(Minghui.org) Empress Zhaowei, a princess of the Qi State, married Emperor Huiwen of the Zhao State. After the emperor passed away, she took care of major state affairs since the new monarch, Emperor Xiaocheng of Zhao, was still very young. Empress Zhaowei is a rarely-mentioned but outstanding female character in Chinese history.
The emperor of Qi once sent an envoy to pay a visit to Empress Zhaowei with a letter. As soon as she saw the envoy, Empress Zhaowei asked him, “How is the annual harvest? Are the people well? Is the emperor of Qi doing well?”
Hearing these questions, the envoy looked rather unhappy and said, “I was sent here to pay you a visit, and you should ask about the emperor first. The harvest and the common people are humble, but the emperor is noble.”
Empress Zhaowei smiled and said, “What will the people eat without a harvest? Without people, how can there be an emperor of Qi?”
She then asked about two virtuous gentlemen, Zhongli Zi and Sheyang Zi, as well as a devoted daughter named Ying’er Zi. She asked why the two virtuous gentlemen had not been appointed to serve the country and why Ying’er Zi had not been invited to court—at that time, women were allowed to enter the court if an honorary title had been conferred upon them.
To Empress Zhaowei, a ruler’s top priority should always be the well-being of the masses. At the same time, the ruler should guide the people to uphold and cherish morality. If a state failed to employ virtuous people, righteousness would not be valued, the morality of the people would not improve, and filial piety would not be passed on. Without morality, the state would not prosper and its people could not live in peace. She knew how important it was for any state to maintain a virtuous cycle.
Guan Zhong (Chancellor of Duke Huan of Qi) in the Spring and Autumn Period (770—5th century BCE) referred to “propriety, righteousness, a sense of honor, and a sense of shame” as the four guiding principles for a state.
Zuo Qiuming, a Chinese historian and a contemporary of Confucius, was a native of the Lu State during the Spring and Autumn Period. He pointed out in the book Zuozhuan (Commentary of Zuo) that “Abandoning morality and advocating treacherousness will lead to great disaster!”
The Persecution of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Will Lead to Endless Disasters
After reading the story “Empress Zhaowei Asked the Qi Envoy Questions,” I couldn’t help but think of a group of people who are worthy of particular attention—Falun Gong practitioners. They have suffered brutal persecution at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its accomplices since July 1999. The following are a few such examples
Mr. Yuan Shengjun
Mr. Yuan Shengjun, a Falun Gong practitioner in Jiyuan City, Henan Province, and the former director of the local material resources bureau, was regarded as a rare and excellent cadre by both his superiors and colleagues. He never smoked, drank, danced, or played cards and never accepted gifts or money for helping someone.
In the early days of the persecution, out of trust and sincerity, he wrote a letter to state leaders to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. However, this letter was used as “criminal evidence” against him. After repeated detention and torture, Mr. Yuan, a very kind and honest person, a wonderful father and son, died. After his death, his wife Ms. Wang Dongling was subjected to continual harassment, residential surveillance, and other forms of persecution. Later, she was unlawfully sentenced to prison.
Mr. Guo Hanpo
Mr. Guo Hanpo, a Falun Gong practitioner from Cangzhou, Hebei Province, was a silversmith well-known for his skill and honesty. He was also well-known for his exceptional filial piety for which his parents were very grateful. However, such a fine person was illegally sentenced to 11 years in prison simply because he refused to give up his faith in Falun Gong. After he was tortured repeatedly to try to force him to renounce his faith, Mr. Guo passed away.
Mr. Li Zhigang
Mr. Li Zhigang was a doctoral candidate at the National University of Defense Technology in Changsha City, Hunan Province, and a talent in cutting-edge research. He started practicing Falun Gong in 1998, soon quit smoking and drinking, and regained his health.
He worked conscientiously and always treated people with kindness and sincerity. His superiors and colleagues all regarded him as a very nice person with integrity and talent.
Just a year after he took up the practice, the persecution began and Mr. Li lost his job for refusing to renounce his faith. He had trouble getting his household registration processed, and the Changsha police kidnapped his nephew in order to arrest him.
Recently, I heard that Mr. Li was sentenced to five years in prison. A talent in cutting-edge science and technology will now be locked away for the prime of his life due to the persecution orchestrated by the CCP regime.
I read on the Minghui website that a Falun Gong practitioner in Cangzhou City, Hebei Province, was unlawfully sentenced to several years in prison. When he was released and returned home, he found nothing left and it was in terrible condition. He then got a job as a construction worker. Once when everyone was taking a break at lunchtime, he continued to dig and found a bag of money, about several thousand yuan in cash. He handed the money to the owner of the house, who was very touched by his honesty.
Under the tyrannical rule of the CCP in today’s China, there is no place for honest cadres, honest businessmen, or kindhearted people who are respectful of their parents. This is no place for hardworking, cutting-edge talents or unselfish and honest people—simply because they all live by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
For 23 years Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted according to a policy that seeks to “ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.”
When Xuanzang in the Tang Dynasty went to India to seek the Dharma, he encountered bandits at the Ganges River who wanted to kill him. Facing death, the only thought he had was how to save those bandits who were trying to kill him.
Today, many practitioners in China risk losing their well-paying jobs and even their lives in their efforts to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to people. They use their own savings to make truth-clarification materials regardless of the dangers involved. Their only concern is how to save more people whose minds have been poisoned by the CCP’s deceptions.
However, no matter how hard Falun Gong practitioners try to save people, everyone has to make his or her own choice when it comes to what is right or wrong, good or evil. It is also true that slandering and defaming Falun Dafa are enormous sins, which will have equally serious consequences.
According to reports on Minghui.org, in 2021 alone, 68 CCP Political and Legal Affairs Committee secretaries incurred karmic consequences from persecuting Falun Gong. Over the years, Minghui.org has reported as many as 20,000 instances of karmic retribution incurred by those who participated in the persecution of innocent Falun Gong practitioners for their faith.
If the persecution had not happened, by the most conservative estimates, the number of Falun Gong practitioners would have doubled in the past 23 years, the social climate would have improved greatly, people would have been living and working in peace and contentment, and the country would have become more prosperous. This could have been reality rather than a dream.
But the persecution was indeed launched, and it has not only wasted substantial manpower and resources but also led to the devastating destruction of the legal system. In today’s China, corruption is rampant; fake goods are everywhere; people are very concerned about the safety of their food; pornography, gambling, and drug abuse are commonplace; and the natural environment has been severely damaged. All these are closely related to the significant deterioration of moral standards as a result of the persecution of the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and the tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners who live by such principles.
Clearly, Falun Gong practitioners are not the only victims of this persecution—everyone else is being adversely affected as well.
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