Sun Simiao, Renowned Physician from the Tang Dynasty
(Clearwisdom.net) Sun Simiao, a renown physician from the Tang Dynasty, possessed superb medical skills. Because he was upright, honest, and noble, and healed many people, he was thus respectfully named the King of Medicine.
According to the legend, Sun Simiao led a tranquil life without worldly desires. He lived in seclusion on Taibai Mountain, quietly cultivating Tao. One day, as he was leisurely strolling in the woods and along the lakes, he saw a shepherd boy whipping a little white snake. He could not stand it, so he offered the shepherd his only valuable clothing in exchange for the little white snake. He took the snake home and treated the wounds attentively with herbal medicine.
The little white snake recovered very quickly, and Sun Simiao released it into the mountains. Not long after, a young man in white clothes came to see him. He paid utmost respect to Sun Simiao and invited him to a palace. As it turned out, the little white snake was the son of the Dragon King of Jing Yang Water Palace. In order to repay Sun Simiao's kindness, the Dragon King offered him rare and precious treasures from the palace, but Sun Simiao declined.
Sun Simiao told the Dragon King, "I practice Tao, I have no use for material goods, please keep them yourself." The Dragon King wanted to repay the favor, and knew that Sun Simiao enjoyed studying books on medicine. So he asked his minister to retrieve a few ancient medical books that were passed down from generations and give them to Sun Simiao. Sun Simiao gladly took them. Later on, he studied the books diligently, and applied the research in his medical practice. These were all recorded in his book, "A Thousand Golden Methods."
Because Emperor Tang Taizong admired Sun Simiao's great reputation, he summoned him to the imperial court. The emperor noticed that Sun Simiao had a dignified appearance and a divine poise. The emperor said to Sun Simiao, "After meeting you today, I now believe that there is an elixir of youth. Please share it with me."
Sun Simiao replied, "People pursue divinity and alchemy with a purpose, and they want either to prolong their lives or to make profits. I don't think they'll get what they want. How can an ordinary person like me wish for immortality? I study medicine and practice Tao to heal and save more people. The medicine that I make is only for healing illnesses, and it cannot prolong one's life. I apologize for not being able to fulfill your Majesty's wish. Please allow me to go back to the mountains."
The emperor tried to persuade him to stay, but Sun Simiao left eventually.
July 15, 2006