(Translated by Transn and Edited by Kaer)
“Brushing against shoulders in this life is the result of the five-hundred (500) times of looking back in the previous Lives; to ride in the same boat is the result of a hundred years of cultivation; to sleep on the same pillow is the result of millennia of cultivation.” “Knowing I am not destined to enter her heart, how can I compare with the catkins and swallows?” “Flowers bloom and wither; tides rise and fall; Spring awakens the branches; running water is heartless but the grass welcomes it every year; people may have sorrow or joy and be near or far apart, but the moon will still wax and wane.” “Born of these scenes, can the word ‘sorrow’ suffice?” “Dynasties fall but mountains and rivers remain, so how many times can we see the beautiful sunset?” “The events of our world are like games of chess, each game is only new because it is destined to be so.” “In a Life, people endure hardships and twists and turns in the mortal world and repeat samsara.” “Some people are designated to meet from thousands of miles apart but not to know their next-door neighbors.” All these are predestination; all things are predestined.
Definition of Predestination:
Predestination is the cause of generating, sustaining, destroying, and changing of all forms and all things, and is the cause of all events. It is the bridge and the tie which causes sorrow and joy to be near or far away. It is the factor which decides the development of matter and the origins of desires, words, and deeds connected to other things in the universe which are bound to happen in the future since beginningless time. It is a kind of debt after receiving others’ services or graces which have not been paid back timely. It is the set of revenge; wrong with wrong.
Several Cases of Predestination:
614 years ago, Emperor Chengzu of Ming, King of Yan, Zhu Di killed 873 members of the nine tribes of the Fang Xiaoru clan, yet he still could not vent his anger and counted Fang Xiaoru’s students as one clan and killed them all. Many people perished! Why did that happen? What was its cause? It turned out that Fang Xiaoru’s father had selected a cemetery plot. At night, he dreamed that the Red Snake King was sticking his red tongue out and requesting earnestly that he delay the groundbreaking for one or two days so that his family could move away. The next day, the Fang family dug the earth and built their tomb as scheduled. Soon, the workers exclaimed, “We have found a red snake pit!” Countless red snakes slithered and fled in panic. Fang Xiaoru’s father ordered them to kill all the red snakes with fire and knives. That night, the bleeding Red Snake King cursed him in a dream: “I will kill as many of you as you killed of us!” Shortly thereafter, the Fang family gave birth to a baby son, Fang Xiaoru. Born into a scholarly family, he was very smart and diligent as a boy. He was eloquent and charming in appearance – and his tongue was red! He was the reincarnation of the Red Snake King. He deliberately resisted an imperial edict from King Yan in order to enrage him and fulfill that curse by implicating his nine tribes. After killing all 873 members of the Fang clan, the number still could not match the number of the red snakes killed on that day so very long ago! Fang Xiaoru deliberately provoked King Yan again, “Even ten tribes, so what!”. The king then had all of Fang Xiaoru’s students put to death and the Red Snake King finally got his revenge!
In the ancient times, there was a prince who was very handsome, intelligent, and well-educated, and whose closest friend was a young man of equally excellent and outstanding virtues. Like knows like! The two would discuss state strategies, compose poems and couplets, and toast the moon together. They discussed everything under heaven and were very intimate. One day, they went out for fun and met a girl who was unspeakably beautiful, cultured and decent, well-versed in lyre-playing, chess, calligraphy and painting, a matchless stunning beauty throughout the whole country. After a period of time, both the prince and the young man confessed their love to the girl, but in the end she chose the common young man rather than the prince. The prince fell into an abysses of depression and pain and went to see the most accomplished and eminent monk to ask him why this happened. The monk resorted to magic and presented the following view to the prince. On a beach, a beautiful naked woman laid motionless. A man came to the seaside and saw her. He approached her and placed his hand to her nose. Evidently, the woman was dead. He turned and walked away. A moment later, a second man arrived. He also saw the woman, and as the man before him had done, he examined to see whether she was alive, but she was indeed dead. He then removed his jacket, covered the woman, and went away. After a while, a third man came. After observing, he too realized that the woman was dead. He stopped and carried her on his back until he found a place at the beach to bury her. He also made a mark for her grave! The eminent monk then said, the woman who you both love is the woman who died on the beach. The man who took his jacket off and covered her was you in a previous life and she needed to repay your favor for a period of time in this one, but the man who buried her was your best friend and she needed to return his favor for the rest of her life.
In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, there was a man from Anhui named Hu Mingxun. One day, his knees were attacked by impetigo and he suffered a biting pain. As time went on, the impetigo grew worse as a person’s face, with eyebrows, eyes, a nose, and a mouth appeared on it. Hu Mingxun turned to one hundred and thirty (130) physicians who not only could not heal him, but actually made it much worse. On December 7, 1651, in a dreamy state, Hu Mingxun faintly heard a voice coming from the impetigo on his knees: “I am Lu Zhaorong from the Liang Dynasty of the Five Dynasties (906-923). You killed me in the Luoyang Palace. Today I come to take revenge. How can physicians cure you? Confess your sins to Buddha and perhaps you will be remedied.” After Hu Mingxun woke from the dream, he stopped seeking physicians for help and swore to confess and to copy the Buddhist Sutras. At first, he could stand up with the support of a cane, then he could stand and walk. Eventually he healed without taking any medicine. After more than 700 years, the soul was still looking for his enemy for retaliation.
