A Short Story: Choice


PureInsight | April 27, 2008

[PureInsight.org] Here is a
story from the Ming dynasty. There were two brothers, whose
temperaments were very different even though they had the same parents.
The elder brother was greedy and lazy and always haggled over every
detail. The young one was diligent, decent and affectionate. One day,
they went out to do some business in a cart. It was raining and road
was slippery. The elder brother lost control of the halter and they
fell down a cliff. They came to the netherworld. A guard, who was
already waiting outside the court, took them to the King of Hell. 

The King of Hell said to them: "Since neither of you has done anything
exceptional or any very bad thing, both of you will be reincarnated as
human again. Judge! Check whether there are families who are going to
have babies.

The presiding judge studied the Roster of Life and Death carefully and
said: "My King, two families, the Zhao and the Xie, are having
predestined sons. The son of the Zhao will be giving aid to others when
he grows up, but the Xie's son will be receiving help from others."

The King of Hell said: "Such being the case, let these two brothers to be born to these two families.

Upon hearing the King's decision, the elder brother thought: If I am
born to the Zhao's family, I will be working hard and giving support to
others. I will be too busy running about helping others. It would be
more leisurely and comfortable to receive help from others. Upon making
up his mind, the elder brother knelt before the King: "My King, it will
be too hard to work all my life for others. I beg your mercy to let me
born to the Xie's family so I will receive help from others." The King
asked: "Who will be born to the Zhao's family then?" The younger
brother said: "My King, let my elder brother be born to the Xie
family. I am willing to be Zhao's son and help others in need."

The two brothers were thus born to the Zhao and the Xie families,
respectively. Because of his vow to help those in need, the young
brother was born to the noble and rich Zhao's family. When he grew up,
he was benevolent and always helped others in need. Because of the
wealth of Zhao's family, he was able to help many others.

But the elder brother, whose wish was to get help from others, was born
to the poor Xie's family and he had to beg for the remains of meals and
always received charity and sympathy from others.

As the saying goes, "To give is richer than to receive." It is most
precious to have humanity. When people have kind hearts, heaven will
help them.


Translated from:


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