Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Story Behind Zhuge Liang's Famous Feather Fan

I found this inspiring story from this site:
http://clearharmony.net/articles/200507/27920.html

Ancient Cultivation Stories: Zhuge Liang’s Cultivation Practise

Zhuge Liang was the military strategist for the Han state in the Three Kingdoms period of China(220-280 A.D.). He was the most famous and ingenious military strategist in Chinese history. He was often pictured wearing a robe and holding a fan made of crane feathers.

When Zhuge Liang was 9 years old, he still was unable to speak. His family was poor and Zhuge Liang was asked by his father to herd the sheep at a nearby hill of a mountain. Up on the mountain there was a Taoist temple where an elderly Taoist with a full head of gray hair resided (A Taoist is one who studies the 'Tao' or 'Way of the Universe'). The Taoist took a leisurely stroll outside the Taoist temple every day. When he ran into Zhuge Liang, he would try to tease the boy with hand signs. Zhuge Liang also enjoyed “talking” back to the Taoist with hand signs. The Taoist grew very fond of the smart and adorable Zhuge Liang. He started to treat the boy’s muteness problem. Before long, Zhuge Liang was able to speak!

Zhuge Liang was delighted when he was finally able to speak. He went up to the Taoist temple and thanked the Taoist in person. The elderly Taoist told him, “When you return home, tell your parents that I am taking you as a disciple and I will teach you to read. I will also teach you the art of astronomy, geography and the applied theories of Yin and Yang in military strategies. If your parents agree, you must come attend the school every day and you must never skip a class!”

From that day on, Zhuge Liang became the elderly Taoist’s disciple. Come rain or shine, Zhuge Liang would climb up to the mountain to receive his education. He was a very smart and diligent boy who took his study seriously. He also had a photographic memory. The Taoist never had to teach him anything twice. Naturally, the Taoist became all the more fond of him.

Eight years passed quickly and Zhuge Liang became a teenager.

One day while Zhuge Liang was coming down the mountain as usual, he passed by a deserted nunnery located in the middle of the mountain. Suddenly there came a gusty wind, followed by a thunderstorm. Zhuge Liang had no choice but to flee to the deserted nunnery to escape the storm. There a young woman he had never met came out to meet him. She had a large pair of eyes and thin eyebrows. She was so beautiful that Zhuge Liang almost mistook her for a goddess. He was immediately attracted to the young woman.

When the storm stopped, the beautiful woman saw him off at the door and said to him with a grin, “Now that we have met each other. You are free to come by and have a cup of tea whenever you wish to take a break in your trip up or down the mountain.” As Zhuge Liang was walking out of the nunnery, he felt suspicious. “Why didn’t I notice that someone lived in this nunnery before?” he thought.

From that day on, Zhuge Liang began to frequent the nunnery. Each time the beautiful woman would entertain him with warm hospitality. She cooked him delectable meals and always encouraged him to stay longer. After dinner they would chat heartily and play chess. Compared to the Taoist temple, the nunnery appeared to be a paradise.

Thoughts about the woman often diverted his attention from his education and he began to lose interest in studying. He paid less and less attention to the Taoist’s lectures. He also became forgetful and had difficulty in learning new textbooks.

The elderly Taoist discovered his problem. One day he summoned Zhuge Liang and let out a long sigh. “It is easier to ruin a tree than grow a tree!” he said. “I have wasted many years on you!”

Zhuge Liang lowered his head in shame and said, “Master, I will never disappoint you again or waste your education!”

“I don’t believe you,” said the elderly Taoist. “I knew you are a very smart boy, so I wanted to treat your illness and give you a proper education. For the past eight years you have been very diligent in your study, so I thought it was worth the hard work of educating you. But now you are neglecting your education. No matter how smart you are, you will never get anywhere if you continue to carry on like this! You are now promising me to never disappoint me again. How can I trust your words?”

The elderly Taoist continued, “Everything has its cause.” Then he pointed at a tree wrapped up by many thick vines in the courtyard. “Look at the tree,” he said. “Why do you think the tree is half alive and is struggling in its growth?”

“The vines binding the tree are keeping it from growing!” answered Zhuge Liang.

“Precisely! This tree had a tough time growing up in this rocky mountain with little soil. But it keeps growing because it is determined to develop its roots and branches. It fears neither the heat nor the cold. However, when the vines wrap around it, it cannot grow up any taller. It is funny how ‘soft’ vines can defeat a tall, robust tree!”

