A Mystery: Half a Day in a Cave, 12 Years in the Human World
(Minghui.org) We often say that a day in heaven is a year on earth. In some places, it is even more than a year. In another dimension associated with earth, a half-a-day is equal to 12 years on earth.
Wen Guangtong was from Teng Village of Chenxi County, which is about 30 miles upstream from Chenzhou on the north side of the river.
Learning from One’s Mistake
In the 26th year of the reign of Emperor Wen of the Liu Song Dynasty ( 420-479 CE), Wen Guangtong one day discovered a wild pig eating the vegetable in his garden. He shot the pig with an arrow and injured it.
He tracked it to the entrance of a cave and walked in. About 300 steps in, it suddenly grew bright, and hundreds of houses appeared in front of him.
He saw the pig run into a pig sty by one of the houses.
An old man walked out of the house and asked him, “Are you the one who shot my pig?”
Guangtong replied, “The pig was eating my vegetables. It was not done without reason”
The old man replied, “It is not right if someone allows his cow to step on another's garden, but it is even worse for you to steal the cow because it stepped on your vegetables.”
Guangtong realized that what the old man said made sense and apologized to him for shooting his pig.
The old man responded by saying, “It is good that you understand the truth of your mistake. This is the retribution that the pig deserves, so you don't have to apologize anymore.”
Peaceful and Beautiful
The old man invited Guangtong into his house. Inside he saw more than 10 people dressed like students. A teacher was explaining to them the teachings of Lao Zi. On the west side of the house, 10 more people were playing very beautiful music. As he listened, a server finished preparing a meal and they all ate. Feeling very comfortable and half drunk, Guangtong stopped drinking.
He started to observe the people out in the streets. They dressed no differently from those in the outside world, but that place was very peaceful and so beautiful. It would have been very hard to find anything like it in the outside world. Guangtong felt like he wanted to stay there forever.
But the old man who owned the pig would not allow him to stay. He asked a youngster to lead him back out and then lock the door securely so that no one else from the outside could get in.
As they were walking out, Guangtong asked the youngster about the people he saw in the house.
“The people in the house are all sages,” said the young boy. “They came here to get away from the cruel regime of King Jie in the Xia Dynasty (1728-1657 BCE). They all became immortals after learning the Tao. The teacher is Heshang Gong (Riverside Sage.)
“My name is Wang Fusi from the Han Dynasty. I came here because I have questions about Lao Zi and the Tao Te Ching. I have been a servant for 120 years and now I am a gatekeeper, but I still have not obtained the true teachings of Lao Zi!”
After they arrived at the entrance to the cave, they reluctantly bid each other farewell. They knew they would not meet again.
When Guangtong walked out of the cave, he found his arrows where he had left them, but they were all rotten and in pieces. Twelve years had passed in the human world, and his family had long since held a funeral service for him. When he showed up in the village, everyone was shocked!
The next day he led the villagers to the cave. They found the entrance, but it was blocked by a huge stone and could not be moved.
Adapted from the book Wuling.