Good Deeds are Rewarded While Evil Deeds Meet with Evil


The following are two stories that illustrate the principle of “good is rewarded with good and evil is rewarded with evil.”

The following are two stories that illustrate the principle of “good is rewarded with good and evil is rewarded with evil.”

Swindling People of their Money; Experiencing Life in Hell

During the Reign of Emperor Shunzhi (1644 – 1661 AD) in the Qing Dynasty, a man named Wu Zhanqi made a living by selling cloth.

Wu was greedy and crafty. While selling his cloth, he always showed buyers the top-quality roll as a sample to gain their confidence, but then sold them a substandard product in the end by swapping them unbeknownst to the buyer. This way, he always kept his sample roll while all the substandard products were sold. He was very skillful in this deception.

Once, a western merchant sent a friend in the same business to buy some cloth for him. As usual, his friend was cheated and bought a substandard product.

The merchant was unhappy and blamed his friend. His friend replied angrily, “You won’t do any better even if you go yourself!” The merchant said, “No way! If I can’t get the genuine product, I won’t come back to see you.” The next day, the merchant went to buy the cloth himself. He picked out the sample roll straight away and sat on the roll so that Wu Zhanqi had no way to replace it.

Being desperate, Wu came up with an idea. He came around from the counter, adjusted his clothes and hat, and greeted the merchant courteously, as if they were old friends. The merchant had no choice, and stood up to greet him in return. At that moment, a shop assistant replaced the sample roll with something else. The merchant did not notice it, paid for the cloth and went back.

He showed his friend his purchase as soon as he got back. His friend unrolled the cloth and saw that it was shoddy and cheap, dotted with dirty marks. It was too thin to be used for anything, no different to what he had bought earlier. His friend mocked him, “You went there yourself, but what’s the difference?” Thinking of his earlier claim, the merchant felt so ashamed and anguished that he hanged himself.

This is one example that demonstrated how treacherous and greedy Wu was. Later, Wu got seriously sick on a trip. He was lying in the hotel bed and often saw demon ghosts coming to get him for punishment. Day and night, he experienced all kinds of punishment and screamed out in pain.

Once, he was yelling out in bed, “Please help me! Help me! They are putting me on a bed of fire!” People around him could not do anything, but then found burn marks on his back. He also yelled out, “Oh, God! They are putting a hook in my back to weigh me!”

Everyone felt it strange and bizarre, but could not do anything. They then found one part of his back red and swollen as if he had indeed been lifted by a hook. Wu kept crying out from the hellish and painful punishment he was suffering. He died a few days later.

This story teaches that no matter how crafty and shifty one’s evil deeds may be, they have planted the seeds of consequences, and retribution will come sooner or later.

Struck by Lightning for Ill-gotten Money

An old widow lived during the Qing Dynasty. She brought up her son by doing embroidery work for others. Her son grew up and got a job in a traditional bank with a salary that was enough to take care of the old woman. The elderly woman kept working and saved several dozen silver coins to prepare for her son’s marriage in the future. Being poor, they lived in a shabby home that had very little privacy and security. She always carried the money around her waist when going out, for fear of losing it.

Once, she went to burn incense at the Yuanmiao temple. She heard that there were a lot of pickpockets in the temple area so she asked the owner of a grain store (an acquaintance) to take care of her money while she went to the temple. However, when she came back to ask for her money, the store owner replied angrily, “Who took your money!”

The elderly woman was shocked and argued with him tearfully. Pointing his finger to heaven, the owner swore that he was being wronged by her. The onlookers could not tell who was in the right or wrong. In fact, when she left her money with the store owner, a neighbor next door was present.

As they argued, the old woman saw that the neighbor was next door. The woman asked the neighbor to offer evidence about what happened, but he laughed and said, “Utter nonsense! I’ve just arrived and never saw you before. How can I tell which one of you is telling the truth!” Hearing his words, people started to make comments, saying that she was in the wrong. She was suffering a gross injustice, but found it very hard to defend herself. She went home depressed, and in great despair, hanged herself.

Her son came home to find his mother dead. He could not understand why she had committed suicide and was extremely sad. All he could do was bury her. The unexpected tragedy dealt him a heavy blow and he fell ill. One day when he was half-conscious, he saw his mother coming to him and said, “My son, two people will be struck to death by lightning in Yuanmiao Temple tomorrow, and the injustice I suffered will be rectified. We’ll get the money back. You should go there to take a look even though you are sick.”

The next day, her son went to the temple as requested. The weather was nice and clear at first, but not long after, dark clouds built up, lightning flashed and thunder roared. With a loud cracking sound, a bolt of lightning struck and killed the store owner and his neighbor.

They were kneeling down face to face, each with a bag of silver dollars in hand. A little while later, the neighbor came back to life and told everyone, “That day after the elderly woman left her money with the store owner, he had a wicked idea to swindle the money and promised to split it with me 30/70. Who would have thought that we offended Heaven by doing so. The magistrate in the underworld judged that the store owner was the main culprit and I was thus spared the death penalty. I was ordered to make a public announcement about this and return the money to her son. I do not know his name. What should I do?”

Someone in the crowd recognized the son and pointed him out. The son accepted the silver with the crows watching. After he got home, he held a memorial ceremony for his mother and cried sadly in memory of her. He completely recovered from his illness. The store owner’s neighbor was bedridden for half a year before he could walk. However, he became permanently crippled with a broken hand and a foot.

舉念有神知 善惡各有報









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