How Shi Yeguang’s False Cultivation Led to Retribution

May 3, 2012 at 9:47 am | Posted in Good Advice, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Relevance to Today, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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November 05, 2010 | By Shijian

(Clearwisdom.net) Shi Yeguang was a well known monk during the Tang Dynasty who lived in Jimen. He liked to study Buddhism when he was young, and became a monk. After ten years of studying Buddhism, he thought that his third eye was open and that he had a complete understanding of Buddhism. At that time, there was another monk named Huida, who had accumulated wealth but had very little knowledge of Buddhism. They praised each other and became close friends.

At that time, Emperor Zuanzong respected cultivators of both Buddhist and Taoist practices. Shi wanted to go to the capital city to get the emperor’s attention, but couldn’t afford to pay for the trip, so he often expressed unhappiness about this. Huida knew about Shi’s problem and offered to finance the trip saying, “The emperor wants to pay tribute to talented people. If you go to the capital, you will be treated as an eminent monk and become a government official. When that happens, I’ll come to see you and I hope that you’ll remember me as your old friend.” Shi replied, “Your generous help is what allows me to go to the capital. If I become a government official, I shall definitely repay the favor.”

After Shi arrived at the capital, he bribed assistants of the Jiuxian princess for an opportunity to see the emperor. The emperor asked his assistants to find more than ten well-educated monks to discuss the principles of Buddhism with Shi. It turned out that Shi was a good debater. He could explain the scriptures, argue the metaphysics and interpret difficult passages. The emperor was impressed by his ability, and gave him gifts, the title of a scholar and an official position in the government. He was highly respected by the emperor as a Buddhist scholar, although he did not really understand the requirements of a cultivator. Thus, he was often embarrassed by real cultivators.

After Huida heard about Shi’s success at the capital, he took the long trip to the capital to visit Shi, hoping that he could also have an official position. Shi did not want to see him, and thought that Huida came to ask for his money. Huida sensed that Shi wouldn’t help him, so he left and returned home.

A month later, Shi still worried about Huida coming back. He wrote a secret letter to Zhang Tinggui, the commander of Jimen, accusing Huida of coming to the capital to place a report to the government that Zhang was planning a revolt. Zhang was very angry when he saw the letter. He asked Huida to come to his office, and beat Huida to death.

A few days later, Shi saw the spirit of Huida coming over to rebuke him saying, “I funded your visit to the capital. Instead of being grateful, you slandered me and had me killed. How could you treat me like that?” Huida jumped over and seized him. Shi died a few days later.

(According to “Taiping Guangji”)

 

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