Chinese Historic Tales: Huang Jianji

Shu Ping

PureInsight | September 5, 2005

[] This is a true historic record in the Song Dynasty about a low-level local government official named Huang Jianji (黃兼濟).

Zhang Yong (張詠), a minister of one of the ministries in the Song Dynasty, once had a bizarre dream. He saw The True God in the Purple Palace (紫府真君) in the dream. Then another person appeared. He was told that that person was a low-level government official from Ximen area named Huang Jianji. The True God in the Purple Palace came down the staircase of the hall in the palace himself to greet Huang Jianji in a very respectful manner. Then The True God in the Purple Palace placed Huang Jianji at a seat of higher rank above Zhang. When he woke up from the dream, Zhang kept thinking about it but could not figure out what it could possibly mean.

On the following day he made a special arrangement to have an inspection of Ximen in order to look for Huang Jianji. He was astonished to actually find a very low-level government official by the same name. He summoned him and was surprised to see him looking exactly the same as the man he saw in the dream. He asked Huang Jianji, "Have you done any great charity in your life? Why did The True God in the Purple Palace in my dream treat you with great respect and even placed you in a seat above mine?"

Huang Jianji thought for a while and replied, "I don't think I have done any great charity. If I have to think about something, then there is this one: At the crop harvest every year, I would buy the leftover rice and wheat that farmers weren't able to sell. During those years when the harvests were low and the prices of rice and wheat went sky-high, I would sell rice and wheat from the warehouse at very low prices to people suffering from poverty. I would never take the opportunity to earn profits. As the result, people in my jurisdiction have never suffered from hunger."

Minister Zhang Yong let out a sigh and commented, "What a admirable government official! Indeed he is supposed to take a seat above me!" He went up to Huang Jianji and bowed to him respectfully to thank him for what he had done for the people. Huang Jianji lived to be 100 years old. It is an illustration that people who accumulate virtue by doing charitable deeds will enjoy great fortune.

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