Cultivate to Consummation and Be an Example for Later Generations

July 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Posted in Asia, Children's Stories, Culture, Discoveries, Discussion, Good Advice, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Relevance to Today, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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October 15, 2011 | By Zhizhen

(Clearwisdom.net) The legendary Huangdi was an enlightened emperor as well as a cultivator. He unified China and served as the emperor while at the same time emphasizing the importance of having high moral standards. He did much to establish the foundations of traditional Chinese culture. In ancient times, books about astronomy, geography, politics, philosophy, medicine, health, and many more, were based on Huangdi’s teachings.

The gods bless people of high ethical standard

It was said that Huangdi was able to speak when he was two months old. At 10, he understand his true purpose in life. He focused on cultivating himself and became a wise man in his adult years.

When he became the emperor, he noticed that Chiyou, a feudal lord,was a tyrant who put innocent people to death. He called on other feudal lords to unite and crusade against Chiyou. However, his army was stopped by sorcery. He prayed to Heaven for guidance. Queen Mother of the West gave him a talisman which allowed his prayers to be heard by the Emperor in Heaven. The Emperor in Heaven asked Xuannu to give him two books, Jiudingshendanjing and Yinfuce, both on war strategy, and also sent an army from heaven to help him. Thus, Chiyou was defeated and China was unified.

After Chiyou was defeated, Huangdi built a hall to worship the Emperor in Heaven. This was the first hall in China built for this purpose.

Huangdi was sincere in seeking the right way to govern

Huangdi traveled extensively to learn how to govern better. He traveled to the east as far as Qingqiu and met with Mr. Zifu, who gave him the teachings from Sanhuang, allowing his prayers to be heard by the gods. He traveled to the south as far as Yuanlong where he learned about medicinal plants that are very beneficial to one’s health. In the west, he met with the Daoist Zhonghuang, who gave him a Jiuhuandan to improve his health. He also passed by Dongting Lake and Kongtong Mountain to meet with Guangchengzi who gave him a book about nature. He reached the city, Hongti, in the north and went up the Juci Mountain where he received the Shenzhi Map. He then returned home and went up the Wangwu Mountain to speak with Mr. Huazi in the Jingu Cave. Then, he went to see Tianhuang Zhenren on Emei Mountain who said to him, “If you follow the Dao and maintain a high ethical standard when governing the country, your rule will be long. If you conduct yourself in accordance with the laws of nature, prosperity will follow.”

Work hard for the people

Huangdi appointed ministers who had a high ethical standard, and he trusted them to carry out their duty. He divided the entire country into nine provinces and told his subjects that all affairs would be conducted by his government ethically. Morality became the basis on which justice was established. Conduct should always be benevolent. He created an official position in his government to teach the common people to love their parents, be compassionate, faithful, reliable, kind, brave, loyal, humble, righteous, and willing to learn. He expected his officials to watch their spending closely and he led by example.

Huangdi created a calendar based on the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars. He assigned names to all things, taught people how to build houses and cities to protect themselves from bad weather, and asked them to learn to farm, build roads, boats, and carts. His wife taught people how to raise silkworms and how silk could be spun to make clothing.

He asked his record-keeping official, Cangjie, who was good at drawing, to create words. Cangjie was so focused on his job that he forgot to eat and sleep. He observed the shapes of the sun, moon, stars, mountain ranges, streams, grass, flowers, trees, birds and animals. After several years he came up with symbols to represent different things. These symbols were the origin of the present-day Chinese characters.

He asked his official, Linglun, to organize sounds. Linglun went to a valley and found bamboo sticks of different lengths. He identified 12 different sounds from blowing over 12 bamboo sticks of selected lengths. Later, he made 12 bells for the twelve sounds and used them as the standard. When Huangdi went to Taishan to worship Heaven, he composed a musical piece called Qingjiao, which was said to be heavenly and very moving.

Huangdi worked with a well known medical doctor, Qibo, and many other doctors to come up with a medical reference book, Huangdi Neijing. Many sick people were healed because of this great work. It was said that because of the many major contributions he made to his country, people were grateful to him and he ascended to Heaven.

Huangdi cultivated himself and followed the guidance of nature. He set up rules for his farmers in harmony with the four seasons and told everyone that building moral character and conducting oneself ethically were essential to having a harmonious society. During his reign, society came to value and respect people with a high moral standard, and held those who were compassionate in high esteem. His teachings allowed people to work in harmony with nature instead of disrupting the natural flow of things. Thus, people were more in tune with nature and cared more for one another. The contributions made by Huangdi are things that Chinese people can be proud of. The true basis of traditional Chinese culture is an emphasis on building high moral standards, harmony with nature, and awakening to the truth.

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