Abiding by Heavenly Principles--A Country at Peace and People in Harmony
(Clearwisdom.net) Sentient beings originate from heaven, as do the rules of ordinary society. That's is why adhering to heavenly principles has been important to Chinese people. They lived by these principles. When the heavenly principles are followed, the country will be at peace and the people will live in harmony. When the heavenly principles are disregarded, there will be drought, floods, and other natural disasters, and it will be difficult for people to make a living. There are many documented examples from the past which include discussion of this principle. The following are two stories from "Historic Records of Cause and Effect."
In the Song dynasty, when Liu Chang was appointed governor of the Chanzhou Region, that area had experienced severe drought, locusts, and other disasters. After Liu Chang took office, he immediately looked into all disputed trials and reversed all unfair sentences. So respect for the law was restored. Then he taught by example and advanced the heavenly virtues instead of handing out punishment. Gradually, honesty became the standard by which people lived. A traveler once came through Shouzhang and lost his money bag. Some local people picked up the bag up and took it to the neighborhood community coordinator. When the traveler returned to search for his lost money bag, it was returned to him. Another time, someone lost some items but didn't return until the next day. The item was still where he had left it. The central government honored Liu Chang and the local people praised him. Soon, the rains came again and the locusts disappeared. Although the locusts invaded the neighboring regions, they didn't come to the Danzhou region. (Biography of Liu Chang, Song Dynasty History)
Wang Zhang lived during the Ming Dynasty. His father passed away when he was very young. Under his mother's guidance, he studied diligently. After he was appointed governor of Zhuji County, his mother was still very exacting. Once he returned home late after a farewell party for one of his friends. His mother told him to kneel and then she beat him. She said, "Weren't you appointed county governor to manage this county and not to party and enjoy good food and drink alcohol?" Wang Zhang was very ashamed and after kneeling he did not dare lift his head. During the six months he governed, the local citizens were happy and all his actions were very transparent. The local people lived in harmony. When the central government appointed him to a post in Ji County, the people of Zhuji County didn't want him to leave. But the people of Jin County were desperately waiting for him to take office. Later, he was promoted to be the nation's procurator. One time he went to Gansu Province for an inspection. Gansu was experiencing a serious drought. He wrote a note and prayed to the Buddhas, "If I, the nation's procurator, am corrupt or if I have done anything that harmed the county and its people, please punish me. But please bless the people and protect them from this disaster!" Then he burned the paper. Soon after, there was a rainstorm.
Throughout history, all wise people lived by the heavenly principles. They cultivated virtue, lived devout lives, and held the thought of heaven deep in their hearts.