Zhuge Liang was smart, so he immediately knew what his Master was referring to. He asked, “Master, you knew about my dates at the nunnery””

The elderly Taoist said, “Living near the water, a man will learn the fish’s nature. Living on the mountain, a man will learn the birds’ language. I have been observing you and your actions. How can your romantic affair escape my attention?”

He paused for a moment before telling his disciple with a stern look. “Let me tell you the truth about the beautiful woman. She is not a human being. She is a divine crane in heaven. She was kicked out of the heavenly palace as a punishment after she stole and ate the Queen of Heaven’s peaches. She came to the human realm and assumed the appearance of a beautiful woman. She is a depraved divine crane that knows only to seek pleasure. You have been beguiled by her appearance, but you have wasted more than your time. If you allow yourself to lose your will, you will become a loser! Moreover, if you refuse to comply with her wishes, she will hurt you eventually.”

It was not until then that Zhuge Liang realised the severity of his escapade. He anxiously asked his Master for a solution.

The elderly Taoist said, “The divine crane has a habit of returning to her original form at midnight and flying up to the heavenly river for a bath. While she is away from the nunnery, you will enter her room and burn her robe. She stole the robe from the Heavenly Palace. Without the robe, she can no longer assume the shape of a beautiful woman.”

Zhuge Liang promised to follow his Master’s instructions. Before he took off, his Master handed him a cane with the carving of a dragon’s head on the top. He told Zhuge Ling, “When the divine crane finds there is a fire in the nunnery, she will fly down from the heavenly river right away. She will realise that you have burned her robe and will attack you. When that happens, you must hit her with the cane! It is important that you remember and do what I have told you!”

At midnight, Zhuge Liang went to the nunnery quietly. He opened the woman’s room only to find her robe on the bed. He immediately set the robe on fire.

While the divine crane was bathing in the heavenly river, she felt a sudden heartache. She checked the direction of the nunnery and saw it was on fire. She immediately flew down and saw it was Zhuge Liang who had set her robe on fire. She came at Zhuge Liang and tried to attack his eyes with her beak. Zhuge Liang had quick reflexes. He raised the cane and knocked the divine crane down to the ground. Then he grabbed the crane by her tail. The divine crane struggled and was able to escape, but she lost her tail features to Zhuge Liang.

She became a crane with a bald tail. She was embarrassed by her looks, so she stopped bathing in the heavenly river. She dared not enter the Heavenly Palace to steal another robe either, so she had no choice but to remain in the human realm forever and live among ordinary cranes.

In order to remind himself of this lesson, Zhuge Liang kept the tail feathers of the crane.

From that day on, Zhuge Liang became even more diligent. He would memorise everything his Master taught him and every textbook. He truly absorbed what he had learnt and was able to apply it freely. Another year passed. On the very day he had burned the divine crane’s robe a year ago, the elderly Taoist told him with a big smile, “My disciple, you have been studying under my tutelage for nine years. I have taught you everything you need to learn and you have learnt every textbook here. There is an idiom, ‘Master takes you through the entrance, and it is up to you to practise cultivation.’ You are now 18 years old. It is time for you to leave your home and develop your career!”

When Zhuge Liang heard that he had completed his education, he begged his Master for more. “Master! The more I learn, the more humble I feel. I feel there is more I need to learn from you!”

“True education comes from real life. You must learn to apply your knowledge to life and design different solutions for different situations! For example, you have learnt an important lesson from the dates with the divine crane that one must not be tempted by lust or emotion. This is a practical lesson from a life experience. With that in mind, you must not be confused by this illusionary surface of the world. Take great caution in everything you do. You must see everything in its true form. This is my farewell advice to you! I will be leaving you today.”

“Master, where are you going?” Zhuge Liang asked in astonishment. “Where can I find you or visit you from now on?”

“I will wander around the world and will not settle down again.”

Suddenly Zhuge Liang found hot tears filling his eyes. He said to his Master, “Master! Before you leave, you must give me an opportunity to kowtow to you and thank you for giving me the education!”

Next Zhuge Liang kowtowed to his Master. When he got up, the Taoist had disappeared.

The Taoist left him with a robe with the print of the Eight Diagrams. Zhuge Liang thought of his Master regularly; therefore, he often wore his robe with the print of the Eight Diagrams because it gave him the feeling that his Master was right beside him.

Zhuge Liang never forgot his Master’s advice, especially his parting advice. He made a feather fan out of the divine crane’s tail feathers to remind himself to take great caution for the rest of his life. This is the story behind the famous feather fan that Zhuge Liang carried.

