A Person Who Miraculously Changed His Destiny (Part 1)
 A Person Who Miraculously Changed His Destiny (Part 1)
Yuan Liaofan (1533 – 1606 AD) was the author of a well-known book of Chinese proverbs called Four Admonishing Statements of Liaofan. He was a native of Wujiang County, Jiangsu Province. When he was young, an accomplished fortune-teller accurately predicted his entire life, however he was able to change his fate in his later years.
Yuan's father passed away when he was a child. As a teenager, his mother asked him to give up the traditional study of Confucius' classics and instead study medicine so that he would be able to earn money to support himself, as well as to offer help to others.
One day, he went to Ciyun Temple. While there, he met an elderly man who had the appearance of a Taoist deity. The old man told him: “You belong to the officialdom. Next year, you will be able to take the exam and enter the 'Scholar's Palace.' Why did you give up your study?”
Yuan told the elderly man about his mother’s wishes. The elderly man introduced himself as surnamed Kong and a native of Yunnan Province. Mr. Kong said that he was the true successor to a type of fortune telling passed down from Shao Kangjie (1011 – 1077 AD), the Song Dynasty philosopher and cosmologist. According to the fortune Mr. Kong observed, Yuan Liaofan was supposed to be the next successor of this fortune-telling technique.
Yuan invited the elderly man to his home. Yuan’s mother said: “This gentleman is an expert on fortune-telling. Why don't we ask him to do fortune telling for you? We will see whether the predictions are accurate or not.” Mr. Kong was able to tell Yuan's life with great accuracy, even for minor experiences. He then made predictions for Yuan's future, such as in which year he would pass the imperial education exams and that his ranking would be such and such; in which year he would become a Lin scholar (a Lin Scholar has passed the initial exam and has started to receive a specific subsidy from the government); in which year he would become a Gong scholar (a Gong Scholar is a scholar of good qualification and is selected to attend the Imperial Academy, the highest academy in ancient China); and that after Yuan graduates from the Imperial Academy, he would become a county magistrate in a certain province. Yuan would quit his job after three-and-a-half years and return to his hometown; he would pass away after midnight between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on August 14, when he is 53. One pitiful thing in Yuan's life, per the elderly man's prediction, was that Yuan would not have a son.
Yuan Liaofan recorded Mr. Kong's words in great detail. Then he resumed his study of Confucius' classics. In all the following exams, his rankings were always the same as Mr. Kong had predicted. After he became a Lin scholar, according to Mr. Kong's prediction, he would not be selected as a Gong scholar until he had received 91 Dan and Five Dou of rice as subsidy from government (Dan and Dou are both Chinese units of dry measure. Ten Dou is equal to one Dan.) However, the head of the Education Division, Mr. Tu, approved to have Yuan become a Gong scholar when he had received 71 Dan of rice. Yuan started to suspect that Mr. Kong's predictions might have become inaccurate after this point.
Later, another supervisor, Mr. Yang, denied Yuan's promotion from Lin scholar to Gong scholar. It was not until he indeed received 91 Dan and 5 Dou of rice that Yuan become a Gong scholar. Since then, Yuan further believed that one's ranking and fortune are already determined by heaven; in addition, the timing of each fortune and promotion was also pre-determined. So he took everything lightly, and no longer pursued this or that.
As Yuan was selected as a Gong scholar, he would go to the Imperial Academy in the Capital Nanjing to advance his study. Before he went to the academy, he went to the Qixia Mountain in the suburb of Nanjing to visit Monk Yun Gu, a highly accomplished Buddhist monk.
They met and had a conversation at Monk Yun Gu's meditation room. Monk Yun Gu was very surprised and asked him, “Ever since you came in, I have not seen you develop a single greedy thought. Why is it so?” Yuan Liaofan told him: “My whole life has been accurately predicted by Mr. Kong. My time of birth, time of death, successes, failures. There is no way I can change it. If I had a greedy thought, trying to pursue something, it would end up in vain. Therefore, I would rather maintain being simple-minded and not think of anything. That is why I do not have any greedy thoughts.”
Monk Yun Gu laughed. He said, “I thought you were an outstanding person. Unexpectedly, you are simply a mundane secular being.”


    来源: 看中国 责编: Kitt

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