Zhang Liang was a minister during the early Han Dynasty of ancient China. He rendered great service to the reigning emperor, Liu Bang whom in return expressed great admiration for Zhang and often spoke of his ability to devise victorious strategies in a command tent a thousand li (1 li is about .3 miles) from the actual battle. Emperor Liu Bang also was favourably impressed when Zhang conquered the Chu Kingdom and energised the Han Kingdom after overthrowing the brutal ruler of the Qin Dynasty. After the Han Dynasty was fully secured, Zhang Liang was appointed as "Liu Hou" (similar to a British marquis). But, Zhang Liang never sought fame or fortune, nor did he crave after power or wealth. He let go of his attachments to fame and fortune and chose cultivation instead. In the end he became an immortal. Below is the article "Zhang Zifang's Story," which is Zhang Liang's story, published in an ancient book, Xian Zhuan Shi Yi (Biography of the Immortals).
Fetching Shoes at Pi Bridge
As a little boy, Zhang Liang passed the Pi Bridge in Xia Pi on a windy day. The wind was blowing hard and it was snowing heavily that day. Little Zhang met an old man whose shoes had fallen off the bridge. The old man said to little Zhang Liang,"Boy, go down and retrieve my shoes!" Zhang went under the bridge without hesitating, fetched the shoes, and gave them to the old man. The old man stretched his feet forward and asked little Zhang to put the shoes on his feet. Zhang Liang felt great respect when he was told that the old man was of elevated status. The old man said with a smile, "You can be taught. Come back tomorrow morning, and I will teach you something."
The next morning, when little Zhang arrived on the bridge at daybreak, the old man was already there. The old man said, "You are later than I, so I won't teach you the Tao this time." The second day, Zhang Liang was late again and the old man told him the same thing. On the third day, Zhang Liang arrived earlier than the old man. The old man was satisfied with Zhang Liang this time, so he gave him a book and said, "If you read this book, you can become the King's teacher. If you need any further help, go to the yellow stone at the foot of Gucheng Mountain." Therefore, later generations named the book Yellow Stone Master's Book.
After reading the book, Zhang Liang indeed grew very wise. He became very adept in dealing with and controlling volatile situations. Additionally, Zhang Liang cultivated by adhering to the book's teachings. He attained great powers and energy and could even lighten his body enough to enter other dimensions. He was even able to communicate with several Gods.
According to the article in Xian Zhuan Shi Yi, Zhang Liang was buried on Long Shou Yuan (Dragon King Field) after he died. During the rebellion of the Red Eyebrow Army, Zhang Liang's tomb was robbed. The robber saw only a yellow stone pillow. The pillow changed and flew away like a shooting star. There was nothing in Zhang Liang's tomb.
Zhang Liang gave up power, fame, success, and wealth once he had achieved them and started upon the cultivation path. One can read about Zhang Liang's wonderful and magnificent achievements, including being able to levitate after he cultivated. Zhang Liang made the best of all possible choices!
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