Stories from History: A Loyal and Dutiful Son

A Practitioner from Mainland China

PureInsight | May 11, 2008

[] Cui Main, a
poet from Tang Dynasty, was a high ranking official at various levels
during his lifetime.  He was well known for being a loyal and
dutiful son, an incorruptible official, and the head of a household
that was ruled by laws and principles. His behavior became the standard
for the intellectuals. His son and grandson both became prime
ministers. His family was called the family of prime ministers. 
Let's just look at some of his conduct as a loyal and dutiful son.

Cui Mian was a loyal and dutiful son since he was very young. His
father died when Cui Mian was very small. His mother was so sad and
cried so much that her vision was severely damaged. Cui sold all the
valuables in the family and sought a cure for his mother but failed.
His mother eventually became blind. After his mother became blind, Cui
Mian took very good care of her every day, lovingly and respectfully,
for 30 years.  He managed every detail of his mother's daily
living so well that his mother lived a very comfortable life.

When the weather was nice and the scenery was pleasing to the eyes, Cui
would escort his mother outside so she could have some fresh air. Even
though she could not see, Cui would vividly describe nature and the
surroundings to his mother. He would also tell her about current events
and interesting news to help ease the loneliness of old age. His mother
forgot her blindness and enjoyed the happy moments.

As Cui got older, his position was also getting higher. In order to
have fresh fruit for his mother, he led his sons and nephews in
planting many fruit trees, including peaches, plums, tangerines and
others, in the yard. After his mother passed away, Cui vowed to repay
his mother by being a vegetarian. Because of Cui Mian's noble
character, he was promoted to be a very high ranking official

In Chengdu City, there are many stories about Cui's loyalty to his
mother. Cui lost his father when he was 8 years old. By the time he was
13, he had sold all the property in the family to find a cure for his
mother's failing eyesight.  At this tender age, Cui shouldered the
responsibility of taking care of his mother.

There was a pond in front of Cui's house and a winding road near by.
One night, when they were eating dinner, they heard a lot of loud
noise. It turned out that a child had accidentally fallen into the pond
in the darkness. Fortunately, someone rescued the child in time. When
he came back to report to his mother, she said, "Hang a lantern on the
tree tomorrow! The road is narrow and the night is dark, with a lantern
no one should fall into the pond again."

Cui said that the oil for the lantern was quite expensive.  His
mother said that they could save money on some other areas.  Cui
was a loyal son, so he followed his mother's wish. Next evening, there
was a lantern hanging on the tree. Everyone was very touched. Knowing
that Cui was quite poor, many people donated oil for the lantern and
since then no one fell into the pond again.

Cui studied hard and grew vegetables for a living. Later he passed the
exam and became an official. However, he rarely forgot about his mother
and often accompanied her to go out and have fun. One day they ate in a
restaurant and his mother asked what she was eating. Cui said, "These
are bamboo shoots."

His mother said, "They are delicious."

In order to supply his mother with delicious bamboo shoots, Cui hired
someone to plant bamboo in front of the pond and surrounded them with
fruit trees.  No matter how high his rank was, he was grateful to
his mother for raising him.

After his mother died, Cui returned home and kept an eye on his
mother's grave. Every year on Memorial Day, he brought bamboo shoots to
his mother's grave. People were very moved by his pure and loving
heart.  People named the pond "Bamboo Shoot Pond" to commemorate
his being a loving son.

Later Cui Mian's son became the prime minister of Emperor Tang Te Zhong
and his grandson became the prime minister of Emperor Tang Mu
Zhong.  Everyone believed that the prosperity of Cui Mian's
offspring came from his loving heart and kind deeds.

After I read the story about Cui Mian, I was truly moved by his loving
acts toward his mother. He took great care of his mother not only
materially but also emotionally and spiritually. His concern and caring
were also displayed by his helping his mother to fulfill her kind
thoughts towards others.

 (From Ancient Reflections of Moral Education)

Translated from

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