A Kind and Bighearted Emperor

PureInsight | January 30, 2006

[PureInsight.org] Emperor Xiaowen (孝文帝) was the sixth monarch of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 – 534 A.D.) during the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period (420 – 589 A.D.). He was kind, decent, and had an outstanding propensity for accommodating others.

When he was four years old, his father, Emperor Xianwen (獻文帝), was inflicted with an obnoxious sore. Emperor Xiaowen sucked the pus out from his father's wound with his own mouth.

Emperor Xianwen was fond of the doctrine of Buddhism and lived in tranquility, with little attachment to worldly affairs and wealth. He often thought of leaving the palace for cultivation. He thus gave an imperial decree: "I always yearn to live in antiquity and am indifferent to fame and wealth. I am commanding the crown prince to be the emperor. I only want to live in leisure without cares and to cultivate myself." He thus gave his emperor's throne to his five-year-old son, Xiaowen. Emperor Xiaowen couldn't control his grief and cried. His father asked him why. He answered: "My heart is in pain to take over father's position."

Emperor Xiaowen excelled in archery since childhood. He could shoot with unfailing accuracy during hunting. When he was fifteen years old, he no longer wanted to kill and thus stopped hunting.

Even as an emperor, he was kind. Once a servant poured hot soup over his hand by accident, and another time he found a bug and dirty stuff in his food, he just laughed away those incidents and didn't complain about them.

Once a eunuch slandered Xiaowen in front of the Empress dowager. The empress dowager ordered him to be flogged several dozen strokes without giving him a chance to explain himself. Xiaowen took it quietly and didn't make any complaint. When he took over the throne after the empress dowager passed away, he didn't even punish the eunuch who had slandered him behind his back.

Translated from: http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2006/1/17/118788.html

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