Heaven Protects Compassionate People
(Clearwisdom.net) Around 480 BC, Jinggong was the king of Song State. King Hui of Chu State defeated and took over Chen State, which was close to Song State. At that time, the Yinghuo Star (a Fire Star that implied military action) in the sky was approaching the region of the Xinsu star. According to the theory of astrology at that time, the area of the Xinsu star indicated Song County. Therefore, Jinggong was very worried about that indicator bringing disaster to Song State.
The next day, an official in charge of history and astrology reported, "Last evening, I found that Yinghuo Star was wandering in the region of Xinsu Star. This is a very bad sign. Please get all the officials together to discuss how to solve this problem."
Jinggong asked all the officials if they had any solutions. They were all silent except Xin Ziwei. He said, "It is really unfortunate that Yinghuo Star moved into the region of Xinsu Star. It indicates that the king of Song State will have a disaster. However, Your Majesty, you could transfer the disaster to the prime minister by praying and conducting a transferring ceremony."
Jinggong said, "How can I do that? The prime minister is the first official, and he assists me in taking care of the State. He is my right arm and directs the movement of the entire body. How can I bring disaster upon him?"
Ziwei said, "I have another solution. Your Majesty, you could hold a ceremony at noon today and pray for heaven to transfer the disaster to ordinary people."
Jinggong said, "What are these words you speak? As a king, I should comfort my people with compassion. How can I let them suffer from disaster? The citizens are similar to the children of a king. How can I transfer the disaster to them?"
After thinking for a while, Ziwei said, "Then, don't transfer it to other people. The disaster could be solved by having a bad harvest this year."
Jing'gong said angrily, "Stop this talk. If a bad harvest occurs, the result will be a shortage of food. People will suffer from hunger. As a king, if I jeopardize my people to gain my survival, how can I be a king any longer? Lao Zi said, 'A king should suffer all the unfortunate things of the State.' I will be responsible for the disaster! If only the people can live well. I am not afraid of death. I refuse to accept these bad ideas."
Ziwei was moved by Jinggong's s thought. He backed up several steps, led all the officials to bow at Jinggong and said, "The virtue that you are willing to suffer by yourself, instead of letting your people and officials suffer for you, must be heard from heaven. God will not only eliminate your disaster, but will also extend your life."
Jinggong asked, "How do you know that?"
Ziwei answered, "Even though heaven is very high, a small sound on the earth can still be heard there. Your Majesty, you are compassionate to your Prime Minister, the people, and the harvest. God will give your three awards. Tonight, Yinghuo Star must leave the region of Xinsu Start by a distance of three "She" ["She" was a unit to measure the distance between stars at that time.]. Seven stars could exist in one "She." One star means one year on earth. Seven times three equals twenty-one. Your Majesty, your life will be extended for twenty-one years. You could assign someone to observe it."
In the evening, Jinggong, the official in charge of history and astrology, and Ziwei monitored the Fire Star together. They noticed that the Fire Star had moved three She and left the region of Xinsu Star. As mentioned by Ziwei, because Jinggong considered the lives of his people, his virtue moved the heavens, and Song State avoided the disaster.
Jinggong was the king of Song State for 64 years. He was very kind and generous to his people. He respected Lao Zi and Confucius very much. He consulted with them on the methods to govern the State, and he respected politeness and virtuousness. His people lived well and happily. His State was very peaceful, and no major events occurred while he was alive.
Actually, people are choosing all the time. If their thoughts turn, their lives could be different and the whole world could be altered. Everything could be changed. However, the outcome will be entirely based on our minds. The compassionate nature is our true self. No matter what we do, we do it for ourselves. Behavior in this life determines the fate of one's future life. Therefore, what we do right now is choosing our future. Choosing to be compassionate is actually following the rules of heaven and returning to our true self. It is the wisest route and never a regrettable choice.