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All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #5

All Men Are Brothers – [Shui Hu Chuan] – Prologue #5

“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.”

So was mandate placed for the time in the midst of the temple and all those who had come went into the guest hall and the Commander sat himself in the center. Then was tea brought thither and immediately vegetarian food was brought in and among these not one sort of vegetable food was lacking whether from water or from land. When the meal had been eaten the Commander again asked the abbot, saying, “If The Heavenly Teacher is in the little temple on the crest of the mountain why may one not go thither and invite him to come down that he may open the mandate of the Emperor and read it?”

The abbot answered humbly,  “This generation of Taoists who is upon the crest of the mountain has reached a very high stage and he can bridle the mists and ride upon them and where no clouds are he can make them rise and he leaves no footsteps behind him. Such Taoists as we are cannot easily see him. How then can we send one and invite him to come down?”

The Commander said, “If it be so, then how shall we see him? The plague in the capital is fierce passing belief and so did the Son Of Heaven bid me to come hither bearing this mandate which was written even by the imperial hand itself. And I come myself bearing the dragon incense! And I come to invite The Heavenly Teacher that he will lead a great mass of three thousand six hundred chants and so spread a net for Heaven and thus drive away the plague and save the lives of all the people. But if it be thus with him, then how shall we do it?”

Then the abbot said respectfully, “If the Son Of Heaven would save the lives of the people, the Commander must use a pure heart. You must eat only vegetable food and bathe your body and change to cotton garments and take no man with you and yourself you must bear the imperial mandate and with the imperial incense lighted go up the mountain on foot and worship The Heavenly King and bow before him and invite him. Thus only may The Heavenly King be seen. But if your heart be not pure then will it be but vain that you go and hard will it be to see him.”

The Commander heard this and he said, “From the day I left the capital I have eaten no meat and is my heart not pure? If it be thus then I will do as you say. Tomorrow at dawn will I go up the mountain.”

That night did each go therefore to his rest. On the next day at the fifth watch all the Taoists rose and they prepared a fragrant hot water and asked the Commander to rise and wash his body. All his garments were changed to ones of cotton thread, new and such as had never been worn before by man. Upon his feet were hempen shoes and straw sandals. When he had eaten a vegetarian meal he fetched the imperial mandate and he wrapped it in a yellow silk kerchief and bound it on his back. In his hand he bore a silver censer and in it smoked the imperial incense. Many of the Taoists and priests escorted him to the mountain’s foot and then they pointed out the path that he must take. Again did the abbot humbly say, “If the Commander would save the people let not your heart repent itself or think to turn back. With all your heart then go upward!”

<Continued – Prologue #6>

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November 29, 2010 - Posted by | Read

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