Finally Reincarnating as a Human

Jiang Zhenxiang

PureInsight | May 6, 2007

[] One
year during the reign of Emperor Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty
(1856-1875), a test for picking government officials was held in
Huangzhou City, Huguang Province. Student Li from Xishui came to take
the test. He roomed with another student named Chen, who was from the
same place. Whatever Chen was doing, he always wore a red over sleeve
on his left arm. Also no matter how hot it was, he never took off his
clothes. All the students thought that he was weird and they all talked
about him behind his back. Only student Li did not say anything. After
the test, everyone stayed to wait for the results to come out.

One day, everyone else who lived in the same room went out to play.
Chen suddenly said to Li: "Brother Li, I see that you are an honest and
trustworthy person. I have something to tell you. Do you know why I
always wear this over sleeve on my arm, and never take off my clothes
even when it's really hot? Alas! It's now my third reincarnation and I
finally became human!"

Li quickly asked: "Brother Chen, what do you mean by that?"

"Brother Li, listen to my story."

"I remember that, in my first life, I was a pangolin. One year, there
was a drought and it didn't rain for a long period of time. I didn't
drink any water for a long time, because we were not allowed to go down
the mountain at when we wanted. One day I was so thirsty and I felt
really bad. I crawled down the mountain and wanted to go to the river
to get a drink. But when I approached the river, I saw a pregnant woman
washing clothes. I was thinking at the time that if I suddenly crawled
down, that woman would for sure be scared to death, and I would hurt
two lives. However if I didn't to go down, I would be thirsty to death.
I hesitated a little, and decided: 'Whatever.  I won't go down. If
I die of thirst, that's only one life, and that's better than killing
two lives.' So I died of thirst. After I died, I got to where the Judge
of the Hell was. He said: 'You gained virtue in this life, and now you
can reincarnate to a better place.' I said I didn't want to
reincarnate, but he said it wasn't up to me.

"In the second life I reincarnated as a pig. I was raised by an elderly
couple. They were very nice to me and I grew very fast. Soon it was the
end of year and they were planning to sell me. I thought: 'Isn't this
going to kill me again? Run!' The next day, I ran into the mountains
and hid there. The elderly couple brought the person who was buying the
pig and were looking for me everywhere. They were calling my name over
and over. I heard it and I was very sad: 'If I go out, I will be
killed; but if I don't, they raised me for a whole year, and have been
expecting to get some money to live next year by selling me. Alas! I
will go out. I can't be unworthy of their kindness in raising me.' So I
died again. After I died I again got to where the Judge of the Hell
was. He said: 'This time you accumulated virtue again. Now you can
reincarnate as a human.' I said I didn't want to reincarnate anymore.
He said: 'Both times you were thinking of others and sacrificed
yourself, so you've accumulated virtue. This time you will reincarnate
in a good home and be able to enjoy yourself.' That is me now.

As he was telling the story, Chen pulled his oversleeve off, and took
off the clothes on his upper body. "Brother Li, if you don't believe me
then look. I still have signs from the past two lives." Li saw that
Chen's left hand was a pig's hoof and that there were nine pangolin
scales on his back. One could not but believe him. Li sighed again and
again after seeing these. From then on, he was no longer interested in
becoming an official. Instead, he focused on cultivating Buddhahood and
doing good deeds. He lived until he was over 80 and died without any
diseases. Before he died, he saw there was a sedan coming to carry him,
and many villagers heard drums and music.

This student Li was my mom's maternal grandpa.

Translated from:

Add new comment