A Record of Life: A Story of Forbearance

Xue Zhonglian

PureInsight | September 4, 2008

[PureInsight.org] In ancient times, a sage who was the head of a theatrical troupe went off wandering in the world with his talented disciples to find people with predestined relationships using the ways of song and dance. One day, they came to a town in the central plains of China and decided to stay there for a while.

One day, the wife of this teacher who was head of the theatrical troupe went to the market to buy some cheap thin iron wire frames at the grocery store. She bought more of these wire frames than she could carry even with both hands. So the shopkeeper and his assistant pretended to help this lady by stacking the wire frames in her arms and against her chest, but stole her purse in the meantime. There was a boy in the troupe named Lian, and he was about twenty years old and very talented. He came to the town late for some reason and happened to see his teacher’s wife. He went hurriedly to help his teacher's wife with those frames. 

When the shop assistant saw this fatigued boy, he saw another opportunity to steal. When he piled those frames into Lian’s arms, he also put his hand into Lian’s bag. However, Lian quickly used one hand to seize the assistant’s hand and asked him with a low voice if he also stole the lady’s purse in the same way. The shop assistant was terrified. He didn’t know what to do and said to the shopkeeper, “He knows. What should we do?”

Lian said, “As a businessman, you should make money properly. That lady has both parents and children that need to be taken care of, and she needs that money. Your way of making money is very filthy. If you want some money, I can give you mine, but you need to return the lady’s purse to her.”

The shopkeeper laughed insidiously. He opened Lian’s bag and found there was one thousand Wen (an ancient Chinese currency) inside. He said, “It was you who stole the lady’s money, and you should return the money to her.” Then he cried out loudly, “Catch this thief! Catch this thief!”

Facing this greedy and mean shopkeeper, Lian didn’t know what to say. People gathered around and beat Lian severely. The shopkeeper asked several accomplices to tie up Lian tightly. They forced him to drink three pots of spirits. Then they took Lian to the head of the theatrical troupe, forced him to kneel down and asked people to watch. People satirized, ridiculed and cursed Lian.

The fellow apprentices in the troupe didn’t know the truth and they, along with the teacher’s wife, also blamed Lian. Lian kept silent and knelt down on his knees for many days. During that time, his teacher passed by him many times and didn’t look at him or say a word.

Not knowing how many days passed, Lian kept kneeling outdoors and endured the wind, rain, burning sun and gossip. However, Lian had no complaints and no hatred, and he kept silent no matter what he heard.

One day late at night, his teacher came by his side, untied the rope, smiled and said, “I know everything. You passed the test.” At this moment, Lian burst into a flood of tears and thanked the teacher for his tutelage.

When I saw that I used to be Lian, I couldn’t help but crying. For so many years we have been suffering a lot in order to obtain the Fa. What is Master waiting for? Is he waiting to right a wrong for Lian or waiting for him to become a noble and eternal Divine Being? How much hard work did Master do in order to bring up Lian? How can we understand the thinking of high-level Divine Beings without elevating our own thinking to that of the lives at that level? Today, we cultivate in this universal Fa. What can’t we give up? What will we get after giving up all our attachments? It is eternal brilliance and magnificence.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2008/8/13/54336.html

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