Reward or Retribution Comes Exactly as Planned (Part 2)
Reward or Retribution Comes Exactly as Planned (Part 2)
One night when the attendant at the Zhou family home was on duty, he fell into a deep sleep. Thieves came in and took everything from the residence of value. The attendant figured that the section of the old collapsed wall in the backyard was the only thing that could be sold in exchange for some money. He ran into Jia Ren in the street who was looking to buy bricks. The two immediately made a deal. When Jia Ren was digging out the dirt bricks, he spotted a stone slate, under which there was a large opening carved in a stone filled with countless gold and silver the size of bricks. Jia said to himself in surprise, "Such miraculous deities! Yesterday's dream has already been fulfilled."
He delivered the dirt bricks to the family who gave him the work order. Then he took the gold and silver bricks for himself. With so much wealth, he bought a large residence and started businesses. He purchased land and boats. People started calling him a baron. Despite his accumulation of wealth, he was very parsimonious and lived in thrift. Others called him Jia the Stingy. He got married but the couple did not have children. Jia Ren hired someone named Chen Defu to take care of his books. He often said to Chen, "I have such a big family business yet I don't have a child to succeed me. If you find any parents who are willing to let me adopt their child, whether it be a boy or a girl, bring the child to me."
Meanwhile, Zhou Rongzu, his wife and their son had gone to the capital. However, he was unfortunate and he did not pass the exam to become an official. When they returned to Caozhou, everything was gone except for the vacant house. He went to the backyard to look for the gold and silver that he had inherited. Only an empty opening in the stone remained. He was forced to sell his house in exchange for money. The family of three headed to Luoyang to find their relative. However, the relative had been out of town for a long time. Soon Zhou Rongzu’s money was used up from the travel. He begged along the way so they could return to Caonan Village in Caozhou. It was winter and the snow was heavy. The three of them did not have enough food or clothes. When they knocked on people's doors, nine out of ten did not even open their door. They came to a restaurant that served liquor, where they ran into Chen Defu, the bookkeeper at Jia's residence. Chen said to Zhou, "Since you are in such financial difficulty, how about allowing others to adopt your son? A rich family here does not have any children. If you let them adopt your son, his entire family business will be passed to this child of yours. I was given the task to look for a suitable child for adoption." Zhou discussed this with his wife. They decided that it was better for the boy to be adopted rather than starve and freeze to death. Chen reported back to Baron Jia. Jia was quite pleased. Both families signed the paperwork. At the time, Zhou's son, Changshou, was six years old. Zhou reminded Changshou, "Your parents had no choice but to let you be adopted so that you don't have to starve. Take care not to offend others. When we get a chance, we will come visit you." The three burst into tears and parted.
After adopting the young boy, Baron Jia gave him the name Jia Changshou. Jia's family kept this adoption a secret. As Changshou grew up, he started to forget about what had happened when he was a child. He thought of Baron Jia as his natural father. Baron Jia remained stingy and spent each penny with care. However, Changshou was quite generous, especially so when helping the poor and those in need. He did not seem to treat money with any more importance than a dirt brick. People figured he was quite rich, and called him "the Donator." A dozen or so years later, Baron Jia and his wife passed away. Thus, Changshou became the young baron and took charge of the family business.
Zhou Rongzu and his wife went to various cities to find relatives who will support them for over ten years. They found none. Begging along the way, the couple returned to Caonan Village to see how their son was doing. Upon entering the village, they saw a medicine shop with a sign, "Donated Medicine Available." They went inside the shop and found that Chen Defu was the owner. Chen told the couple, "Baron Jia passed away. Your child, Jia Changshou, is now the young baron. Unlike Baron Jia, he is quite generous. The medicines that I give out were because of his seed money." Chen went to Jia Changshou and told him the whole story. Although no one had ever talked about his adoption for years, Changshou was able to recall what happened when he was 6 years old. He immediately took out a box of gold and silver and followed Chen to the shop to meet his natural parents. His parents were glad to meet him.
When he handed over the box of gold and silver, Zhou Rongzu was about to decline the money when he saw the carving on a silver brick "marked by Zhou Feng." He was surprised, "Wasn't this from my family?" Chen asked how that could be. Zhou explained that his grandfather's name was Zhou Feng. The mark was left by him. Chen then wondered, "Why did it come to Jia's home?" Zhou Rongzu said, "Twenty years ago I went to take the imperial exam with my wife and son. Before leaving, I buried gold and silver under a section of wall, which had disappeared when I returned home." Chen realized immediately and said, "Baron Jia used to be really poor. He made bricks out of dirt and built walls for a living. He turned rich overnight. It turned out that he dug up your gold and silver. He has no children, so he adopted your son, who inherited back the Zhou family wealth. Is this not exactly as heaven planned! No wonder Baron Jia was so stingy with the money. It wasn’t his to start with so he was merely guarding your wealth." The Zhou couple sighed, "This is truly the result of reward and retribution." He then told Chen and Changshou how his ancestors had believed in Buddha, and about his father who did not believe in Buddha. Changshou was also amazed. He took his parents home. Zhou Rongzu gave his son the box of gold and silver and asked him to hand it out to villagers who needed help. He also asked his son to build a Buddhist temple as their ancestors had done. The couple started cultivating. Changshou restored his family name of Zhou. The entire family respected Buddha. Their family business became even more prosperous than it had been before.
Zhou Rongzu's family accumulated blessings for generations. His grandfather respected Buddha and was wealthy. His father destroyed the temple for home improvement. His family business took a downturn. Zhou Rongzu and his family were punished for this wrong deed. Jia Ren, who did not respect heaven in his past lives, should have died in hunger and cold. The deities understood His Majesty's virtue of promoting growth and prosperity, and lent Jia twenty years of wealth. Zhou Rongzu was punished for the same number of years. Twenty years later, everything was returned to the original owner.
Things have been planned well ahead of time, despite whatever methods people attempt to make. In fact, everything has its cause and effect. Retribution based on the heavenly principles comes exactly as planned. How can people not be careful in what they do? Believing in reward and retribution and carrying out good deeds conscientiously not only increases one's own blessings, it also lays a good foundation for one's descendants. It is most important, in terms of a person's fate and future, to respect heaven and gods, and to carry out good deeds by following heavenly principles.
因缘果报 丝毫不差 (下)