Stories from History: Not being Lustful, Di Renjie Achieved a Great Career

A Dafa Practitioner in China

PureInsight | January 27, 2008

[] Di Renjie was
from Taiyuan Bingzhou (today's Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province) in the
Tang dynasty. He was born in the Fourth year of Zhenguan (630 AD) and
died in the first year of Jiushi of Empress Wu Zetian (700AD). He was a
famous minister during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian. Di Renjie was an
uncorrupted official and was always setting example for others. He
empathized with the common people and dared to speak for them. He
defied the powerful and influential. People in later generations called
him "the mainstay of the Tang dynasty." Here is story about him when he
was young.

Di Renjie's writing style was elegant and he had outstanding looks
since early youth. One time, he went to the capital to take the
imperial examination and stayed in a tavern for the night. While he was
concentrating on his reading deep into the night, there was a knock on
the door and the owner of the tavern entered his room. The owner was a
beautiful young woman and was newly widowed. When she saw Di Renjie's
refined and gentle appearance when he entered the tavern, she couldn't
help but admire him and sought an opportunity to be on intimate terms
with him.

As Di Renjie sensed the young woman was reluctant to leave his room, he
said to her mildly: "You are a beautiful and charming lady. You stay
here to share your feelings with me in the middle of the night. It is
hard for me to avoid trembling with passion to be with you. I am
fortunate to have had an elder monk remind me to stay away from lust
and committing licentious acts. I always keep it firmly in mind. Even
though you are so beautiful, I can still guard myself carefully and not
transgress the bounds."   

The young woman asked curiously: "What did the monk say to you so that you can restrain yourself at critical junctures?"

Di Renjie said: "The old monk told me that from my looks I would be a
highly placed eminent official and would become well known in the
future. But I must always remember to forbid myself lust! Since the old
monk pointed it out to me, how could I trade my future for a moment of

But most men would generally have a hard time overcoming their lust to be with a beautiful woman.

I then sought advice from the old monk: "Loving beauty is way of the
world.  Regarding lust, everyone knows to have respect for
oneself. And if something does happen, people will repent later. But
when lust is blazing, all consequences are left behind. The person will
think that it is all right occasionally and he or she will not do it
again in the future. So every time one will think the same way. It will
be carried out every time. This way, one will sink into vice. In the
end, what method can water down the fire of lust to prevent it from

The old monk told me that every time someone stirred up my sexual
desire, I should  think about it this way: Lewdness is the worst
of all sins. It is the demon of lust using a man or woman to seduce
another to commit licentiousness by which the demon of lust achieves it
purpose. When her beauty and charm or his handsome and debonair manner
erode the mind so that it is difficult to free oneself, the demon of
lust achieves its purpose.  Once one has lost one's mind and does
the bad deed, he or she will suffers a long lasting disaster. I value
and observe the teaching of the old monk and dare not to have any
slight violation."

The young woman listened to Di Renjie's words and thought about it
silently. She went on her knees with shame and said: "I want to thank
you for your advice and for preserving my integrity. I will know how to
extinguish my passion and bad thoughts. I understand for the first time
that commanding one's mind needs to be learned."

Di Renjie became well known later because of not being lustful and
became a famous minister in the Tang dynasty. He was wise not to let a
moment of trivial pleasure to destroy his promising future. People
always say: "A great hero has hard time to get past a beautiful woman."
Actually, a person overcoming sexual desire is a true hero.

From the Story of Di Renjie

Translated from:

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