Skip to main content

Giant millet grows in King Tang’s courtyard

During the Yin dynasty, a ku (rice, millet) started to grow in T’ang's courtyard. In three days it had become as large around as a man could embrace. T’ang inquired of I-yin, "What is this thing?"
I-yin answered, "It is a ku tree."

T'ang asked, "Why does it grow here?"

I-yin said, "The ku is a wild plant that grows in marshes. That it is now growing in Your Majesty's courtyard is not very auspicious."

T'ang said, "What is to be done?"

I-yin said, "I have heard that evil omens come before disaster, and auspicious signs precede good fortune. If on observing an evil omen, one practices good acts, the disaster will not materialize; if on seeing an auspicious sign, one does not perform good acts, the good fortune will not come."
T'ang thereupon fasted and lived quietly, rising early of a morning and retiring late at night. He mourned the dead and made polite inquiries after those who were ill. He pardoned crimes and gave alms to the poor. After seven days the ku died. The predicted misfortune never appeared, and the state prospered. The Ode says,

Revere the majesty of Heaven,

Thus to preserve its favor.

有殷之时,谷生汤之廷,三日而大拱。汤问伊尹曰:“何物也?”对曰:“谷树也。”汤问:“何为而生于此?”伊尹曰:“谷之出泽,野物也,今生天子之庭,殆不吉也。”汤曰:“奈何?”伊尹曰:“臣闻:妖者、祸之先,祥者、福之先。见妖而为善,则祸不至,见祥而为不善,则福不臻”。汤乃斋戒静处,夙兴夜寐,吊死问疾,赦过赈穷,七日而谷亡,妖孽不见,国家昌。《诗》曰:“畏天之威,于时保之。”

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 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

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