Stories of Tolerance (Part 3)

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Guo Ziyi(The Epoch Times)

Guo Ziyi Acted Generously and with Integrity

In the Tang Dynasty, Guo Ziyi (697 – 781 AD) spent his entire life in the army. He performed admirably in the pacification of the An Lushan Rebellion and in battles against invasions by other countries. However, he never bragged about his accomplishments, and he was patriotic and loyal to his country. He treated people with tolerance and generosity, thus gaining high prestige. When the An Lushan Rebellion broke out, Emperor Tang Suzong (711 – 762 AD) selected Guo Ziyi to be the army’s commander-in-chief. After many difficulties, Guo Ziyi finally led his troops to re-take two major cities, Luoyang and Chang’an. Tang Suzong said to him, “Although this country is mine, it was indeed you who rebuilt it.”

When General Pugu Huai’en rebelled against the emperor, he led 100,000 soldiers, including his own Shuofang Army along with Uighur and Tibetan troops, to attack the capital. During this critical period, the emperor promoted Guo Ziyi to several key government positions in addition to his military role.

Guo Ziyi had never used wars and winning battles as routes to promotions and wealth. He firmly declined most of the promotions, choosing to keep a mid-level position only. He said in his report to the emperor that since the rebellion, fighting for power had become rife in the court and he hoped that virtue and etiquette would emerge again, starting with his example.

Guo Ziyi had once led the Shuofang Army, and the soldiers were still very loyal to him. When Guo Ziyi arrived at the battlefield, many of the Shuofang Army switched sides. When the Uighur and Tibetan soldiers saw this, they retreated without a fight. Pugu Huai’en had to flee the field with his 300 personal corps, and Guo Ziyi returned victorious. Once again, he firmly declined any official titles or promotions bestowed by the imperial court.

When Emperor Daizong (727 – 779 AD) was in power, Pugu Huai’en again attacked Chang’an with 300,000 Uighur, Tibetan, and Dongshun soldiers. The emperor urgently summoned Guo Ziyi to lead 10,000 soldiers to resist the rebels. When Guo and his troops arrived, they were surrounded by more than 100,000 Uighur and Tibetan soldiers.

At that critical point in time, Pugu Huai’en died suddenly. Guo Ziyi then went straight to the Uighur commander by himself and convinced him to side with the Tang army. They defeated the Tibetan troops decisively, and the entire enemy army collapsed. Guo was gracious in victory, and many Uighur and Tibetan people called him a man of divine virtue.

Guo Ziyi set himself as an example with his behavior, and he took good care of the common people. Because of the many years of war, the country was in a depression and people led hard lives. To reduce their burden, he personally led his troops to turn wastelands into farmland. When the soldiers were not at war, they received training but also did agricultural labor. Although it was wartime, the crops were abundant wherever his troops were stationed. As a superior, he was tolerant and adept at developing people. He had over sixty subordinates who were promoted to generals. Guo Ziyi lived a long life with many prosperous descendents. People noted that it was the result of his leniency. 

「其待人也輕以約」──寬容的故事(三)

郭子儀寬宏大義

唐代的郭子儀,戎馬一生,在平定「安史之亂」和抵禦外族入侵中屢建奇功,但他從不居功自傲,忠勇愛國,寬厚待人,因此在朝中有極高的威望。安史之亂爆發後,唐肅宗拜郭子儀為兵部尚書,統帥全軍,郭子儀歷盡千辛萬苦,終於率軍收復了洛陽、長安兩京,唐肅宗對他說:「雖吾之家國,實由卿再造。」

後來,唐朝將領僕固懷恩反叛朝廷,率領朔方軍,並招引回紇、吐蕃等共十萬兵馬進逼京師,正當用人破敵之急,朝廷恢復和加封郭子儀為太尉,分寧、涇原、河西及朔方招撫觀察使,中書令等一系列虛職和實職。郭子儀從不把打仗破敵當作升官發財途徑,他堅決要求辭去太尉等之職,只保留招撫觀察使一職即可。他上奏說,自兵亂以來,綱紀破壞,時下與人比高低、爭權勢已成風尚流行,他希望朝中興行禮讓,就由自己開始實現。因郭子儀曾帶過朔方兵,朔方兵對郭子儀十分愛戴,當郭子儀以朔方節度使的身份到來時,朔方兵紛紛離開僕固懷恩,重歸郭子儀帳下,回紇、吐蕃見此不戰而退,僕固懷恩只得帶上三百親信逃到靈武(今寧夏靈武)避難。郭子儀得勝而歸,他對於往昔的官爵決心一無所受,朝廷不允,經過他再三懇讓,才辭掉了太尉之職。

唐代宗時,僕固懷恩再次招引回紇、吐蕃、黨項等三十萬兵馬,直取長安而來,京師震恐。唐代宗急召郭子儀從河中回來,屯駐長安北面的涇陽城,抵禦叛軍。郭子儀率領一萬唐軍剛到涇陽,就被回紇、吐蕃十多萬人馬團團圍住,形勢萬分緊急。在此關鍵時刻,僕固懷恩暴病而死。郭子儀見此情景,就單人匹馬去見回紇主將,曉之以理,說服了其與唐軍聯合,在靈武大破吐蕃,使各路攻唐大軍聞風喪膽,逃之夭夭。當時人都非常敬佩郭子儀,就連回紇、吐蕃也稱他為神人,因為他曾施恩於很多人。

郭子儀以身作則,愛護百姓。當時連年戰亂,經濟凋敝,百姓生活困難,為了減輕人民的負擔,他親自帶兵屯田,官兵在休戰時,一邊訓練,一邊參加農業勞動。戰亂時期,他的駐地豐收的莊稼到處可見。做上司,他為人寬簡,善於培養人才,他提拔的部下中有六十多人,後來都因功位至將相。郭子儀福澤綿長,集富貴壽考於一身,子孫顯貴安泰,人們都說是其寬仁得到的福報。史書對其評價:「天下以其身為安危者殆三十年」,「猗歡汾陽,功扶昊蒼。秉仁蹈義,鐵石心腸。四海靜亂,五福其昌。為臣之節,敢告忠良。」(《資治通鑑》)

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