Divine Influence: The Story of Qiao Lin

Edited by Zhu Yueming

PureInsight | October 27, 2003

[PureInsight.org] During the winter of the first year of the period called Tianbao (742 - 746 AD) of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD), Qiao Lin traveled from Tai Yuan to the capital city to take part in the government examinations. When he arrived at Daliang (today's Kaifeng in Henan Province), he stayed at a hotel. At the time, the weather was very cold and it was snowing heavily. His horse froze to death and all his servants left him. He was told that Liu Yanzhuang of Xun Yiwei County liked making new friends, so he approached him for assistance. Amongst the friends of Yanzhuang, was a man known as Shen Tusheng, who was excellent in divination by looking at one's face. Shen Tusheng had claimed that he was more than eighty years old and was extremely proud of his special capability. Though Liu's friends and guests were celebrities, he had never bowed to them.

When Qiao Lin arrived, Shen Tusheng was extremely affectionate towards Qiao Lin. Shen's unusual behavior astonished Liu Yanzhuang. Liu Yanzhuang asked him, "I've never seen you speaking to any of my friends and guests, whether they are virtuous or not. Qiao Lin, on the other hand, is a nobody. Why are you exceptionally courteous towards him?" Shen Tusheng replied, "This man isn't an ordinary person! He'll one day become your superior. You should treat him kindly, and in later years he'll reward you for your courtesy today. I'm being friendly towards him on your account. Unfortunately, judging from his facial features, there are signs that he'll rebel one day. If he were to be a high-level government official, he wouldn't be able to keep the position for more than a hundred days. Furthermore, he would certainly be killed after seventy years of age. Please remember what I've said today."

Liu Yanzhuang heeded Shen Tusheng's advice. He entertained Qiao Lin for several days and gave him a horse and carriage so that he could proceed safely to Chang'an (capital city of China during the Han and Tang Dynasties). Shen Tusheng, too, was preparing to leave, and before his departure he said to Liu Yanzhuang, "I have now repaid you for your kindness and favor. It's time for us to part company." After Shen Tusheng left, his whereabouts became unknown.

Qiao Lin did become a successful candidate in the highest Imperial examinations and was appointed as an advisor to a high-ranking government official. In the middle of the Da Li period (766 to 780 AD), Qiao Lin was appointed as the governor of Huai Prefecture. At that time, Liu Yanzhuang was the commander of the military training administration in Huai Prefecture. Liu made an unjust verdict in a trial, and sentenced a defendant to capital punishment. After the defendant's execution, his family appealed to the Emperor for a retrial. The Emperor passed an imperial edict for an investigation of the case. When Qiao Lin arrived at Huai Prefecture, he managed to pardon Liu Yanzhuang from the mistrial charge.

In the early years of the Jian Zhong period (780 to 784 AD), Qiao Lin was promoted to the high-level position of a Vice Department Head of the Legislation Department, one of the three branches of the Tang's central government. He only served for eighty-seven days before he fell ill and resigned from the official post. Later, by the time Zhu Ci started to rebel against the Tang's government, Qiao Lin had already become a Buddhist monk. But when Zhu Ci found out about Qiao Lin's whereabouts, he coerced Qiao Lin into accepting a government position in his regime. When the rebellion was quelled, Qiao Lin explained to the Tang Emperor that he had been coerced into joining the rebellion against his will. The highest officer of the royal court, Li Shengwei, asked the Emperor to grant Qiao Lin a pardon but the Emperor rejected his plea. Finally, Qiao Lin was executed at seventy-one years of age.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/10/11/23750.html

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