Records of Cause and Effect: Strife with Colleague Due to Old Debt from a Past Life

Compiled by Xiao Hui

PureInsight | September 19, 2007

[] Luo Yangshan
was the Minister of the Transmission Office in the Ministry of Rites in
the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912 A.D.). In the royal government, he
constantly suffered strife with a colleague. The colleague would often
impede him in official business matters and made his life very
miserable. Because of Luo Yangshan's reserved personality, he had
gradually developed an illness because of this.

One day, as Luo Yangshan was sitting unhappily doing nothing, he
suddenly dreamed of coming to a mountain. The mountain had beautiful
flowers and creeks, and it was breezy and sunny. Luo Yangshan's state
of mind became open and bright all in a sudden and he felt
light-spirited and relaxed. He took a walk along the creek and ended up
in a hut. The old man living in the hut invited him to come in and had
a good chat with him. When the old man asked him why he looked ill, Luo
Yangshan told him about his situation at the government office. The old
man sighed, "How could you know, it is because of an old debt from your
past life."


The old man told him, "Seven hundred years ago in the Song Dynasty
(960-1279 A.D.), you were Huang Quan (903-968 A.D., a Master of Chinese
painting). The colleague of yours was Xu Xi from the South Tang Dynasty
(937-975 A.D.). Xu Xi's painting skill was above Huang Quan to begin
with. But fearing Xu Xi would take away his privileges from the palace
and the Emperor; Huang Quan undermined Xu Xi behind his back and pushed
Xu Xi aside. Xu Xi was therefore very distressed and poor and died of
resentment. After that, the two of you went through many reincarnations
respectively and didn't meet each other until this lifetime. Now,
you're officials serving the same royal government., How could he
possibly leave you alone?"

"The hardships that he has created for you were just what you had
exerted on him. What can you complain about? What goes around comes
around. It is the heavenly way. If you have conferred a benefit before,
you will be rewarded in the future. This is the ethical rule. Since the
cause has already been seeded, there must be a result. The encounter of
gratitude and grudge is like sun and moon, which will overlap sooner or
later. Therefore, all kinds of harming tactics always start from the
harmer and end at the harmer himself. I was an old friend of yours in
my last life. I saw you not awaken and came especially for you to
explain the cause and effect. Your long feud has already been
completed. From now on, you have to conduct yourself carefully, and
never plant any bad cause any more."   

Luo Yishan finally understood the reason and all his thoughts about
victory and defeat were gone. His worry disappeared in a few days and
he was no longer depressed.

(From: Ji Yun's Story Sketches Written in Yuewei Humble Cottage, Volume V, in Qing Dynasty)

Translated from:

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