In the time of Buddha Sakyamuni, an elderly man wanted to be a monk. It is important for a monk to have good spiritual roots, so Sakyamuni asked his arhats (disciples) to see if this person had good ones to decide whether he could be a monk. All the arhats shook their heads after seeing this man and agreed, “no good roots”! Arhats could only see five hundred (500) cycles of life and found that he had never had any relationship with Buddha during those five hundred cycles, so he did not have good roots. Sakyamuni then examined the man and proclaimed, “In the beginningless time, he was a woodcutter. He came across a tiger in the mountain and was so scared that he climbed up a tree and cried out, ‘Namo Buddha’”. From his cry of “Namo Buddha”, today his good roots appeared. Sakyamuni ordained him, and he later rose to become an arhat himself.
In the Shu Kingdom, there was a bully named Guo Jingzhang. One day, he was drunk and hit a poor man, Zhao An with a wine pot. The mouth of the pot smashed his head and killed him immediately. Guo Jingzhang gave Zhao An’s son a lot of money to help conceal the matter from the law. Soon afterward, Guo Jingzhang’s head grew a sore about three to four centimeters deep like the one where the pot had hit Zhao An. His bone was exposed, he bled and discharged a constant stream of pus, and he could occasionally see Zhao An’s face in it. The sore eventually penetrated into his throat and killed him.
A scholar in the Yuan Dynasty was seriously harmed by a friend. That night, he became enraged and determined to kill the man. He passed a temple on the way to his former friend’s house, where an eminent monk stood at the gate. From his deva eyes, the monk saw that the scholar was tailed by a vicious demon. As the scholar arrived at the door of his intended victim’s house, an idea struck him: he has turned from being my friend to my enemy, but his mother and wife did me no harm. If I kill him, they will both lose their means of life. After several rounds of inner struggling, he decided to forgive the man, forget the idea of killing him, and go away. On his way back, he passed the same temple where the same monk was still standing at the gate, but this time the monk’s deva eyes saw a completely different scene. The vicious demon which had tailed the scholar was gone and he was escorted by angels above his head. The monk told the scholar what he had seen and asked him what happened. The scholar told his story truthfully and the monk exclaimed that the demon and the gods were moved by just a thought! The idea of tolerance changed the scholar’s fate. He later became an official and the friend who had betrayed him died on a battlefield.
In a mountain village in Damiao Township in Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province, there lived a villager named Li Cheng. Li Cheng’s grandmother had a relative named Zhang Qing who used to carry and sell fabrics for the Li family but whose own family was very poor because he lost in everything he did throughout his life and his family had been supported by Li Cheng until Zhang Qing died. Li Cheng even paid to have him buried. About one month afterward, Li Cheng was sleeping soundly in the middle of the night when he suddenly heard someone calling his name: “Li Cheng, Li Cheng, I am Zhang Qing, I am coming to pay my debt back to you. “Li Cheng found it strange after he woke up three times in a row from his sleep. Just then, the house manager came to tell him, “Master, the big horse just gave birth to a colt”. They knew that the colt was Zhang Qing reincarnated and named him that. Several years later, Li Cheng pulled a cart to Beisi Jiazi and stayed in a postal station there. The next day, the local area was having a fair. In the morning the horse went to the fair alone and stamped the earthen pots and utensils of a street vendor, leaving only five big basins intact. The vendor was very angry and he gripped the horse to find justice. Li Cheng was informed that his horse had made trouble for him and went to the fair to apologize and promised to compensate the vendor for his losses. Li Cheng yelled, “Zhang Qing, Zhang Qing, what is wrong with you today?”. The vendor wondered why the horse was named Zhang Qing. Li Cheng told him about Zhang Qing’s home and his reincarnation into the horse. The vendor said, “I knew Zhang Qing. I bought some fabrics while he was alive and I still owe him money”. He then calculated his losses from the daily wares and the value was exactly what he owed to Zhang Qing, so the balance was even. They all understood why the five big basins were left untouched.
Yuan Liao Fan, the author of “The Four Lessons of Liao Fan” in the sixteenth century was from Jiashan, Zhejiang. When he was young, a fortune teller predicted the good and bad fortunes to come in his life, including his rankings in the imperial examinations, his official titles, that he would not father a son, and when he would die. Later, many things were fulfilled accurately just as the fortune teller had predicted. Every day he became increasingly idle, knowing that his fate was predestined and that everything would come along automatically. Then he met Zen Master Yungu who told him, “Fate is created by the self and blessings are sought after by the self.” “Search it, keep the Way; attain it keeping with destiny.” He began to understand that fate could be changed and became determined to amend his faults. He became tolerant of others’ wrong doings to him and committed to doing good with the greatest determination and perseverance. Surely enough, the original predictions lost accuracy after he decided to change his fate. Not only was he promoted to higher offices, but he also fathered four sons and survived a full sixteen (16) years longer than had been predicted.