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Showing posts from November, 2011

Songtsen gampo and Princess Wencheng

In the seventh Century, Ki tson Long tsang was a very powerful King of the Tou fan. He have had webbed hands and feet, a deformed face and odd skin. He took the throne when he was only thirteen after his father was poisoned by the rebells. The book The Holder of the White Lotus says that he was the reincarnation of the Avalokiteshvara Buddha, of whom the Dalai Lama are similarly believed to be the reincarnation.

Ki tson possessed a vast tract of land. He had even several little tributary kings, to whom he sent patents and golden seals. He was desirous to contract an alliance with China, in the Time of the Emperor Tai tsong of the Dynasty of Tang, one of the greatest Princes that ever enjoyed this monarchy. He sent him a celebrated embassy, with huge presents which include a golden Goose, seven feet high. Tai tsong was pleased with this politeness, and the ambassadors were received and dismissed with the greatest marks of honour and distinction.

Ki tson upon this Encouragement sent a …

The Alcoholic

There was once a  man who was too fond of the bottle, he placed some liquor alongside his bed, to be drunk during the night.

On stretching out his hand to reach the flask, he was seized by a demon, and dragged gradually into the earth. In response to his shrieks, his relatives and neighbours only arrived in time to see the ground close over his head, just as though he had fallen into water.

Horror Inn

Four travellers arrived by night at an inn, but could obtain no other accommodation than a room in which was lying the corpse of the landlord's daughter-in-law.

Three of the four were soon snoring; the fourth, however, remained awake, and very soon heard a creaking of the trestles on which was the dead body dressed out in paper robes, ready for burial. To his horror he saw the girl get up, and go and breathe on his companions; so by the time she came to him he had his head tucked well under the bedclothes.

After a little while he kicked one of the others; but finding that his friend did not move, he suddenly grabbed his own trousers and made a bolt for the door. In a moment the corpse was up and after him, following him down the street, and gaining gradually on him, no one coming to the rescue in spite of his loud shrieks as he ran. So he slipped behind a tree, and dodged right and left, the infuriated corpse also dodging right and left, and making violent efforts to get him. At l…

How to extort the confession of a prisoner

A magistrate, who after several hearings had failed to discover, among a gang accused of murder, what was essential to the completion of the case, namely, the actual hand which struck the fatal blow, notified the prisoners that he was about to invoke the assistance of the spirits, with a view to elicit the truth.

Accordingly, he caused the accused men, dressed in the black clothes of criminals, to be led into a large barn, and arranged around it, face to the wall. Having then told them that an accusing angel would shortly come among them, and mark the back of the guilty man, he went outside and had the door shut, and the place darkened.

After a short interval, when the door was thrown open, and the men were summoned to come forth, it was seen directly that one of the number had a white mark on his back. This man, in order to make all secure, had turned his back to the wall, not knowing, what the magistrate well knew, that the wall had been newly white-washed.

(THE CIVILIZATION OF CHIN…

A Woman Who Never Smiled

There was once a woman who never smiled. Her name was Bao Si and she was a concubine to King You of the Western Zhou dynasty, which flourished in China after 1000 BCE. The King neglected the affairs of government for the sake of the company of this beautiful but melancholy  concubine. He wanted so much to see her smile that he scoured the kingdom for entertainers and performing animals; not a flicker of amusement crossed her face.

One day, Bao Si was watching her maids doing needle-works, one of the maids accidentally torn apart a piece of silk, King You noticed a twitch of her lips and a flicker of smile on her face, and asked if she like the sound of tearing silks. Bao Si said she loved the sound of rent silk. Then the King immediately ordered that many thousands of fine pieces of silk were torn to shreds to gratify her whim. But this couldn't make laugh either.

The king offered a thousand ounces of gold to any one who would make her laugh; whereupon his chief minister suggested…

How a Knave Buddhist Monk Solicits Alms

This story was told by Le Comte, the French Missionary in China.
I met one day (says my author), in a certain village, with a young bonze of an engaging appearance, and very likely to speed in collecting alms; he stood upright in a close chair pointed thick in the inside with sharp nails, so that he could not stir without wounding himself; two men hired for the purpose carried him with much gravity into the houses, where he besought the people to have compassion on him.

I am, said he, shut up in this chair for the good of your souls, and am resolved never to go out 'till all the nails are purchased, [they were above 2000] they are but sixpence each, and not one of them but will draw down extraordinary blessings upon your houses; for I am not now soliciting for the bonzes, who may expect your charity on other occasions, but for the god Föe himself, to whose honour we are about to build a temple.

I then passed near him, (proceeds my author,) and as soon as the bonze saw me, he made…

Why a Buddhist want to become a Christian

Le Comte, a French missionary, related this story from his own knowledge:
I was called,  one day to baptize a sick person, an old man of seventy, who lived upon a small pension allowed him by the emperor. When I entered his room, he said, I am obliged to you, my father, that you are going to deliver me from a heavy punishment.

That is not all, replied I, baptism not only delivers persons from hell, but initiates them into a state of blessedness.

I do not comprehend, answered the sick man, what it is you say, and perhaps I have not sufficiently explained myself; I must inform you, that for some time I have subsisted on the emperor's bounty, and the bonzes (Buddhist Monks), who are particularly acquainted with what passes in the next world, have assured me, that out of gratitude I shall be obliged to serve him after death, and that my soul will infallibly pass into a post horse to carry dispatches out of the provinces to Court; accordingly they exhort me to perform my duty well in t…

Buddha and Confucius

Buddha was born in a part of the India near Bengal, his father was king of the country, and his mother, who died soon after his birth, dreamt upon conceiving him, that she had swallowed a white elephant.

As soon as he was brought into the world, he sprang upon his feet and walked seven paces, pointing with one hand to the heavens and wish the other to the earth, pronouncing distinctly the following words, There is none but myself in heaven or on earth that ought to be adored.

At the age of seventeen he married three wives, whom at nineteen he forsook together with all worldly cares, and withdrew into a solitary place where he put himself under the guidance of four philosophers called by the Indians Joghi; at thirty he was wholly inspired by the divinity, and commenced Fo or Pagod; he then applied himself with much zeal to propagate his doctrine, and performed many wonderful things which served to strike the people with dread, and procure great veneration to himself.
Confucius was bor…