My Family's Genealogy

Hua Zhen

PureInsight | February 7, 2005

[] When I was a little girl, the elders in my family told me that my fraternal grandfather had a thick book of our family's genealogy. It records our family tree for more than 2,000 years. Before I married my husband, I was fortunate enough to read this extremely antique-looking book containing my family's genealogy. It was thick and heavy as a brick. I felt excited as I carefully flipped the pages that had turned yellow from age.

It is extremely rare for a Mainland Chinese family to keep its complete genealogy, especially after the Chinese Communist regime's not-great-at-all Great Cultural Revolution! For thousands of years, the Chinese people suffered from so much turmoil, so many disasters, battles, rises and falls. It had to take unimaginable effort and luck for my family to preserve the family genealogy book.

As I flipped the pages of my family's genealogy book covering more than 2,000 years, I found out that my family began with Emperor Shun.[1] He was one of the five sage kings in China and was the eighth generation of Huang Di's offspring.[2] Shun was best known for his filial piety for his parents. I also discovered that Nüwa, one of the Five Lineages in ancient China, was also my ancestor![3] And they are among the most famous figures in the Chinese history! Following Shun and Nüwa in my family's genealogy book were civil and military officials throughout the Chinese dynasties. Some of my ancestors were high-level imperial court officials assisting the emperors with the national administration. Some were killed by beheading because they wanted what was best for the country and courageously offered their honest opinions to the morally bankrupt emperors. While reading my family genealogy, I felt my ancestors truly abided by their loyalty to the Chinese emperors, loyalty to their friends and their unfailingly filial piety to their parents. Compared to my ancestors, we modern people appear to be terribly irresponsible and blindly pursue temporary comfort. The ancient Chinese people always tried to seek harmony with the environment. They saw disasters as signs of heaven's warning and tried to examine themselves as to why the heaven would punish them with disasters. They wrote down their soul-searching processes so that their wisdom and moral values would pass down to generations to come. Compared with the morality level of the ancient Chinese people, we modern people are so depraved! We think of nothing but to relentlessly expand our own interest!

There is an unforgettable passage of the family creed in our family genealogy book. It says, "You shall be blessed and protected by gods if you follow our family creed to be compassionate towards others, to be respectful to others, and to uphold the spirit of loyalty to the emperor and to your friends. On the other hands, the gods will punish you if you deviate from our family creed.

I was awe-inspired to learn that the ancient Chinese people had such a steadfast belief in the gods that they truly conducted themselves according to what gods require of people. Today's people have turned their backs on the gods and don't believe that the gods will reward and punish their speech and conduct justly. As a result, today's people have become extremely willful and a few have even murdered their own parents or siblings. The lack of faith in the gods have reinforced the wicked side of us and diminished the kind side of us.

My family's genealogy book has been repeatedly recompiled and organized by the previous generations. When it was passed down to my grandfather, he decided to verify its authenticity. He recorded the process of authentication in the genealogy book, hoping that future generations would cherish this book.

Most of my ancestors were loyal and kind civil government officials who believed in the gods. I guess I became a Falun Gong cultivator today because my ancestors have planted a predestined relationship with cultivation practice for us with their faith in god and their morality. For example, the most famous cultivator in the Chinese history and the main character in the classical Chinese novel, Journey to the West, Tripitaka (a.k.a. Monk Xuan Zang, Tang San Zang or Golden Cicada) was one of my ancestors. After reading my family genealogy, I started to reflect upon the family environment I was brought up in. Because I grew up living in an extended family with my grandparents, my grandfather's faith in the gods had a very positive influence on me and somehow prepped me for my cultivation practice today. I am immensely thankful to my ancestors. I believe that their faith in gods and their morality have brought my husband and me the gift of a precious predestined relationship with Falun Gong!

[1] Emperor Shun:
[2] Yellow Emperor (or Huang Di):
[3] Nüwa:
[4] "Inspirations from Reading Journey to the West"

Translated from:

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