PureInsight | January 16, 2006
[PureInsight.org] A scholar named Sun Dao lived in the region of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1638 AD). He was from a very poor family and made a living by teaching children to read. After he lost his teaching job, he moved to Tangxi and worked for the Zhang family. He helped the family in a secretarial role and obtained clothes and food in exchange for his work. One night a maid servant in the Zhang household went to his room late at night in secret. He understood her intentions and immediately rejected her licentious advances strenuously. The private tutor of the Zhang family saw what was going on and began to make secret rendezvous with the maiden. During the Dragon Boat Festival (the fifth day of the fifth Lunar month), the tutor's incurable abscess flared up and he couldn't work anymore. The Zhang family had no choice but to appoint Sun Dao as the family tutor.
One day, Sun Dao met his paternal uncle at Jiangkou. His uncle said in surprise, "Because of the illness of my son, I went to pray at the Chenghuang Temple and I had a dream that night. I saw the god Chenghuang sitting on the throne and ordering his subordinates to read out the names of those who would die of starvation, and to revise the list. As they read several dozen names, I heard your name being read. I quietly asked the official of the nether world why the name of Sun Dao was being removed from the list. The official replied, 'Originally, this man's life was supposed to end at forty-six years of age due to starvation in a land far from his home. But because he strenuously repelled the licentious advances of a maiden on the night of April 18th this year, his life will be extended by two Ji (one Ji equals twelve years) and therefore his name is moved from the death by starvation register to the register of rewards.'"
As time went on, the number of students tutored by Sun Dao increased tremendously, and his annual income grew to be more than a hundred grams of gold. In the thirty-sixth year of Wanli (1573 AD) of the Ming Dynasty, Sun Dao was forty-six years old, the year that he was originally supposed to die from starvation according to the register of death. A famine broke out. As the price of rice was extremely high, the poor people could not afford to buy food and many perished from starvation. Sun Dao not only escaped from the calamity, he was extremely well off by that time. In his old age, Sun Dao had become very rich in accordance to the register of rewards as mentioned by the official. He did live exactly 24 more years. When he was 70, he passed away in his sleep peacefully.
Translated from: http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2005/11/25/115163p.html