Previous Incarnations and Present Life: A Visit to a Small Town Brings Back the Memory of a Previous Life


PureInsight | June 2, 2003

Series note: People encounter and befriend one another because of predestined relationships. With that in mind, one cannot talk about predestined relationships without talking about reincarnation. In this series, we will introduce stories of incarnations from ancient Chinese historical books. Hopefully these stories will inspire us all to treat everyone we meet with kindness.

[] In the era of Kai Huang of the Sui Dynasty, Cui Yanwu, governor of Wei County, was visiting a small town on an inspection tour in his jurisdiction area, when all of sudden he became pleasantly excited and told his company, "I was a woman in this town in a previous life. I can still remember where I lived."

Cui Yanwu then rode on a horseback into a long, narrow, winding lane until he finally stopped in front of a house. He ordered that the door be knocked on. The head of the household was an elderly man. The elderly man walked out of the door and paid respects to the county governor before Cui Yanwu entered the house. He first went to the living room and checked the east wall with a bulge about 7 to 8 feet high from the floor.

Cui Yanwu told the head of the house, "The Buddhist scripture, The Lotus Sutra (or Fa Hua Jin), that I used to read, as well as five gold hairpins, were hidden inside the bulge on this wall. The last page of the seventh volume of The Lotus Sutra was burnt and several lines of the last page were missing. Nowadays, I always forget that part on the seventh volume when I recite The Lotus Sutra."

Cui Yanwu then ordered the wall to be chiseled open. They found a box that contained The Lotus Sutra scriptures and five gold hair pins. Upon opening the seventh volume of The Lotus Sutra they confirmed that several lines on the last page of the seventh volume were really burnt, just as Cui Huawu had said.

The head of the house began to sob and said, "When my wife was alive, she often read The Lotus Sutra. These gold hairpins did belong to her." Next Cui Yanwu went to the front yard, approached a Chinese pagoda tree, and said, "Before my childbirth labor, I cut off a lock of hair from my head, and put it in the treehole of this Chinese pagoda tree." Cui Yanwu then ordered a search for the lock of hair in the treeholes. The men really found it.

After he saw the lock of hair, the head of the household was overcome with the feelings of joy and sorrow. Cui Yanwu left some clothes with the elderly man and kind regards, and continued with his inspection tour.

Source: A Collection of Miscellenous Encounters with the Other World (or Za Min Lu in Chinese)
Translated from:

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