The Law of Cause and Effect: A Man Died of a Tongue Ulcer for Twisting the Truth

Qing Yan

PureInsight | October 3, 2005

[] Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism all emphasize "cultivation of speech." There is a Chinese expression, "Injuring people with one's mouth." It means hurting people by saying terribly mean things to them. When one does that, one is creating karma. Moreover, deliberately twisting the truth and slandering people is an even worse offense. That is the conduct of a degenerate, immoral little person. The karmic retribution for such behavior is even far more severe.

Once upon a time in ancient China, there was a man named Zhu Qisheng (祝期生.) He enjoyed twisting the truth, laughing and making fun of people's inadequacies or mistakes, and enticing people to do bad deeds.

When Zhu Qisheng met an ugly man, he would laugh at that person. When he met a handsome man, he would make fun of that person. When he met an intellectually challenged man, he would bully him. When he met a smart man, he would try to find faults in that person and criticize him. When he met a destitute man, he would look down his nose at him. When he met a rich man, he would slander him. When he met a government official, he would tell other people things about the official's private life. When he met a scholar, he would broadcast widely the man's secrets. When he met a man who squandered money, he would praise him as a generous man. When he met a sinister man who treated others with fraudulence, fierceness and cruelty, he would praise him as a superior man. When he met a man who talked about Buddhist laws, he would mock him by calling him a monk. When he met a man who talked about Confucianism and the cultivation of virtue, he would laugh at him and call him a hypocrite. When he heard a man speaking kind words, he would say, "It is nothing but pretty words. He must be thinking things quite the opposite." When he saw a man doing a charitable deed, he would criticize him, "That's odd. Since you have done this charitable deed, why didn't you do this other charitable deed?" He made such comments and twisted the truth everywhere he went.

In his later years, Zhu Qisheng suddenly started to suffer from a tongue ulcer. He had to poke his tongue with a needle and released a large mug of blood in order to reduce the severe pain. Each year he had to suffer this five to seven times for the tongue ulcer. Each time he was too overcome with the agony to utter any words. In the end, he died after his tongue withered and dried.

In the cultivation field, it is believed that different types of karma cause different types of illness. Today's lung cancer and respiratory diseases may appear to result from this or that factor, but the root cause may be karma. It is possible that those who suffer from respiratory illness have spoken ill of people or said a lot of things to hurt other people. It is also possible that those people have made disrespectful comments about Buddha and/or the gods. A non-cultivator pays back his karma in the form of illness. If he has committed a very severe sin, he has to consume his karma with his life. The above story is a good example.

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