Skip to main content

Raising The Dead.

MR. T‘ANG P‘ING, who took the highest degree in the year 1661, was suffering from a protracted illness, when suddenly he felt, as it were, a warm glow rising from his extremities upwards. By the time it had reached his knees, his feet were perfectly numb and without sensation; and before long his knees and the lower part of his body were similarly affected. Gradually this glow worked its way up until it attacked the heart, and then some painful moments ensued. Every single incident of Mr. T‘ang’s life from his boyhood upwards, no matter how trivial, seemed to surge through his mind, borne along on the tide of his heart’s blood. At the revival of any virtuous act of his, he experienced a delicious feeling of peace and calm; but when any wicked deed passed before his mind, a painful disturbance took place within him, like oil boiling and fretting in a cauldron. He was quite unable to describe the pangs he suffered; however, he mentioned that he could recollect having stolen, when only seven or eight years old, some young birds from their nest, and having killed them; and for this alone, he said, boiling blood rushed through his heart during the space of an ordinary mealtime. Then when all the acts of his life had passed one after another in panorama before him, the warm glow proceeded up his throat, and, entering the brain, issued out at the top of his head like smoke from a chimney. By-and-by Mr. T‘ang’s soul escaped from his body by the same aperture, and wandered far away, forgetting all about the tenement it had left behind. Just at that moment a huge giant came along, and, seizing the soul, thrust it into his sleeve, where it remained cramped and confined, huddled up with a crowd of others, until existence was almost unbearable. Suddenly Mr. T‘ang reflected that Buddha alone could save him from this horrible state, and forthwith he began to call upon his holy name. At the third or fourth invocation he fell out of the giant’s sleeve, whereupon the latter picked him up and put him back; but this happened several times, and at length the giant, wearied of picking him up, let him lie where he was. The soul lay there for some time, not knowing in which direction to proceed; however, it soon recollected that the land of Buddha was in the west, and westwards accordingly it began to shape its course. In a little while the soul came upon a Buddhist priest sitting by the roadside, and, hastening forwards, respectfully inquired of him which was the right way. “The record of life and death for scholars,” replied the priest, “is in the hands of Wênch‘ang and Confucius; any application must receive the consent of both.” The priest then directed Mr. T‘ang on his way, and the latter journeyed along until he reached a Confucian temple, in which the Sage was sitting with his face to the south. On hearing his business, Confucius referred him on to Wênch‘ang; and, proceeding onwards in the direction indicated, Mr. T‘ang by-and-by arrived at what seemed to be the palace of a king, within which sat Wênch‘ang, precisely as we depict him on earth. “You are an upright man,” replied the God, in reply to Mr. T‘ang’s prayer, “and are certainly entitled to a longer span of life; but by this time your mortal body has become decomposed, and unless you can secure the assistance of P‘usa, I can give you no aid.” So Mr. T‘ang set off once more, and hurried along until he came to a magnificent shrine standing in a thick grove of tall bamboos; and, entering in, he stood in the presence of the God, on whose head was the ushnisha, whose golden face was round like the full moon, and at whose side was a green willow branch bending gracefully over the lip of a vase. Humbly Mr. T‘ang prostrated himself on the ground, and repeated what Wênch‘ang had said to him; but P‘usa seemed to think it would be impossible to grant his request, until one of the Lohans who stood by cried out, “O God, Thou canst perform this miracle: take earth and make his flesh; take a sprig of willow and make his bones.” Thereupon P‘usa broke off a piece from the willow branch in the vase beside him; and, pouring a little of the water upon the ground, he made clay, and, casting the whole over Mr. T‘ang’s soul, bade an attendant lead the body back to the place where his coffin was. At that instant Mr. T‘ang’s family heard a groan proceeding from within his coffin, and, on rushing to it and helping out the lately deceased man, they found he had quite recovered. He had then been dead seven days.

