PureInsight | March 1, 2022
[PureInsight.org] In ancient Chinese legends, peaches and immortal jujubes are often fruits in the worlds of immortals. For example, Journey to the West describes the magical effects of peaches. Today I am going to tell a story about an immortal jujube.
In the Ming Dynasty, in the area of Dongting Mountain in Wuxian County (now Suzhou City), there was a scholar surnamed Xi. In his later years, Xi pursued the Dao. One day, Xi Sheng was walking alone under Moli Peak, which is the main peak of Dongshan Mountain in Suzhou. Suddenly, he saw a Daoist priest. This Daoist priest ‘walked like the wind’ on the mountain road, and was completely different from ordinary people. The Daoist priest swept past him, then suddenly glanced back at Xi Sheng, stopped, and said, "This child's bones are clear, and can be saved." Then, from his robe he took out a small jujube and handed it to Xi Sheng, saying “Eat this and you won't be hungry.”
Xi Sheng had always been devoted to Daoism in his daily life, and immediately understood that this was an opportunity to cultivate, and realized that what he was given was an immortal jujube. After thanking the Daoist priest repeatedly, he respectfully swallowed the small jujube. When Xi Sheng returned home, he really ‘didn't want to eat,’ and no longer wanted to eat ordinary people's vulgar food. Since eating the jujube, his body became light and his steps became swift. He had a lustrous face and lacquered hair on his temples. His family was amazed by his change.
Twenty years later, when Xi Sheng was walking along the street one day, he had a conflict with a person, and began quarreling. At this time, he suddenly heard someone angrily say, "It was said that you could be saved, yet the root of your anger has not been eliminated!" Xi Sheng wondered who would say such a thing, and immediately followed the sound of the voice to look. Unexpectedly, the Daoist priest suddenly appeared. The Daoist priest stepped forward and slapped Xi Sheng's neck with his palm. A small jujube immediately popped out of Xi Sheng's mouth and fell to the ground. The Daoist priest picked up the immortal jujube, sighed and composed a poem, before floating away. The passersby who had crowded around to check out the action only remembered the last two sentences, "It's never been easy for ordinary bones to be saved, a puff of sand blows off Penglai."
When Xi Sheng returned home, his family was extremely surprised to see that his hair had suddenly turned white. At this time, Xi Sheng realized that he had regurgitated the immortal jujube, and that he had lost the predestined opportunity to become a Daoist immortal. Amidst unmatchable, painful regret, he died within 10 days. This incident was relayed by Zhao Yihe, the magistrate of Wu County at that time, who informed Qian Xiyan. Qian Xiyan, a famous literati at that time, recorded the incident. Moreover, being that it was originally the local magistrate who relayed the story, it is deemed credible.
Thinking of this story, I cannot help but feel the difficulty of cultivation practice in ancient times. Xi Sheng was diligent in his practice of the Dao, but the Daoist priest only gave him an immortal date, yet never actually taught him the Dao. Nor did he teach him the requirements of cultivation. Twenty years later, Xi Sheng got angry and quarreled with others because of his selfish interests, and made a mistake on his cultivation path. Thereupon, he lost the immortal jujube and the predestined opportunity to continue cultivation. It was so difficult to cultivate the Dao in ancient times. So, is it that there is no hope for modern people to cultivate to success? Actually, that is not the case.
Modern man lives in a very special era. Using the form of qigong, Master Li Hongzhi has made available to humankind the highest cultivation practice, Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. This practice not only teaches cultivation exercises, but also teaches the Fa, or Dao, of cultivation, and that one should cultivate in accordance with the characteristic of the universe "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." Practitioners learn how to raise one's gong at every level up until Consummation.
In light of the above story, you can see at a glance that Xi Sheng did not know how to cultivate his xinxing, and he was not able to endure, so he made a mistake and lost his immortal jujube. Today, to all those who wish to cultivate and practice, I sincerely recommend to you: Falun Dafa—a cultivation practice method that truly saves sentient beings. Materials and Dafa books will surely make you feel that your life is worth living.
Source: Ming Dynasty Qian Xiyan's "Fan Garden" (also known as "Fantastic Garden")
Chinese version: http://big5.zhengjian.org/node/271928