I once heard a Chinese feng shui master say that a person’s fate is determined by the amount of virtue, or de, one has, as well as his “predestination” and “feng shui.” At first, I did not understand what this meant, but gradually I understood its connotation.
I would like to share an interesting story that I heard about feng shui.
Selecting an ancestral graveyard
Long ago, there was a squire who was very well-known for his generosity and charity. The residents of his village nicknamed him “Compassionate Yang.” He was in his late fifties, in good health, and got along with just about everyone he met.
Yang’s ancestors took up roots in this village after his parents fled their hometown due to a series of disasters. Yang was rather young at the time and was carried there on his father’s shoulders. Yang’s mother passed away at the age of 70, and due to the situation at that time, she was buried in a haphazard manner.
Yang’s father, who was in his 80s, came down with an unknown illness. After a few unsuccessful diagnoses and treatments, he passed away a few days later experiencing little pain. Because of the ease with which he died, it is said that Yang’s father must have accumulated a lot of de, or virtue.
At that time, people believed it was important to select an auspicious location for one’s family tomb, as it would directly affect a family’s future generations. Hence, Yang employed the best feng shui master in the area.
After dinner, Yang met with the feng shui master, who explained:
“The position of a family tomb should acquire both the wind and the water, also known as ‘feng shui.’ The water element could be either good or bad, while the wind element could be unfavorable.
“Tomorrow, you can escort me around the village to survey the land, the water, and the direction of the wind. We will pick the best burial site for your family.”
Yang was pleased with the arrangement and obliged the master.
The beautiful waters of the northern mountain
Early the next morning, the master was served four dishes and some wine soon after he woke up. He was touched by Yang’s compassion and sincerity, so he was even more determined to find Yang’s father a good burial spot.
The sun had not yet risen as Yang followed the feng shui master out of the village, carrying a pick axe and a hatchet. The master said:
“Now is the perfect time to measure the energy channels and select the tomb’s location.”
As they walked along the mountain ridge to the east of the village, the feng shui master took a close look at the area surrounding the village and said:
“The northern mountain has a very strong energy field. As the mountain gets close to your village, its shape becomes stable, with two streams meeting underneath. The villagers who live here are sure to flourish. Let’s look for a place there.”
They walked toward the mountain together.
Yang’s goodness annoys the master
An ordinary person would be overjoyed by this good news, but Yang was more concerned about his neighbors, saying that he did not want to enjoy the benefits of the mountain at the expense of his neighbors’ happiness.
Yang’s compassion for others started to bother the feng shui master quite a bit. Each time the master found a place, Yang would ask: “Will this be harmful to my village?”
The master replied: “Why do you always think of others while looking for your family tomb?” Yang replied: “I just cannot be selfish. I need to consider the wellness of all other people or I will feel uneasy.” A whole day had passed, but they could not find a suitable spot.
The same thing happened the next morning. The feng shui master became so upset that he sat on a rock and told Yang: “Please find someone else; I’m leaving!” When Yang begged him to stay, the master replied: “You are such a demanding person! Why do you keep me here when I cannot satisfy your needs?!”
Yang said: “I am not demanding too much. All I want is wellness and peace for my family, yet I cannot pursue my own benefit at the cost of others.”
The master said: “We have investigated all the good locations around the mountain and that’s my limit.” Yang kept begging the master to stay, yet the master declined. Then, Yang asked about the area the master was sitting on: “Sir, would you please take a look at this place? It looks just like the other ones we’ve already examined.”
Burying his parents in an unfavorable spot
The master glanced at the place and said: “It’s so-so. You’d better retain another master.” Yang replied: “Why bother asking another master for help? As long as you think it’s OK, it should be fine. My only concern is, will it harm others if I choose this place?”
The master let out a deep sigh then said:
“At first glance, this place looks good, but after careful examination, it is a rather unfavorable feng shui position.
“The shape looks like five tigers are ripping apart a sheep, so it implies a terrible fortune for the people who possess it. You are just too compassionate. Maybe it’s just your fate.”
The master added: “Although I believe this location will not affect other people, I would suggest that you invite others to also have a look.”
After they got home, Yang treated the master to a big meal and offered him a good amount of remuneration. The master only accepted one third of what Yang offered, since he did not complete his job. Yang insisted on giving him the agreed upon amount. Before leaving, the master urged Yang to invite another master to look over the site. Yang replied: “I trust you!”
Yang buried his parents in the place of “five tigers ripping apart the sheep.” When the feng shui master learned of this, he felt very regretful.
Three years later, the master thought of Yang. Stirred by Yang’s compassion, he decided to visit him. Along the way, he worried that Yang’s family might be in danger because he had suggested a bad tomb location. The master was again determined to select a better location for Yang’s ancestors.
Having great virtue leads to a prosperous life
On the way, the master worried that Yang may have run into bad fortune and became so poor that he had to sell his residence and move away. So when he arrived, he was stunned to see Yang’s new home.
While he was thinking, the door suddenly swung open and a young looking and well-dressed elderly man came toward him. The master was surprised to see that the elderly gentleman was Yang!
He greeted Yang with very kind words. As soon as Yang recognised him, he cheerfully welcomed the master into his new home.
The master kept complimenting Yang on his luxurious home. Later, Yang toasted the master and told him the story of his fortune. The feng shui master was so delighted that they continued drinking until midnight.
‘Five tigers ripping apart the sheep’ turned out to be ‘five tigers protecting the sheep’
Early the next morning, Yang led the master to see his family tomb per the master’s request. Upon arriving, the master immediately noticed that the shape of the hill had changed and the five large blocks of stone were gone. Surrounding the grave were flourishing trees, shrubs, and plants. It was a truly auspicious place now.
Feeling confused, the master asked Yang where the five large blocks of stone had gone. Yang answered: “I too thought the stones might be obstacles. Then, six months after burying my parents, torrential rains swept away the soil around the grave. I built a mound along that area, covering the stones with soil, branches, and grass.”
The Chinese feng shui master exclaimed:
“Wonderful! Now the ‘five tigers ripping apart the sheep’ is ‘five tigers protecting the sheep!’”
Yang expressed his gratitude to the feng shui master, but the master refused to take credit for Yang’s good fortune. Instead, he said:
“This prosperous homeland is actually a gift from Heaven; it is for people with great virtue. Since everything is predestined, I am simply following the arrangement of one’s fate.”
Yang was a bit confused, so the master explained to him that he deserved his fortune because of his great virtue and then bid Yang farewell.
People with great virtue deserve their fortunes, which are given to them by divine beings. They are also protected by a multitude of gods. This truth is clearly echoed in the following words: “A person’s fate is determined by the amount of virtue, or de, one has, as well as his ‘predestination’ and ‘feng shui.’”
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