Chu Ming Dynasty
Xi Shen was born in Wu province. In his early years he learnt to cultivate the Tao in Sichuan province. Upon completion he started to treat peoples diseases. He also helped the poor and weak ones. Due to his righteous acts he was well known among the deities.
Once Shen went to visit his daughter in law with his wife. On the way they met a white deer wagon, a green dragon wagon, a white tiger wagon, and dozens of heavenly soldiers in red robes. A heavenly soldier approached Shen and asked, Have you seen the Taoist Shen? Shen was astonished, and asked back, Who is Taoist Shen? The heavenly soldier said, You have been diligently cultivating the Tao and acting virtuously upon the people. What is more, you have never committed anything indecent since childhood. Today the great Father Taoist has sent for you. Therefore the heavenly announced, From now on Shen is to take the post to govern life and death of the people in Wu Yue region. The heavenly also handed Shen a jade book on which carved his position. Shen kneeled and accepted the offer. Then he acceded to heaven with the rest. Many peasants nearby witnessed the event.
In 400 years time Shen returned to his hometown and found his descendant Xi. Xi was very pleased to see Shen, and said, I have heard that one of my ancestors had achieved the Tao. It is true then. Xi then asked Shen about his life in the heavens. Shen answered, When I just arrived in the heavens, I could not see the Supreme Emperor himself. The Father Taoist sat facing the east. There were messengers who ran around to deliver messages. I did not have a chance to express my gratitude. Instead, I could only sit quietly in a distance. I looked around and discovered countless temples. Their shapes and colours were changing in the most unimaginable way. There were several hundreds of servants, and most of them were females. In the garden were trees of jades and pearls, among which a bunch of baby tigers were playing. At the temples magnificent sound could be heard. It was like the sound made by metal instruments. The walls of the temples were shinny gold, on which written the heavenly characters and symbols. The Father Taoist was about 9 feet tall, his hair falling all the way to shoulder and his head and neck radiating light. Then a heavenly female servant brought a golden tray, on which sat a jade glass. The Father Taoist handed me the medicine in the jade glass and said, This is the heavenly Dan. After you have taken it you will live forever. My wife and I were given one each. After we had taken the Dan we thanked the Father Taoist. He then gave us two dates which were as big as eggs, and said, You should now return to the human world and save people. If you wish to come back to the heavens, all you need to do is to write symbols on flags and hang them high. I will then come and collect you. The Father Taoist also handed a heavenly prescription to me. So here I am. I did not realise that 400 years had passed. Upon hearing this Xi felt very amazed. Shen lived in his house for several days and left. Nobody knew where he went. But afterwards he was seen in many places, saving people from diseases by the heavenly prescription.
In the Taoist School, the Buddhist School, as well as other Chinese fairy tales, there are many cultivation consummation stories. Rising to the heaven in broad daylight (Bai Ri Fei Sheng) is only one of the many magnificent forms of consummation. However due to the differences in time scales, a brief moment in the heavens can mean a few hundred years in the human world.
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