would surrender his scale and let them weigh the grain for themselves. In addition, he did not even charge his customers the market price and would settle for a small profit from the sale as long as it was sufficient to support his parents.
Ironically, the Li family became well-to-do over time. Curious, his father asked him how he did it. Li Yu told his father the way he handled the business.
The father was touched by the son's story. "When I was still working, I knew that people in this trade had always tried to make extra profits by playing tricks with weighing devices of different sizes," said the father. "They used the small weight to sell out and the big one to buy in. Although government officials would come to check their weighing instruments every spring and fall, the cheating went on all the same. I have always used the same weighing instrument, and thought, I am being fair to everyone all the time. Now I've seen how you've been doing it, I feel dwarfed. Despite the way you are doing business, you still manage to earn enough food and clothing for the family. God is really helping you, isn't He?"
Li Yu was still selling grains when he reached 80. The prime minister, who was appointed as the governor in the south of Huaihe River, happened to have the same name--Li Yu. Out of humility and respect, the Li Yu who was in grain business changed his name into Li Kuan. When Prime Minister Li Yu took his office, he did a lot of good things for the people, such as building roads and assisting the poor. One night he had a dream in which he went into a vast cave. He was dazzled by what he saw: the spring was in full swing with flowers blossoming in profusion and birds flying through colorful clouds. On a stone wall of one of the pavilions were engraved two golden Chinese characters--Li Yu. Elated, Li Yu thought to himself, This blessing is a result of my contributions to society during my term of office. I will definitely become an immortal in the future. As he was enjoying the moment, two fairies emerged. Li Yu asked them what this place was. To which, they replied, "This is Sunny Cave Heaven." They also told him that the name engraved on the wall was not his name. Astonished, Li Yu asked whose name it was then. One of the fairies said, "This person is a Jiangyang County resident."
Upon his return, Li Yu set about finding this resident, also named Li Yu. After much work, he learned that Li Kuan of Jiangyang County was the man he was looking for. He also learned that this Li Kuan was a cultivator who had studied some cultivation methods at age 60. So Li Yu condescended to visit Li Kuan at his home, hoping he could learn some Taoist techniques from him. Instead of imparting any Taoist techniques to Li Yu, Li Kuan told him at great length about how he had sold grain to his customers. After hearing Li Kuan's story, Li Yu marveled, "You've done something everyday people find hard to do. I haven't done as much as you in creating virtue." Li Yu paused for a moment and then went on, "Now I know that true justice exists in the human world. If one can accumulate virtue, even though he is poor for the moment, God will still protect him and add his name to the list of immortals. Thus, the world's people will learn a lesson from it." At Li Yu's repeated requests, Li Kuan taught him some methods of cultivating truthfulness and nurturing human character.
Li Kuan was still healthy when he was over 100. One day he told his children and grandchildren, "I've been in this world for so long and have become of no use to you, though I am cultivating myself every day." Not long afterwards, he passed away in the middle of the night. Three days later, the family heard his coffin crack, and when they came close and looked, they found Li Kuan's clothes remained the way they had been, but his body was gone. What happened was that Li Kuan had become an immortal and left the human world. Probably he had gone to the Sunny Cave Heaven where Prime Minister Li Yu had dreamed of going.