Culture
 

Culture

  • Stories from Ancient China: The Thunder Deity

    Taoist Zheng performed his regular routine: he chanted incantations, drew some symbols, and then held a sword and declared something loudly. After a while, accompanied by cold winds and splashes of rain, a deity wearing a tall hat and carrying a heavenly axe in hand appeared. The deity said, "I am the Thunder Deity, I come to Master Zheng's summon. Please tell me what I should do."
  • Ancient Cultivation Stories: The Cultivator Huiyuan

    Unfortunately, just then General Shi Hu was killed and the Central Plains were in political upheaval. Roads leading to the southern regions of the country were so impassable that he could only wait patiently. Later, when he found out that Shi Daoan, an eminent monk, was spreading Buddhist dharma in the Taixing Mountains, he went there to listen to the dharma, where he reached enlightenment. Together with his younger brother, Huichi, they became monks.
  • Stories from Ancient China: Gratefully Accepting Suggestions and Criticism

    Zisi replied, "If a king thinks that he's perfect, then no one dares to voice their opinions. Even if the king does the right thing without listening to other peoples' opinions, it still is the same as his having rejected others' opinions. Not to mention that currently the ministers all echo a wrong opinion and encourage this bad mentality. Instead of judging whether something is right or wrong, the king enjoys being praised by others. He is being irrational...."
  • Stories from Ancient China: A Blue Phoenix Paid Shows It's Gratitude

    He knew that he couldn't afford to do it by his own efforts. So he made a book for recording contributions and wrote a preface for it. He donated 10 liangs (50 grams equal one liang) of silver first. He then carried the donation book and went to many wealthy gentlemen and his classmates asking for donations. After collecting enough money, he had the temple repaired and the wings of the blue phoenix connected back to its body.
  • Stories from Ancient China: A Gold Hairpin Saves Li Shimian's Life

    Li Shimian was an imperial academician in the Ming dynasty of ancient China. One year, he went to see lantern show on the night of the Lantern Festival (January 15th) and found a gold hairpin while on his way. So he put up a note on his front door the following day to find the owner of the lost property.
  • Stories from Ancient China: Virtuous Deeds Result in Good Fortune

    "...In your remaining two or three years, you should seize the time to cultivate your virtue diligently, and then you can possibly extend your lifespan. One bit of virtue can eliminate a hundred mishaps. You can also enjoy a life of being a high-ranking official with a lot of good fortune. So there is no need for you to be worried that you cannot extend your life. You should try your best to accumulate virtue. Let’s meet again in three years.” After saying these words, the fortune-teller walked out and left. Liu bade farewell with tears in his eyes.
  • Stories from Ancient China: A High-Ranking Official Who Corrupted the Country and Led The People Astray, Committing Unpardonable Sins

    After seeing his parents being tortured in the netherworld, the son of the high-ranking official was extremely frightened. He rushed quickly to Yan Province, spent a lot of money to set up an altar to conduct a religious offering ceremony. He invited Buddhist monks and Daoist priests to chant scriptures to eliminate the disasters, and to pray to the gods for the release of and pardon of his parents’ from this punishment
  • Stories from Ancient China: Being Devoted to Spiritual Pursuits Even in Poverty

    Mr. Yuan Xian was a disciple of the virtuous an wise Confucius. He was respected for living contentedly as a poor scholar and leading a simple, virtuous life. His thatched house had a door made of tree branches and straw and a leaky roof that often left the inside of the house wet. Despite this, Yuan Xian did not experience it as hardship; he devoted himself to studying Confucianism and lived happily.
  • Stories from Ancient China: Taking Bribes and Perverting the Law Ruined a Promising Future

    Just before the assistant left, the old man said very seriously, "Is it possible that you did something wrong when you were in Luling County? The day before yesterday I had a dream in which a golden man told me that you took the bribe of 500 thousand silver coins, broke the law and then fabricated a lie to frame someone. As a result of this, your rank will be cut and your life-span will not be long. Why didn't you conduct yourself with dignity. Why didn't you live up to my expectation?"
  • Ancient Cultivation Stories: Kang Seng Hui

    Kang said to his disciples, "Buddha Sakyamuni has entered nirvana and the responsibility now lies with us. A divine manifestation should have occurred but it seems we were unable to touch the Buddha's heart. If we are so useless, there is no need to wait for punishment by the ruler. We should make vows that if a divine intervention does not occur, we will pay with our own lives!"
  • Stories from Ancient China: Xingling, Thought to be a Fool, Was Actually Quite in Tune

    Xingling did not talk much and was always bullied by others, but he never became angry. Everyone in the village called him a fool. His father and brother also thought that he was foolish and sent him to the field to watch over the grain fields.
  • Stories from Ancient China: Heaven's Scrutiny Sees All

    After he got drunk and returned home, the Xiu Cai sat idly and let his fantasies run wild. “When I pass the next level of civil service examination, I will take the neighbor's young maid Ageng as my concubine. I shall build a luxury mansion and buy extravagant frocks for her.” After midnight, he was still having fantasies about his life with the beautiful Ageng. When his wife hurried him to go to bed, he spat the tea in her face and shouted insults. “You are a vat of vinegar! A vat of vinegar!”
  • Stories from Ancient China: The Negative Consequences of Lustful Behaviour

    Tan Zhao was very surprised at what he saw and said, "Many years ago, I saw that you had a countenance of good fortune but why has that changed? Your Tianting (forehead) looked full but now it seems collapsed; your Dige was round but now it has sharpened. Further more, there is dark Qi surrounding the centre of your palms. This means there is calamity awaiting you, you need to be careful. Your physiognomy has changed so much. I wonder what unethical things have you done?"
  • Stories from Ancient China: Everyone's Fortune Is Predestined; One Must Not Acquire Money Through Dishonest Means

    One Chinese New Year's Eve while all the families in town were celebrating the New Year and playing with fireworks, the two looked at each other and sighed because they lived in such abject poverty that they were unable to go home and celebrate the New Year. Suddenly, they heard a noise outside as loud as thunder. They hurried out of the temple only to find a giant rock had split open, revealing a treasure within. He Rushen was overjoyed beyond belief. He decided it must be a gift from Heaven out of pity for their poverty. He wanted to ship the treasure home.
  • Stories from Ancient China: Honest Yan Shu

    Yan Shu lived in the Song Dynasty of ancient China and was known to be kind and honest from the time he was very young. He was also bright and eager to learn. When he was only seven years old, he was able to write excellent articles. By 15 years old, he was honoured as a genius and recommended to the Emperor by the county governor due to his extreme intelligence.