Building Virtue Is Better Than Building Wealth
(Minghui.org) An ancient Chinese saying goes, “The heavens cannot be deceived. They preemptively know one's thought before the thought is even formed.” Many people have been rewarded for their kind hearts and many have been punished for their wicked thoughts. The principles of the heavens are well defined and indisputable. One reaps what one sows. The following stories exemplify these heavenly laws.
Wang Zhongcheng was a government official prevailing over the Guangdong and Guangxi areas during the Ming Dynasty.
One day he found 340,000 taels (1.3 ounces in a tael) of silver in surplus when conducting an audit of the treasury. The accounting office had already balanced the accounts and all expenses had been paid. The surplus was the product of years of reduced peacetime military spending and no office had any record of this excess money.
Wang planned to write a report to the central government about his discovery. One of his old friends advised him, “You are well known for being an incorruptible official. This surplus wasn't embezzlement from the central government nor the people. Why don't you report 300,000 and keep 40,000 for your four sons? It doesn't hurt your loyalty to the nation.”
Wang smiled and said, “It would be like a widow who has preserved chastity after the death of her husband for 30 years and losing her chastity for the sake of her children. Isn't that pitiful?”
He wrote an accurate report and turned over every last silver tael. The people praised him for being a genuinely noble official, and he was appointed governor for many years. His children and grandchildren earned many official government positions through passing national exams, and his family prospered generation after generation.
On the contrary, there was a government official in the Shaoxing area in today's Zhejiang Province who embezzled over a hundred thousand taels of silver. After retirement, he bought large plots of land in his hometown and became the richest man in town. However, he had reoccurring dreams in which his grandfather would warn him of an upcoming punishment, but he did not believe it.
His only son and only grandson squandered money on drinking, gambling and prostitutes. Both of them died young. Soon after their death, the retired official had a stroke and became paralyzed. All his property was eventually sold and his assets lost, but that wasn't the end. More terrible punishments faced him in hell.
Building virtue is the key to success. Wang's righteous thoughts and the corrupt official's greedy thoughts determined their behavior and resulting consequences. The heavenly law judges everything, rewarding and punishing people accordingly.