Ancient Times: Tales of Karmic Retribution (Part 1)
(Minghui.org) Traditional Chinese culture includes many stories of people who receive blessings after performing good deeds and misfortune after doing evil. This is the concept of karmic retribution.
This story tells of Lin Xi, a prefectural magistrate (an officer between a mayor and a governor) of Chengdu during the Song Dynasty.
When Zhang Du was zaixiang (equivalent to prime minister), he planned to vilify his political opponents, for which he needed a secretary assigned to the emperor who did his bidding. Someone recommended Lin.
Zhang met Lin and promised him a promotion as long as he followed his dictates closely. Lin thought this to be a good opportunity and agreed.
The secretary is in charge of drafting edicts for the emperor. This gave Lin the opportunity to defame officials exactly as dictated by Zhang.
The wording of the edicts were so crude that many people who heard them were shocked and in disbelief.
For example, Su Shi was one of the most renowned poets in the Song Dynasty. Lin used to write articles praising Su and his family. But when drafting an edict to demote Su, he wrote, “Su Shi, along with his father and brother, are greedy and misuse their powers. They often deceive others for their own interest. He makes fools of people and misleads them.”
Because of Zhang and Lin, many loyal and accomplished high officials were demoted and exiled. In addition to affecting the family members of these officials, Zhang also attempted to put them to death. However, many people knew that these officials were innocent. Thus, the emperor stopped Zhang and spared their lives.
In fact, Lin clearly understood that he was in the wrong. Once, after drafting an edict that slandered an officer, Lin felt ashamed, “I know this will haunt me and ruin my reputation and moral integrity.” Nonetheless, he continued in his ways, hoping his efforts would give him a higher rank.
After Zhang fell, Lin was demoted numerous times. By the time he died, all ten of his fingers—which were used to draft defaming edicts—had rotted off. He was also found to have tongue ulcers.
(To be continued)