Divine Influence: A Story about Pei Guangting

Shi Ran, Ed.

PureInsight | August 18, 2003

[PureInsight.org] Yao Yuanchong was a Secretary In-Chief (Zhong Shuling) under the reign of Emperor Xuanzong during the Tang Dynasty. One day a fortune-teller came to visit him. Yao took the man to the Imperial Palace and asked him to secretly watch all officials to see who would be most competent for the position of Prime Minister. After observing all the likely candidates when Yao asked who could be the Prime Minister, the fortune-teller said "Pei Guangting".

At that time, Pei Guangting was a military official. So Yao invited Pei to his house to have a talk. Yao asked the fortune-teller to hide behind the curtains of the door to the central room to reexamine Pei. After Pei left, the fortune-teller said Pei was undoubtedly the man for the job. Yao Yuanzhong replied, "I heard that the Prime Minister must be a man who can assist the Emperor in running the country. Those who are not competent cannot be the Prime Minister. When I talked with Pei, I found he is not good at dealing with politics. Besides, his knowledge is poor. How could he be a Prime Minister?" The fortune-teller said, "You are talking about his ability, but I am talking about his destiny. Ability and destiny are inherently different." However, Yao still did not believe the fortune-teller, but he did not want to argue any more.

Later on, Pei Guangting was indeed appointed Prime Minister and he held that post for several years. He is remembered as a wise Prime Minister in the Imperial Court.

Translated from: http://zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/7/21/22506.html

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