The Cultivation Story of an Ancient Beauty Who Fell from Grace Because of Sentiment
(Minghui.org) Zhao Feiyan, queen of Emperor Chengdi in the Han Dynasty (202 B.C. to 220 A.D.), is considered one of the most beautiful women in Chinese history. She was born in a poor family and abandoned at birth. Seeing that she was still alive after three days, her mother took her back and raised her.
Dancing in a Hand
Both Feiyan and her younger sister Hede were extremely beautiful. Feiyan was especially good at dancing and singing. The name Feiyan means flying swallow and matched her agile, weightless body when she danced. According to poet Xu Ning of the Tang Dynasty, Feiyan was so light that she could dance in one’s hand.
A well-known story about Feiyan was documented in Feiyan Wai Zhuan (Legends of Feiyan). Once during a festival after Feiyan became queen, she was dressed in a purple skirt like a fairy lady. Dancing weightlessly in the wind, she sang:
“I am becoming a fairy now,I am becoming a fairy now;Leaving the past behind for a new life,Am I able to forget all of this?”
Hearing Feiyan's words and realizing she was going to fly away and become a fairy, Emperor Chengdi asked a waiter to hold Feiyan's skirt tightly. After the wind died down, Feiyan cried desperately, her face full of tears, “If your majesty really loved me, you would have let me go to become a fairy!” Her skirt, which was badly wrinkled due to the waiter pulling it, later became a style known as Liu Xian Skirt (Fairy-withholding skirt) in Han couture.
Despite her beauty and talents in dancing and singing, Feiyan and especially her younger sister Hede were described in later documents (both official and unofficial history) as living a licentious and luxurious life with Emperor Chengdi. After the emperor suddenly died, Hede killed herself in guilt. Six years later, Feiyan was demoted to the status of an ordinary person and also committed suicide.
A Failed Cultivation Experience
Below is an article that was recently received by the Minghui website in which a Falun Dafa practitioner describes her previous incarnation as Zhao Feiyan and her experiences in this lifetime.
Several days ago while sitting in meditation, I heard a voice calling me sister. I asked who she was, but she seemed to have difficulty answering that question. By instinct, I knew she was Hede and I was Zhao Feiyan.
In that life cycle, I had good inborn quality and quickly developed skills for musical instruments, singing, dancing, and composing. From Taoist teachings, I learned some basics.
After going to the palace and accompanying Emperor Chengdi, I knew I would soon fly away after becoming a fairy. Thinking about the emperor who would be left behind, I took Hede to the palace to stay with him.
With all these arrangements in place, I was there with the emperor when the moment came. Seeing that I was about to leave, the emperor asked someone to hold my skirt tightly. As sentiment arose in my heart, my body became heavier and I could no longer elevate.
As documented in history, I crawled on the ground crying very hard as the wind stopped. People thought I was pretending but I was indeed in great sorrow. That moment was deeply carved in my memory. I resented the emperor for holding me back but I did not know it was due to my poor cultivation and strong sentiment.
That failure was deeply embedded in my soul. In this life cycle, I also had many painful tests of attachment to sentiment, back and forth. This is because deep in my soul, I was afraid I would not succeed and sooner or later I would ruin myself because of lust.
In fact, according to arrangements by righteous divine beings, I would have been able to elevate at that moment, which would have left a great legend for mankind. Not only could it have awakened the emperor, but historians would have recorded this unambiguous miracle in front of everyone’s eyes.
But the old forces did not think that way—they would not leave such a solid miracle in human history. There were a few other examples like this as well. Li Guang, a renowned general during the Han Dynasty, inherited archery skills from the divine, only to be persecuted during his lifetime by the old forces. Other heroes such as Yue Fei, Yang Jia Jiang (generals in the Yang Family),and Wen Tianxiang of the Song Dynasty all ended up in tragedy. These arrangements were made by the old forces, not by righteous divine beings.
Episodes like this also occurred in the Pre-Qin Era (before 221 BC). When Bian He presented the precious He Shi Bi (or Mr. He’s jade, one of the most famous jades in Chinese history) to the king, he was labeled as a cheat and had both his hands and feet cut off. The old forces arranged that because they consider that one should suffer this much to present something so valuable.
After the establishment of the Qin Dynasty, the old forces went further and changed many things in Chinese history. The disappearance of Jiu Ding (Nine Tripod Cauldrons that were viewed as symbols of authority given to the ruler by the mandate of Heaven) was a hint from the righteous divine beings to people.
That failure in the Han Dynasty destroyed all my hope. Even being a queen did not bring me joy. I ended up indulging myself in earthly pleasures. I committed many wrongdoings and Hede also played a very bad role. Incidents of killing people and ending the emperor's offspring were actually done by her, not me. She has been paying off her karmic debts ever since. The reason that she followed me during this life cycle was because she hoped to reconnect with me at this final moment. By helping me to recollect all these things, she would also be truly relieved.
There were very few official historical records about me and most of the documents were from unofficial historical records. To emphasize the consequences of lust, some Confucian scholars exaggerated the immoral deeds of Zhao Feiyan. Their intention might not be bad, but what they wrote was not factual.
My True Self
In the name of my failure to leave behind righteous culture during that incarnation, the old forces cast more karma on me, making my cultivation in this life cycle extremely difficult. Since kindergarten, they arranged to pour notions of lust onto me (at that time, I did not have the ability at all to recognize or resist these notions). Since I was 11, they also forced many tribulations on me with the excuse that my sentimentality was too strong. These incidents occurred both at school and in the family, and they were beyond my capacity to endure.
These experiences brought me constant, extreme pain, making my path of validating the Fa very difficult. In the end, I nearly gave up practicing Falun Dafa. I was awakened after marriage and strove to eliminate my attachments quickly. However, the karma was so huge that I nearly had a mental breakdown.
All of this happened partly because I did not have a good understanding of the Fa principles. It was also caused by arrangements by the old forces at high levels from the beginning. But I am always so grateful to Master Li. Without our prehistoric vows as Dafa disciples and without Master’s help, how could I have continued until today?
Recollecting the above history from the Han Dynasty helped me remove a large chunk of negative substances. I now understand that I lacked righteous faith in that life cycle because I did not know the Fa principles. Right now, I have realized that my true self is not the woman—Zhao Feiyan—who pursued pleasure through lust; rather, it is a pure, clean girl whose only wish is to become divine. This way, I have regained confidence that I will not fail again.
Many tribulations on our cultivation paths are connected to history or issues in higher dimensions. This makes our tribulations and attachments very complex. As Dafa disciples, however, we can use the divine power of Dafa to resolves these issues. By seeing through arrangements by the old forces, we can negate them while bringing true history and culture to mankind.
The above are my limited understandings at my level. Please point out anything inappropriate.