True Calling: Ascending to Heaven Upon Completion of Cultivation
(Minghui.org) Legend has it that the gates to many paradises are located in China. Jin Keji, a Korean who lived during the ninth century, traveled to China and placed first in the imperial examination. However, instead of becoming a high ranking official of the imperial court, his true calling took him to the Zhongnan Mountains where he completed his Taoist cultivation and ascended to heaven.
Choosing One’s Life: Cultivation Instead of Promising Career
Jin was from Silla, one of the Three Korean Kingdoms. He traveled to China as a visiting scholar during the Tang Dynasty. Handsome and noble, Jin followed the Taoist principles and was very disciplined. He lived a simple life and regularly meditated.
Jin was well read and very knowledgeable. His writing was elegant and clear. Although he placed first in the imperial examination, he gave up the opportunity to become an imperial court official and moved into a small hut in the Ziwu Valley of the Zhongnan Mountains.
He planted many rare plants in his garden, where he meditated. He also read Dao Te Ching, a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoist practitioners, as well as literature that expounded on Taoist principles.
As a cultivator, he was kind to everyone and never once turned down anyone in need of help.
After three years focusing on cultivation, he became homesick and visited his hometown. When he returned to China, he changed his attire, dressed in a Taoist robe, and went back to the Zhongnan Mountains.
During the reign of Xuanzong Emperor, Jin sent a letter to the ruler, in which he stated, “I received an edict issued by the Jade Emperor of the Heavens. I was assigned the role of an official in his royal court. I will ascend to the heavens on February 25.”
This letter aroused the interest of the emperor. Thus, his servants delivered a letter in which he asked Jin to visit the palace. However, Jin declined the offer. The emperor then sent gifts composed of four female servants, two male servants, incense, herbs, gold, and silk.
Jin kept apart from the servants and stayed mostly in his room. However, every night, the servants heard guests talking and laughing in Jin's room. When they looked through the windows, they saw heavenly maidens and the Jade Emperor's royal court officials riding on dragons and phoenixes. There were many heavenly guards as well. Everybody was very respectful. The servants did not dare to disturb them.
February 25 was a beautiful spring day, with flowers blooming everywhere. Colorful clouds gathered in the sky, with cranes, white swans and phoenixes circling around. Accompanied by music from the heavens, a carriage flew to Jin's abode. With many divine beings and heavenly officials watching, Jin got into the carriage and slowly ascended to heaven.