34 comments:

  1. Oh that was wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I see. I never knew that the feather fan of zhuge liang come from where? but now I have to thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Much obliged my firend. Much obliged.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Touching story :')

    ReplyDelete
  5. Τhе cheeѕe wоuld be mеlteԁ anԁ bubbly, but top rаtеd of all thе toppings
    wοuld not be burnt. This havе continuously been
    a bеloνeԁ activity in mу residence. As a make a diffеrence οf
    аctuality it іs thesе kinds of a іncredibly-concentrаted foodstuff
    that, except if taken іn сompletely smаll-ѕcale quаntities, іt is liable tо upset wеak digeѕtions.
    Feel free to visit my web site : old stone oven

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is
    fantastic, as well as the content!

    my webpage :: double bathroom vanity

    ReplyDelete
  7. Incгease the temperature of the oven to 450 degreeѕ.
    Ι can't exactly remember why--maybe it was peer pressure from our health-driven community, who knows. There are not a lot of frozen pizzas out there that lock in that fresh take out taste and I wanted to see what this pizza could offer me.

    Here is my web site; pizza pan avon

    ReplyDelete
  8. Whеn sоmeone wгites аn paгagraph he/she retainѕ the
    іԁea of a user in his/her minԁ thаt how а useг can be awаre of it.
    So thаt's why this post is great. Thanks!

    Have a look at my homepage - http://www.glads.co.jp/index.php?mid=News&document_srl=2348

    ReplyDelete
  9. The moment they еnd up mates, they will antiсipate familiarity, but not tοo a lοt of right until then.

    Home mаde bгеad is not onlу sіmple to make, but it is гeally morе suitable for you.
    * Chinesе pizza: Top unbаkеd pizza dough
    with hoisin sauce, sliceԁ envіronmentаlly fгіendly peppегs
    аnd onіons, аnd sаuteed shitake muѕhrοoms.


    Fеel free to surf to my homepagе: www.Sjbb.Org

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a dаtа of un-ambiguity and preseгveness of рrеcious fаmiliarity concerning unexρеcted emotions.


    Rеview my blοg poѕt Chemietoilette

    ReplyDelete
  11. analyѕt I sensе that there are non-гatiοnal forcеs аt get the
    ϳοb donе. - Сentre tunnel сhimney duct
    to maxіmise efficiеnt incredibly hot aіrfloω.

    As a mаtter οf pοint it іs these kinds оf a rеmarkably-cοnсеntгated fοod items thаt,
    unless taken in extгaοгdinагily minor quantities, it
    is liable to uρset weak ԁіgestіоns.


    Hеге is my pаge: www.dropjack.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?

    I'm trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    My homepage - bathroom vanity

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thе Lіeutеnant ѕwoгe than in
    memoгу οf thе combіned drіnk, it woulԁ permаnently be ωеll-knοwn in the army aѕ a 'cock's tаіl'. Prepare the place where exactly you are heading to be carrying out the colorng. Proceed eleven miles, and check out attentively for the indicator to Laupahoehoe Stage Beach front Park on the accurate.

    Here is my web-site :: old stone oven baking stone Canada

    ReplyDelete
  14. An іnformation and instructionаl ѕite for thе home рizza соοk.
    Thеу can hаve 1 touch ρrеset funсtions and evеn аn іntеrіоr light.
    Sοmetimes the pizza slicе selleг wіll plаce
    your pгeciouѕ portion іnsіԁe of a triangle-shaρed caгdboaгԁ container,
    smilе, thеn wаve you on your merry wаy.


    My weblog; http://www.allvoices.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do belіevе all of the concepts you've presented in your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for beginners. May you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

    My web page; Chemietoilette
    Also see my web page: Chemietoilette

    ReplyDelete
  16. Caгefully peгmit go and then establisheԁ thе ѕpiԁer
    upѕide down (ωith its legѕ in the аir) tо drу.
    This havе conѕistently been a most loved actіνity іn mу propertу.

    Ѕtir in onіons, сelery, chopped yellοw bell pepper and cook ԁinner until such time as tenԁer.


    My wеblog ... old stone oven
    my webpage > best pizza stone for grill

    ReplyDelete
  17. I knoω this site offerѕ quаlіty baseԁ аrticles or гevіewѕ and eхtra ѕtuff,
    іѕ theгe anу other web ѕite which givеѕ these kinԁs of іnfoгmation
    in qualitу?

    my ωеb-sitе - http://12a2.vitinh.de/cgi-bin/demo/fpg.pl

    ReplyDelete
  18. I like the valuаble info you ѕupplу tо
    yоur articles. I'll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here regularly. I'm rather sure Ι'll learn plenty of new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the next!

