Throughout the Ages, Good is Rewarded While Evil Provokes Karmic Retribution
(Clearwisdom.net) In the rich tradition of China's past, gentlemen had respect for divine beings and acknowledged that everything they experienced was a reflection of their thoughts and past actions. Gentlemen treated others with compassion and thus accumulated blessings and virtue. They realized that everything happens for a reason. Since the beginning of time, there have been countless examples of good being rewarded and evil provoking karmic retribution. The following are two stories recorded in ancient Chinese stories.
Saving the Drowning and Hungry People
Dahui, an abbot in his 70's in the Qingyun Temple in Dinghushan, Guangdong, had come to understand a few heavenly secrets. He mastered medicine and fortune telling by reading facial features. When the magistrate of Gaoyao County visited Qingyun Temple, he was accompanied by a member of his staff named Liu. Liu was an old acquaintance of Dahui. Liu told the magistrate about Dahui, so the magistrate asked Dahui to tell his fortune.
Dahui was unable to decline the request and agreed. He asked the magistrate to sit down and relax. After reading his face, Dahui told the magistrate, “There are lives in your hands. Accumulating virtue can protect your longevity.” The magistrate asked him about his future in the officialdom. Dahui answered with a smile, “I am not very good and dare not predict your future. A man with great virtue naturally will have good fortune. Your kind heart is the greatest fortune of the people in your county.” Seeing that Dahui was being very subtle and knowing that he did not talk a lot, the magistrate left after finishing the tea. He then told Liu to ask Dahui for more information privately.
Dahui frankly told Liu that, from reading his face, he has found that the magistrate had lost brilliance and auspicious energy. “The magistrate has dark energy on his face and he may not live past one year. The good thing is that his original good energy is not completely gone, which means that he can still be saved from danger and he is not bound to die. Being a public servant of many people, his every move and every policy is closely related to the people's lives and safety. If he sincerely keeps kindness in his heart and helps the people, he can benefit a lot of people. It was not a groundless statement when I predicted that accumulating virtue can protect your longevity.”
Liu nodded his head many times. He did not dare tell the magistrate everything that Dahui told him. He tactfully told the magistrate that he needed to do one thing that could save the lives of many in the next few months so he could extend his lifespan.
Soon after, there was a disastrous flood in the Xiliao area. The level of the flood raised several feet overnight and swallowed up the surrounding farmland and houses. Many villagers were drowning and yelling for help. The magistrate quickly went to a nearby hillside and surveyed the scene from there. What he saw was terrifying and there was not much that he could do at that moment. He saw the young and strong villagers getting on boats and fleeing for their lives but no one was helping small children and infants, who were floating on the water. The magistrate suddenly gave an order: a person who saves a child will get a piece of silver as a reward, and the more he saves, the more rewards he will get. As a result, people with boats began to save children and infants, a total of over 400 of them. After the flood was gone, the magistrate opened up the grain reserve to relieve the people and arranged places to settle the flood victims.
Later, the magistrate was promoted to the prefect of Huizhou. When he traveled past Luofu Mountain, he met with abbot Dahui again. The minute Dahui saw him, he said, “The person with a kind heart finally gets rewarded. You lifespan is prolonged.”
A man's destiny can be changed by doing good deeds and accumulating virtue. When one has a good heart, his fate will be good, and when he has an evil heart, his life will be full of evil. When a person commits crimes, his good fortune will disappear and he will end up with disasters.
One Receives Karmic Retribution for Being Arrogant and Imperious
There was a chief who was greedy and violent. Whenever he went out, his guards rode on horses ahead of him. They would whip any pedestrians in their path who got out of the way too slowly.
One day the chief was returning home and a porter was standing on the left side of the road carrying two baskets of paper on his shoulders. The chief got angry because the porter did not put down his baskets. He ordered his servant to bring the porter in front of him and scolded him. The porter was a simple and straightforward person. He replied, “I was not in the way so what crime did I commit?” The chief got even more angry because the porter talked back. He ordered his servant to beat the porter savagely and asked him again, “Do you know what you have done?” The porter replied, “I truly do not know what crimes I have committed that deserve such a beating.” Being contradicted in public, the arrogant chief flew into a rage out of humiliation. He ordered his men to strike the porter with clubs hundreds of times until his blood and flesh were smeared together. They dragged the porter to the Huating County government and wanted him punished for blocking the road. The county officials took advantage of the opportunity and extorted a lot of money from the porter's boss, the owner of a paper shop. The county magistrate, seeing that the porter was badly injured, did not punish him and let him go after a few days. After the porter returned to the paper shop, his boss blamed him for making trouble and kicked him out. Having been tortured for nothing and kicked out of his job, the porter died two days later.
Several days later, the chief had five deep-rooted ulcers grow under the skin on his back, causing him great pain. The doctor said that he had hope for recovery because the ulcers had not festered. One night, the chief saw in his dream a man carrying baskets of paper tearing his ulcers with his hands. The enormous pain woke him up from his dream. He saw under candlelight that all of his ulcers had now festered. The pus and blood soaked his bedding. The doctor gave up on his treatment. The chief prayed every day but nothing worked. He could not lie down on his back anymore, only on his front or side. The slightest movement would cause him excruciating pain. He suffered like this for dozens of days before he died.
Wang Daoding of the Qing Dynasty commented on this event, “It is truly pathetic that officials with power in their hands tend to do whatever they want without considering others' difficult situations. We are all human. Why show off your ruthlessness at will just to please yourself? When you beat the porter until his flesh and blood flew in all directions, he could not do anything to you. But when the puss and blood came out of your ulcers, there was nothing you could do to him. Please be cautious, all officials with power in your hands, do not do something that you will regret later but can do nothing about.”
A man should always be kind and follow the course of nature to help others. This way he will have good opportunities and a good future. Gods know exactly what each of us does. Everything that happens to us is a result of our thoughts and actions. It is the manifestation of gods' will that evil deeds must be punished.
(Stories are based on two Chinese books, Tai-shang-gan-ying-pian-bian-hui and Zuo-hua-zhi-guo)