Previous Incarnations and Present Life: The Story of Wudi's Reincarnation in the Liang Dynasty (Part 2)

Edited by Shi Ke

PureInsight | September 22, 2003

[PureInsight org] III. People with Long-Standing Relations Meet and Their Heart Intents Merge

When one is neither enticed in poverty nor conceited in wealth, there is good fortune awaiting him or her. On the fifth day of the fifth month, when Furen departed in sitting meditation, in the house of a royal family in Lanling while Zhang (the wife of Xiao Shun-zhi) was in labor. Shun-zhi was a cousin of Emperor Qi Gao. While he was sleeping, Zhang dreamed of a golden man, over 10-feet tall, wearing official attire and a hat for heavenly descendants. A group of people in red attire surrounded Zhang in a coach to come into Xiao's hall for a break. This golden man entered Zhang's room and bowed to Zhang as a sign of respect. In astonishment Zhang was about to ask what was happening, however, she woke up from the dream and gave birth to a son.

Her son knew how to talk right after he was born, and looked extraordinarily magnificent, with eyes of a tiger and the features of a dragon, and a circular beam around his neck and the word "Marshal" from the whirls in his right hand. He was named Xiao Yan. When he was eight or nine years old, a lingering fragrance was emitted from his body. He was intelligent, talented, quick, and wrote exceptionally good articles superior to others' abilities. He was also good at military strategies, foreseeing and conquering enemies with unfailing strategy and plans. As Xiao Yan grew up, he was very knowledgeable on many subjects, and good at planning and policy development. He had both artistic and military talents, and was admired by celebrities and famous people of his time. Above his house there were often clouds of qi. Those who saw him immediately respected him, and even older people didn't dare to crack jokes with him.

Xiao Yan and his friends, Shen Yue, Xie Chu, Wang Rong, Xiao Chen, Fan Yun, Ren Fang and Lu Chui were referred to as the "eight pals." Out of all of his friends, Xiao Yan was the one with the most insightful judgment. Actually, when Fu-ren was reincarnated into Xiao Yan, his nanny from his past life was reincarnated into Fan Yun. His former servants reincarnated into Shen Yue and Ren Fang; they were officials at the same time as Xiao Yan, in the west palace of Monarch Jing Ling. Later, Fan Yun became a counsel under Xiao Yan. Ren Fang became an advisor, and Shen Yue an imperial attendant. After Xiao Yan took the throne, Shen Yue wrote History of Song Dynasty, Records of Qi Era, and other books. Xie Chu became a famous poet.

This was a dynasty of genteel beings and of officials. In the cycle of reincarnation, whether it is as a result of gratitude or resentment, those we meet are actually people of ancient relationships.

IV. Under Master's Observation, a Catastrophe Was Prevented

Xiao Yuan as Emperor Qi Ming held the throne for only five years, and then died of sickness. His incapable son Bao Juan took the position. Bao indulged himself with food, drink, entertainment and excessive sensual pleasures. He was not only incapable of governing but was also very cruel. He had many officials killed, even those who made great accomplishments. As governor of Yongzhou, Xiao Yan gradually opposed Bao Juan. Xiao Yan secretly recruited men and horses, stored up grain and cattle feed and logged bamboo and trees to prepare for boat building. When Bao Juan learned about Xiao Yan's actions, he sent Zheng Zhi to Yongzhou to assassinate Xiao Yan.

This alerted Master Kong Gu at the Fahua Temple. He entrusted a dream to Xiao Yan: Master Kong Gu was holding a heavenly book in which there was a sharp sword. He passed the book to Xiao Yan. Xiao Yan woke up and thought about it, "A monk is giving me a book which contains a knife. Is there someone who wants to kill me?"

The next day, someone came to report that the imperial messenger, Zheng Zhi, had arrived with a royal letter, announcing the news of a promotion. Xiao Yan understood completely. He did not meet Zheng Zhi right away, but ordered a banquet to be prepared at Zheng Shaoji's house. At the banquet, Xiao Yan said to the assassin "The Imperial Palace has sent you to kill me, and it is a good opportunity to do it at today's banquet!" Everyone at the banquet burst into big laughter, which embarrassed Zheng Zhi. Xiao Yan then said, "To kill me, there must be a written order." Zheng Zhi said, "There is no such a thing." Xiao Yan said loudly, "Search him." Zheng Zhi was immediately seized and a sharp knife was found on him. Also, there was a secret order for killing Xiao Yan. Xiao Yan said, "I would never betray the Imperial Court. Why would the court mean to kill me?" After the banquet, Xiao Yan accompanied the would-be assassin to view all the local warehouses and military storage units. Zheng Zhi was totally discouraged and returned in tears.

V. Karmic Effects Never Wrong

Xiao Yan wanted to take a military action. His officers led their soldiers to enter the Imperial Palace during the night, took custody of Bao Juan, who, amidst national catastrophe, busied himself in singing and dancing. They beheaded Bao Juan and delivered the head to Xiao Yan. On the same day as Bao Juan's death, someone named Hou Jing was born.

During the second year of Tianjian, Emperor Wu asked Master Baozhi: "Will the nation have a huge catastrophe?" Baozhi pointed at his throat and neck (phonetically throat and neck sound exactly as Hou Jing) to indicate the name of Hou Jing. Later, Hou Jing created chaos and invaded Jianye. Emperor Wu was starved to death in custody. Jian Wen was detained secretly and crushed to death. Followers with blood ties to Emperor Wu were almost entirely killed by Hou Jing. People said that Hou Jing was the reincarnation of the late corrupt emperor. It was heavenly intent that Emperor Wu kill the corrupt emperor, but his family members and relatives should not have been killed. Consequently, Hou Jing did not kill Emperor Wu, but killed almost all of Wu's blood ties. The heavenly net is vast and neat, and the karmic cycle is never wrong.

