Chinese Folklore: The Moment When He Supported a Grain Stalk

Yu Guang

PureInsight | June 27, 2005

[] In the mountainous western area of Zhejiang Province, the following true story has been passed down for centuries.

A long time ago, there lived a young man. He was lazy and loved to eat. He harassed the women in his village constantly. He never did a day of honest work in his whole life, and survived by stealing things from his family and the neighbors. Everyone in the village said that he wouldn't have an easy death since he had committed so many sins.

Finally the day where he was supposed to die came. That day thunder and lightning crossed in the sky. Dark clouds boiled with turmoil. Ferocious claps of thunder roared, one after another, towards the mountain areas. Huge black clouds hung down as if it were the end of the world.

On that day, the lazy slug who had never done any honest work before suddenly had an impulse out of nowhere. When everyone ran back home from the field, he did the opposite. He took a hoe and told everyone that he wanted to see the field. His family thought that it was very odd, and thought that the sun was really rising from the West. His family urged him to stay in, saying it was too dangerous. He didn't listen, so his family cursed at him, "Go! Let the lightning kill you!"

He had heard cursing of this kind so much from them that he didn't pay any attention. When he got to the field he saw the wheat fields were flooded. He knew that the wheat would rot very quickly, and then the villagers' whole year of hard labor would be for nothing. Everyone in the village would starve if that happened. When he thought about that, he didn't think about the lightning and the huge rain. Instead he rolled up his pant legs and picked up the hoe and started supporting the stalks a row at a time. Just at that instant, heaven saw that he still had some inextinguishable slivers of compassionate thought, so it extinguished the thunder and lightning above his head and stopped the huge downpour of rain. When he had supported every grain in the paddy, the clouds in the sky scattered and the sun came out.

Although he was soaked physically, somehow he felt he had become a new man spiritually. He had been angry and had given up on himself. Today, he suddenly felt he was a valuable person. He realized that he still had a lot in front of him. He started to work hard and do good. Soon his family and neighbors started to respect him and became friendlier toward him. From that day he became a diligent and kind hearted, who followed virtue in becoming a new man.

Master Li said, in Zhuan Falun that,

"Good or evil comes from a person's spontaneous thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences" ("Upgrading Xinxing" in Lecture Four).

For those people who have walked a dead end road, compassionate thoughts can guide you back to life.

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