(Clearwisdom.net) Lou Shide was a prominent imperial government official and military general of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 A.D.). He was from today's Yuanwuxi, Henan Province. Before he entered the military, he had a dream during an illness where he saw a man in a purple robe bow to him repeatedly and say, "You will soon recover. Please follow me now. I would like to show you something." Lou Shide got up from the bed and followed the man out the door. All of sudden, Lou felt very energetic and agile, as though he had completely recovered.

After having walked for a few miles, Lou saw an ancient courthouse with security guards patrolling its prominent tall gate. The man in purple robe told him, "This is the netherworld." After they entered the gate, Lou noticed a room called the Fate Bureau. Lou asked the man what this bureau's responsibilities were. The man replied, "This is a place that stores the books that record every sentient being's fate."

Lou entered the room and found thousands of books. He asked the netherworld official in charge of the room to see his fate. He looked up the book and saw his name, chronology of his career and his predestined age of death, which was 85. Everything about his fate was very clearly recorded. He told the official in charge, "I am but a common civilian. I will be happy to be spared from hunger and cold. I dare not expect more."

Before dawn, Lou Shide returned to the human realm and woke up from the dream. Like the man in the purple robe had predicted, Lou recovered from his illness very quickly. Later he was indeed appointed as a imperial government official. The positions he held and the time of each career advancement were exactly the same as what he saw in the book of fate in the netherworld.

While Lou was working as a military general in Xiliang, a messenger in yellow clothes came to him and said, "I am a messenger from the netherworld. I have been asked to take you to the netherworld." Lou asked him, "I have seen my destiny in the book of fate. It says that I ought to advance to the position of prime minister and live to be 85 years old. Why do you ask me to part with the world earlier?" The messenger replied, "In your career, you have wronged and killed innocent men by mistake. Your career and your life span have been jeopardized as a result. It is your time to go."

The messenger disappeared upon finishing the explanation. Lou Shide then became ill and died three days later.

Lou Shide was a learned man with profound knowledge. He was very generous, forgiving and tolerant. He was also very accomplished in his career. In fact, he was one of the most prominent imperial government officials in the Tang Dynasty. However, his great fortune was jeopardized because his oversight caused him to kill innocent men. It is so true that everyone ultimately has to pay for his karma.