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Forthright statement risking one’s life

Posted February. 04, 2022 07:48,   

Updated February. 04, 2022 07:48


When the Chenghua Emperor was trying to bring Buddha’s sarira to the palace, the poet who was serving in the Ministry of Punishment wrote a letter strongly opposing the decision. He even cited historical cases where Buddhist belief negatively affects a nation’s fortune and a king’s lifespan. It showed the bravery of a leading Confucian scholar but the result of disregarding the deep royal tradition of the worship of Buddha was disastrous. He was immediately demoted to the governor of Chaozhou in Guangdong Province, which was disdained as the “land of southern barbarians.” The decision was rather lucky as he was initially sentenced to death.

When the poet was sent to a far land by an Imperial order left the capital, his hometown became invisible behind could in mountains and snow-covered roads face him. Then his relative named Hansang who was about his grandson’s age came to join his rough journey. The poet who was familiar with the endemic diseases in the subtropical region was reminded of a toxic riverside and was thrown into despair as if he was facing death. Even though the poet made a forthright statement with a firm resolution that he would suffer harm if Buddha had the power to do so, he eventually became disheartened by the harm ordered by the emperor. Later, the poet returned as Guozi Jijiu and his statement of Great Confucianism risking his life became a moving story in history.