湯公

湯公名聘,辛丑進士。抱病彌留。忽覺下部熱氣,漸升而上:至股,則足死;至腹,則股又死;至心,心之死最難。凡自童稚以及瑣屑久忘之事,都隨心血來,一一潮過。如一善,則心中清淨寧貼;一惡,則懊憹煩燥,似油沸鼎中,其難堪之狀,口不能肖似之。猶憶七八歲時,曾探雀雛而斃之,只此一事,心頭熱血潮涌,食頃方過。直待平生所為,一一潮盡,乃覺熱氣縷縷然,穿喉入腦,自頂顛出,騰上如炊,逾數十刻期,魂乃離竅,忘軀殼矣。
而渺渺無歸,漂泊郊路間。一巨人來,高幾盈尋,掇拾之,納諸袖中。入袖,則疊肩壓股,其人甚伙,薅惱悶氣,殆不可過。公頓思惟佛能解厄,因宣佛號,才三四聲,飄墮袖外。巨人復納之。三納三墮,巨人乃去之。公獨立徬徨徨,未知何往之善。憶佛在西土,乃遂西。無何,見路側一僧趺坐,趨拜問途。僧曰:「凡士子生死錄,文昌及孔聖司之,必兩處銷名,乃可他適。」公問其居,僧示以途,奔赴。
無幾,至聖廟,見宣聖南面坐。拜禱如前。宣聖言:「名籍之落,仍得帝君。」因指以路。公又趨之。見一殿閣,如王者居。俯身入,果有神人,如世所傳帝君像。伏祝之。帝君檢名曰:「汝心誠正,宜復有生理。但皮囊腐矣,非菩薩莫能為力。」因指示令急往。公從其數。俄見茂林修竹,殿宇華好。入,見螺髻莊嚴,金容滿月;瓶浸楊柳,翠碧垂煙。公肅然稽首,拜述帝君言。菩薩難之。公哀禱不已。旁有尊者白言:「菩薩施大法力,撮土可以為肉,折柳可以為骨。」菩薩即如所請,手斷柳枝,傾瓶中水,合淨土為泥,拍附公體。使童子攜送靈所,推而合之。棺中呻動,霍然病已。家人駭然集,扶而出之,計氣絕已斷七矣。

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The wonderful pear-tree

Once upon a time a countryman came into the town on market-day, and brought a load of very special pears with him to sell. He set up his barrow in a good corner, and soon had a great crowd round him ; for everyone knew he always sold extra fine pears, though he did also ask an extra high price. Now, while he was crying up his fruit, a poor, old, ragged, hungry-looking priest stopped just in front of the barrow, and very humbly begged him to give him one of the pears. But the countryman, who was very mean and very nasty-tempered, wouldn't hear of giving him any, and as the priest didn't seem inclined to move on, he began calling him all the bad names he could think of. " Good sir," said the priest, " you have got hundreds of pears on your barrow. I only ask you for one. You would never even know you had lost one. Really, you needn't get angry." "Give him a pear that is going bad ; that will make him happy," said one of the crowd. "The o

The Fox and The Tiger

ONE day a fox encountered a tiger. The tiger showed his fangs and waved his claws and wanted to eat him up. But the fox said: 'Good sir, you must not think that you alone are the king of beasts. Your courage is no match for mine. Let us go together and you keep behind me. If the humans are not afraid of me when they see me, then you may eat me up.' The tiger agreed and so the fox led him to a big high-way. As soon as the travellers saw the tiger in the distance they were seized with fear and ran away. Then the said: 'You see? I was walking in front; they saw me before they could See you.' Then the tiger put his tail between his legs and ran away. The tiger had seen that the humans were afraid of the fox but he had not realized that the fox had merely borrowed his own terrible appearance. [This story was translated by Ewald Osers from German, published by George Bell & Sons, in the book 'Chinese Folktales'.  Osers noted that this story was

The Legend of The Three-Life Stone

The Buddhist believe metempsychosis, or the migration of the souls of animated beings, people's relationships are predestined through three states of life: the past, present, and future life. Legend has it that there's a road called Yellow Spring Road, which leads to Fogotten River. Over the river there's a bridge called Helpless Bridge (Naihe Bridge), at one end of the bridge sits a crimson stone called Three-life Stone. When two people die, they take this route to reincarnation. if they carve their name on the Three-life Stone together while they pass the stone, they are to be predestined to be together in their future life. Although before their rebirth they will be given a MengPo Soup to drink and thereby their memory of past life are obliterated. In reality, San-Sheng Shi (三生石), or Three-Life Stone is located beside Flying Mountain near the West Lake, Hangzhou. On the stone, there is seal with three Chinese characters that say "The Three-life Stone," and a