After Xiao Yan took the throne, he changed the national code of year to Liang. Xiao Yan was very focused on cultivating Buddhahood and was accepted. He was fond of finding cultivators who had obtained the Dao. There was once a monk called Ketou, who was a very diligent cultivator. Emperor Liang Wu admired Ketou. One day Emperor Wu sent a messenger with a letter to invite Ketou to a meeting with him. When the messenger returned with Ketou, Emperor Wu was deeply into a chess game with Shen Yue. The messenger said three times that Ketou had arrived, however Emperor Wu did not hear the messenger and said only one word, "Kill." The messenger misunderstood Xiao Yan as meaning to kill Ketou. The messenger removed Ketou and had him killed. After the chess game, Emperor Wu said: "Bring Ketou in." The messenger replied: "He was killed at your order." Emperor Wu was shocked and knew what he said about the game had been mistakenly applied to Ketou. "What did he say before death?" The messenger replied: "He said, I have no sins. In my previous life as a little monk, I was using a spade to get rid of some grass and by mistake killed an earthworm. Emperor Wu was that worm at the time. In this life, I need to pay back." Hearing that, Emperor Wu burst into tears and repented, but it was too late. Although Ketou owed Emperor Wu a life, he was already a cultivator. Killing cultivators is a very serious crime.

VI. Come and Go Together

With the death of Ketou, Emperor Wu was sad for many days. Shen Yue took notice and sent out people to look for a very advanced senior monk. They found out that 10 li (1 li = 0. 5 km) away from the capital city, there was an advanced senior monk with the Fa name Daolin Zhi, who was cultivating. When Emperor Wu heard the news he was very delighted and set off with a huge musical band and flag holders to meet Monk Zhi. Monk Zhi foresaw it, and was prepared in the temple and ready for Emperor Wu's arrival. When Emperor Wu and Shen Yue arrived, Emperor Wu quieted himself and paid respects to Monk Zhi. After the salute was completed, Monk Zhi replied: "Please be seated, Your Majesty, and allow this little monk to pay respect." Emperor Wu said, "How could a master pay respect to his student?" Monk Zhi replied, "Also how could a wife resist her husband?" After he heard this sentence, Emperor Wu felt as if a pail of cold water was thrown on him, making his whole body numb. His heart suddenly gained insight, perception and enlightenment about the Fu-ren and Miss Tong issues. It turned out that Miss Tong reincarnated in Zhi's family. Both smiled to acknowledge the meaning. Emperor Wu then invited Monk Zhi to return to the Imperial Palace, where Monk Zhi stayed in the Bian-dian Pavilion. Every day after he left his office, Emperor Wu would discuss things with Monk Zhi. One day Monk Zhi told Emperor Wu, "It is inconvenient for me to be here and I would like to depart from your Majesty and go back to my temple." Emperor Wu said, "Thirty li from here, there is a mountain called White Crane, a most tranquil and fairy place. I will build a temple there for you to stay." Monk Zhi agreed. Emperor Wu ordered workers and funds to build that mountain temple with the best carpentry and architecture. The temple had over 1000 rooms and hosted more than 1,000 monks. The temple was named, Pinnacle Together, to suggest that both husband and wife would reach the land of Buddhahood.

Hou Jing, who betrayed the Kingdom of East Wei, surrendered to Liang. But soon after Hou sent his forces against Liang. In a near by region of Jiangling, there was an amateur cultivator by the name of Lu Fa-he. When Hou Jing was about to attack Jiangling, Lu Fa-he and his 800 followers defeated Hou Jing. They offered to assist Emperor Wu to attack Hou Jing. The Emperor feared that they would create chaos, and thus did not take the advice. Lu Fa-he said to Emperor Wu, "I cultivate Buddhahood. How can I be after your throne? It is all because of my predestined relationship with you and knowing that you are setting yourself up for revenge. That is why I intend to help you. Since you do not believe me, what is between you and Hou Jing, is to be a fixed karmic relationship, and an irreversible one."

Hou Jing fought Jianye and claimed to be the prime minister. That year, Emperor Wu at the age of 86 was enclosed in Taicheng. One day Emperor Wu dreamed of Ketou walking towards him, smiling. Once he woke up from this dream, he said, depressed, "Indeed, retribution is true. If I had not caused Ketou's death by mistake, Master Buddha will let me live until I turn 100. How can a small Hou Jing do anything to obstruct me? I was cultivating Buddhahood, yet I was attached to chess games. Wasn't it something most disrespectful of Buddha?"

One day Emperor Wu felt bitter in his mouth and asked for some honey, but in vain. He then lost his speech and died in the Wenhe Pavilion. At the same time Monk Zhi departed from his sitting meditation in the Pinnacle Together temple.

1. Book of Liang, Emperor Wu
2. Extensive Legends of Taiping
3. An Interpretation of Excerpts of Classics
4. Legends of Holy Monks
5. Legends of Advanced Monks
6. Continuation of Legends of Advanced Monks
7. Excerpts from Jing De
8. Insightful Mottos: Emperor Liang Wu's Accumulated Cultivation into Buddha

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