A Story from History: Jiang Balang Paid His Debt

Yi Dou

PureInsight | May 9, 2007

[PureInsight.org] In the Song
Dynasty (960-1279A.D), there was a wealthy man named Jiang Balang (the
eighth son) in Pingjiang. Later on, the Jiang family went into decline
and crowds of creditors would wait outside his house everyday. Balang
had no choice but to divorce his wife. He told her, "Please go back to
your parents. I will seek shelter from an old friend in Xinzhou and
hope to turn things around a little. If I'm lucky, I will come back for
you." Before he set off, he swore to the heavens: "I have to leave now
because I have owed too much debt. If things get better for me and I
come back in the future, I will pay double all my debts."

Along the main road to Xinzhou, there was an inn run by an old woman.
One day, she had a dream. In her dream, she saw a big herd of sheep.
When someone was trying to take the sheep away, a voice scolded, "These
sheep belong to Jiang Balang. They are not to be taken!" The next day,
Jiang Balang stopped by asking for directions. The old woman asked for
his name, and he said, "My family name is Jiang." "What's your birth
order among siblings?" "Eighth." The old woman was very surprised and
invited him to stay for some time. A few days later, she told Balang,
"I had a son who died at a young age. My daughter-in-law doesn't want
to remarry because she wants to take care of me. I have been trying to
look for a decent man for her but I haven't found one yet. From your
appearance, I can see you are not hopelessly miserable. May I have my
daughter-in-law married to you?" Balang refused, "I have a wife
already." But the old woman asked him again and again. Since his future
was so hopeless, Balang finally accepted it.

One day, when Balang's wife was picking vegetables in the garden, she
saw a white rabbit. She tried to catch it, but it quickly ran away.
When she gave up and turned around, the white rabbit would stop
running. She tried to catch it again, and it would run again, but as
soon as she stopped, the rabbit would stop. This was repeated several
times and she ended up in a cave in the mountain. She didn't find the
rabbit but a shinning stone instead. She took it home and showed it to
Balang. Balang recognized it, "It's a silver stone." After processing,
it indeed turned into a piece of silver. With some money in hand,
Balang hit the road to his old friend in Xinzhou again. But he didn't
find him. He came back and pondered," I heard Xinzhou had many silver
mines. Could that cave in the mountain a silver mine?" So he went there
with his wife. It was indeed a silver mine and Balong became rich again
from mining. Then he returned Pingjiang with his wife and the old
woman. He followed exactly what he had promised by getting his first
wife back and paying all his creditors double what he had owed

Jiang Balong could keep his promises and his wife had good deeds. The heaven always rewards good-hearted people.

From Beichuangzhiguolu

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2007/4/28/43553.html

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