Ancient Chinese Tale of a Deity: Sun Deng, who could foretell the future

[Chinese folklore is full of ancient stories of cultivation, immortals and taoists. These stories, often mystical and full of magical happenings, reflect the depth to which the concept of cultivation permeates the whole of Chinese culture, tradition and history. These stories are not directly related to Falun Gong, but are included on Clear Harmony because they are of interest to western people, providing an insight into the deep cultural tradition of cultivation practices in China.]

Nobody knows where Sun Deng’s hometown was. He lived in seclusion. He lived in a mountain cave, liked to play the zither and read the Book of Changes. (An ancient Chinese Book of divination) Regardless of the weather, he always wore one piece of clothing. When it got cold in the winter, he was seen to cover his body with his long hair. He was young and handsome. Even though he lived through several dynasties, he did not get old at all. He often begged for food on the street. As soon as he got money from his begging, he would not keep a penny with him. Instead, he would immediately pass along the money to other people who were even poorer. Nobody actually saw him eat.

Once upon a time, a high-level royal officer, Yang Zhiung, summoned him. He did not say anything to Yang’s inquiries. Yang Zhiung gave him a robe, and Sun Deng took it. As soon as he left Yang Zhiung’s residence, Sun Deng borrowed a knife, trimmed the robe into two pieces first, then chopped it into pieces, and threw it in front of Yang Zhiung’s residence. People thought Sun Deng had gone insane at that time, however, they understood later on that Sun Deng was actually foretelling the death of Yang Zhiung, who was guillotined because of committing a crime. At the moment when Yang Zhiung heard that Sun Deng chopped the robe he had given Sun Deng, he was so angry that he arrested Sun Deng. To his surprise, Sun Deng died right away. Yang Zhiung bought a coffin, and buried Sun Deng. Several days later, Sun Deng was seen in another place.

A person, named Chi Shu Ye, aspired to be a Taoist. He approached Sun Deng for help, but the latter treated it with complete negligence. Therefore, Chi Shu Ye came up with several questions to interrogate Sun Deng intentionally. Sun Deng kept playing the zither as though nothing had happened. After a while, Chi Shu Ye left. Sun Deng said, “Chi Shu Ye is a talented young man, but he has very limited knowledge, and does not know how to protect himself. Can his talent protect him?” Before long, Chi Shu Ye was beheaded because of crimes. Chi Shu Ye was very good in playing the zither, however, Sun Deng could play a song on a single string. Sun Deng’s skill in playing the zither was highly respected by Chi Shu Ye.

(Information Source: Stories of Deities)

Translated from (Chinese

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