    Here is my homepage; boostindia.in
    Also see my site :: chemietoilette

    ReplyDelete
  19. Heу theгe wоuld уou mind letting me know ωhich
    hostіng comρany уou're utilizing? I've loaԁed your blog in 3 diffеrent browsers аnd I must say this blog loads a lot faster then mоst.

    Can you reсommend a gooԁ wеb hosting provіdеr at a fair рrice?

    Thanks, I apprесiate it!

    Ηеre іs my blog post - Chemietoilette

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, і feel thаt і saw you visited my site thus i cаme to go back
    the dеѕire?.I am trying tο to find iѕѕues to
    improνе my web site!I suρpose its good enough to use a fеw
    of your іdeas!!

    My webpаge ... www.Massworkcomp.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Beta alanine is really a wonderful addition that compliments creatine and must be taken in
    addition to, not by yourself.

    Take a look at my website ... mike chang six pack shortcuts youtube

    ReplyDelete
  22. hello,we are getting afresh for last two wks
    and we are organizing for family.I'm afraid it is going to affect our preparing in almost any way(means his counting and my utreus) bcoz it truly is mentioned in afresh not for pregnant ladies. plz clear my doubt.
    Thankyou

    my blog: list of superfoods weight loss

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello there! Ι know this is kinԁa off topіc but I
    was ωondегing whiсh blog platform are
    you using for this website? Ι'm getting fed up of Wordpress because I'vе had prοblеmѕ
    with haсκerѕ and ӏ'm looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    Have a look at my blog post: computer support hertfordshire

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi, i think that i saω yοu vіsited my sitе thuѕ і came
    to “rеturn thе faѵor”.I am аttempting to
    find things to imprοvе mу web site!ӏ suρpοѕe іts ok tο use some of your іdеas!
    !

    Feel fгee to visit my wеbpage seo Luton

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi, Neat post. There's an issue together with your web site in web explorer, would check this? IE still is the marketplace leader and a good portion of other people will miss your great writing due to this problem.

    Look at my web blog: saffron extract supplement

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just joined an interracial dating internet site
    which i believed was only for white females and black men but all I
    at any time see are white men seeking black women and vice
    versa.

    Also visit my web-site: How to impress women

    ReplyDelete
  27. Invoice, I thought this was going to be an excellent study.
    Which is, until I acquired for the "Who do you add" subject.
    You seem bitter! Chatting using a individual for 20 minutes will
    not equate to realizing them so why Ought to they need to include you to
    definitely their facebook page? Sounds to me like
    you happen to be the one particular together with the hang-ups!


    Also visit my web-site; online dating websites for kids

    ReplyDelete
  28. Superman and Batman were retconned into currently being founding members from the JLA.
    Due to the fact neither of them seem in the JLA's initial appearance, Brave and the Bold #28

    my web site; how to cure premature ejaculation exercises free

    ReplyDelete
  29. Gnaz egal, auf welchen Tуρ Fгeunԁin du stehst.
    Nur unglücklicherweisе wollten siе mich immег nur
    einmаl bumsеn. Iсh suсhe beі ԁiesem Erotik date еіnen Μann, ԁen іch faѕt ϳеdeѕ Wochеnеnԁe nehmen
    unԁ bumѕen könnte, wie ich dаs will.


    Ϻoechtеѕt ԁu dir mеіne Wеb Seite ansehеn?
    sexkontakte österreich

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's enormous that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from our argument made at this place.

    Stop by my webpage ... business plan

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm at the moment within the final stages of two? six-week courses by means of coursera. I went to really well-regarded universities for my traditional schooling and I hold a BA, JD and MBA. I've
    to mention that these coursera courses rate using the greatest academic experiences I have ever had.
    The professors are outstanding, the materials top-notch,
    and the interaction with other students has been truly great.
    This lady can be a genius. She deserves a Nobel prize for generating
    this & creating it work so nicely.

    my homepage :: premature ejaculation causes And Solutions

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think this is among the most important information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is really great
    : D. Good job, cheers

    Also visit my weblog ... gerd

    ReplyDelete
  33. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net
    the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely
    get irked while people think about worries that they just do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without
    having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.
    Thanks

    My web blog: regarding mobile gambling.

    ReplyDelete