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All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #4

All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #4

“CHANG, THE HEAVENLY TEACHER, CHIEF OF THE TAOISTS, BESEECHES THE GODS TO DRIVE AWAY THE EVIL FLUX. THE COMMANDER HUNG, IN HEEDLESSNESS, FREES THE SPIRITS.”

Then was the imperial incense burned in the palace and the Emperor himself gave the mandate he had written on red paper to the minister, who was the Commander Hung. Straightway he went forth with the imperial mandate and he bade farewell to the Emperor and he bore the mandate on his shoulder and put the imperial incense in a box and he led with him some tens of men. They all mounted each his horse and they all followed him and so they left the capital.

They followed the road then and they went straight toward the city of Hsin Chou to a little town called Kuei Ch’i. In less than a day they came to the city of Hsin Chou in Kiangsi. The officials of the city great and small came forth to meet them and straightway they sent men to announce the matter to the abbot of the temple in The Mountain Of Dragons And Tigers to prepare to receive the imperial mandate.

On the next day all the officials escorted the Commander Hung to the foot of The Mountain Of Dragons and Tigers and there from The temple Of Upper Clearness they saw many Taoists coming down, their bells chiming and drums beating, and they carried incense and flowers and lanterns and candles and banners and canopies and many instruments of music, and they all came down the mountain to meet the imperial messenger. He came straight to the temple before he came down from his horse. Then did they all, from the abbot to the least acolyte, circle about to greet him and they escorted him into The Hall Of Three Clearnesses and they besought him to set up the imperial mandate in their midst.

And the Commander asked the abbot, saying, “Where is The Heavenly Teacher now?”

The abbot came forward and said humbly, “Thus will I tell the Commander. The one of this generation of these many generations has a notable name, The Heavenly Teacher Of Empty Peace, and his temper is very lofty and remote from men. Hard is it for him to do such work as to meet guests or speed them. He has built a thatched temple for himself upon the crest of the mountain and there he lives alone, purifying his spirit. Because of this he does not live here in our temple.”

The Commander said, “But now there comes a mandate from the throne commanding him thither and how may we see him therefore?”

The abbot answered, saying, “Pray let me speak. For the time let this mandate be placed here in the temple, for none of us common priests dare to open it. Let the Commander then go into our guest hall and there drink tea and then may we take counsel together.”

<Continued – Prologue #5>

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Read | Leave a comment