From the moment the Chinese Communist Party was established it advocated for atheism. This was especially true during the Cultural Revolution, when numerous Buddhist temples, Taoist shrines, churches, and other places of worship were destroyed. Countless statues and religious relics were smashed and burnt. However, those who were influenced by the Party culture to perform such acts and show disrespect to the Buddhas and gods often experienced unfortunate consequences. Here is one such story.
The Man Who Walks While Kowtowing
In the northern part of Ji County, Shandong Province, there is a small village located nearby undulating mountains. When the storm of the Cultural Revolution struck in China, such small villages were not spared.
This village had countless antiquities destroyed. Only a small temple and a plaque in the house of one family remained untouched, because no one dared to destroy it.
Under the CCP’s atheistic attitude, propaganda, and brainwashing against the divine, two arrogant young men in the village became so fanatical that they even beat their chest and said, “You guys don’t dare to defy the gods, but we do! We believe in the Communist Party, and we aren’t afraid of monsters or ghosts!”
They then smashed the temple to pieces, including a sacred Buddha statue. The ancestral tablets were thrown into the small river in front of the village and were stomped on.
Feeling tired, one of the men went home, while the other sat on a large rock by the river and crossed his legs to rest.
The first man returned home and was struck by a stomach ache. It was so painful that he rolled on the ground and felt his life was in danger. His mother saw him in pain, and because she had always believed in the Buddha, she asked what he had done today, and then knew that his son was punished because of his disrespect to the divine. She was distressed by her son’s karmic fate and became afraid that her son would lose his life because of his behaviour. Even at risk of being attacked by the other villagers, the mother walked and kneeled, and walked and kneeled, all the way from home to the small temple, while praying and confessing her son’s mistake to the Buddha. As she walked, her son’s pain slowly diminished, and as she approached the temple, the pain ceased.
After this experience the young man realized he had experienced retribution. He then believed in the existence of the Buddha and regretted his ignorant act. Ever since then, he has respected and worshipped the Buddha.
In contrast, the man resting by the riverside endured a tragic fate. After he had enough rest, he stood up and then suddenly fell to the ground. Struggling to get back up, he found that his legs were bent and crooked, and could not be separated. His waist and torso were so bent over that he couldn’t straighten his head, and it remained close to the ground.
He remained in this position for the rest of his life. Just to maintain an upright stance he has to carry a pair of walking sticks with him at all times. When walking, his hands bend forward like rowing a boat. His two legs are so crossed that his feet cannot point straight. In addition, his legs became uneven and his head drooped forward, bringing pain to his back. This caused his hands to bend forward, as if he worshipping a Buddha. Everyone in town called him, “the man who walks while kowtowing.”
Because he listened to the lies of the CCP and atheism, his sins caused him to suffer for a lifetime. The man lived to his seventies and recently died. For decades, his strange posture and slow walking served to warn people of the dangers of disrespect and blasphemy.
Translated by Judy
Edited by Derek Padula