欺天讹人 应誓偿还 One's Oath Dictates His Own Retribution
2015-12-04
One's Oath Dictates His Own Retribution
 
In the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912 AD), a farmer in his 60's by the name of Li lived in a small village in Sichuan Province with his two sons. The father and sons were honest, hard-working people who barely made a living. In the sixth or the seventh year into Daoguang's reign (1821 – 1850 AD), the father borrowed 100 rolls of coins (each roll is equivalent to 1 ounce of silver) from Chen Liangdong, a rich man in the same village.
 
The Li family was quite thrifty, and in a few short years they started to accumulate some money. Suddenly, the father became ill. When he was about to pass away, he told his two sons, "The money we borrowed from Chen Liangdong has to be returned immediately, paying back both the principal and interest. Chen is not a decent man despite his wealth. You need to get back the original promissory note to avoid any trouble in the future." The two sons followed the instructions and returned the money. However, Chen Liangdong lied to them saying he could not find the original note to return to them. The father asked his sons to ask for the note again, but Chen simply refused. Not long afterwards, the elderly Li passed away. His two sons worked even harder, and their wealth continued to grow.
 
Chen Liangdong put aside his conscience and came to Li's home demanding money while holding the original promissory note in hand. The two sons argued that they had repaid the debt long ago. Chen rebutted that he still held the promissory note and insisted on getting the money. He threatened that he would turn the Li family over to the authorities if there was any delay. The two sons were worried about getting into a lawsuit. In the end, they asked Chen to make an oath, with heaven as his witness. Chen knelt down on the steps, and declared, "If I collect your debt twice, in my future life, I will turn into a horse or an ox to pay you back." The Li's family had to pay the debt again based on the terms of the note, and only then did they get the note back.
 
About a year later, Chen Liangdong died from a sudden illness. Before he died, he told his wife, "I'm on my way to Li's family to pay back the debt I owe them." He died as soon as he said those words. At the same time, a cow in Li's family suddenly gave birth to a small ox. On the forehead of the ox, there appeared to be a few characters. The characters were quite illegible. A year later, the characters turned legible, and they read, "Chen Liangdong."
 
Chen's wife dreamed that Chen begged her to redeem him, but she did not believe her dream. Only when she learned that the little ox in Li's family had the characters on its forehead did she go to Li's family. It turned out that what she dreamed was true. The ox knelt in front of her, apparently begging her to buy it from the Li's.
 
Chen's wife was very sad. She told the Li family that she was willing to return the overpayment back to the Li brothers in exchange for the ox, but Li's family did not agree. Despite repeated requests from Chen's wife, the Li brothers turned down her offer of tons of money to buy the ox. Chen's wife filed a lawsuit with the authorities, and the county commissioner judged that Chen's wife had to pay 1200 ounces of silver in order to buy back the ox. Still the Li brothers refused to comply. The county commissioner's judgment did not help Chen's wife.
 
In the eleventh year of Daoguang, a county-level official named Li Sizhi passed by this village. He thought this story was quite marvelous and went to take a look himself. He found out that the characters on the ox's forehead were quite clear. As a result, he truly believed in the retribution of cause and effect. He also considered the Li brothers' insistence on not letting Chen's wife pay for the ox was also a wrong deed, which went against kindness and forgiveness. If this ill will went unresolved, it could even give rise to new grudges. If, for example, the Li brothers over-punished the ox, how would they repay in the future?
 
From this story, we learn that we should not commit wrong deeds, and that forgiveness is the best recipe to settle grudges.
 
 
欺天讹人 应誓偿还
 
四川有个小村子,村里有个姓李的六旬老人,有两个儿子。父子都心地忠厚,以耕种为业,勉强可以糊口。道光六七年间,李家向本村的富人陈良栋借了一百贯钱。
 
李家父子勤俭持家,没过几年家业逐渐富有起来。李老翁忽然得了病,他在弥留之际对两个儿子说:“以前借陈良栋的钱,赶快连本带息都还给他,此人为富不仁,务必要将借据要回来,以免日后受到拖累。”两个儿子遵命前去还了钱,但陈良栋谎称借据已经找不到了。李老翁再次让儿子前去索要,但陈良栋就是不给。没过多久,李老翁就过世了,两个儿子更加勤俭,家道越来越富裕。
 
这时,陈良栋昧著良心,拿着当年的借据到李家来要债,李家两个儿子都说先前早已经还他钱了,可陈良栋说这借据就是凭证,坚持说没有还他,并说再不还他就要告官。李家儿子怕惹上官司受拖累,最后又让他对天发誓。陈良栋便跪在台阶前发誓说:“我如果重复收了你家的欠债,来生我就变成牛马偿还你们。”李家无奈只好按借据又还了一次钱,这才将借据要回。
 
过了一年多一点,陈良栋突然暴病而亡,临终前他对妻子说:“我要去李家还债去了。”说完就死了。就在陈良栋死的时候,李家的牛忽然生了一头小牛犊,额头上好像还有字,但模糊不清。过了一年,牛犊额头上的字已经长的清晰可见,原来是“陈良栋”这三个字。
 
陈良栋的妻子曾在梦中见到陈良栋哀求她去帮他赎身,但其妻并不相信。后来听说李家的牛额头上有字,这才同孩子一同前去一看究竟。一看,果如其言,牛跪在她面前,好像哀求的样子。
 
陈妻十分悲痛,于是说愿意将李家重还的钱还给他们,以赎回这头牛。但李家不同意,后来陈妻再三恳求,要以千金赎牛,但李家仍不同意。无奈陈妻又诉之官府,县令判定让陈妻给李家一千二百两银子来赎牛,但李家两个儿子还是不同意,最后县令也没有办法了。
 
道光十一年,有个叫黎思之的县尉路经此村,听说这个故事感到颇为神奇,于是亲自前往查看,发现那牛额头上的字真的清晰可见,由此对因果报应之事深信不疑。并认为李家执意不肯让陈妻赎回牛,这也是有违仁恕的错误做法,这段怨仇不但没得到化解,反而可能会结下新的怨恨。试想李家如果对这头牛过份惩罚,那么他们将来又将如何偿还呢?
 
可见,做人还是不要做坏事,宽恕是避难解怨的良方妙药。
    来源: 网络 责编: Hai

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