List China Events Chinese Culture China Watch Chinese Music Land of China Chinese Festival Chinese History Chinese Architecture Chinese Medicine People in China What Chinese Say Martial Arts China Tales World Watch World Beyond Amusing & Musing

Home >> Chinese Medicine

Doctor and Fate
- The Story Told by A Chinese Doctor (3)

16 April 2009

1) Greeting at Ghost Gate
Pulse Reading

3) Doctor and Fate

In the early last century, there was a wealthy man surnamed Guo living in the west district of Beijing. Guo believed in fortune telling and befriended a Daoist. One day when the two discussed about fate and destiny, Guo asked the Daoist to calculate when he would die. The Daoist replied that fortune telling focus on one's life not death, and now as Guo talked about death, it might not be a good sign; however, since Guo had already asked this question, he would help him to find the answer.

After a complicated reckoning, the Daoist told Guo he was going to die in three years of time at the hand of a doctor surnamed Wang. But Guo still had time to alter his fate by negotiating with the related parities. On hearing that, Guo gave a dismissive laugh. "Big deal! From now on I just won't consult any doctor surnamed Wang."

Returned home, Guo ordered that under no circumstances a Doctor Wang should be allowed to step into his household, and no family member should go to see a doctor surnamed Wang.

Later, Guo suffered a severe asthma attack. By then there was an asthma specialist from southern China paid working visit to Beijing and his surname was not Wang, so Guo invited the doctor to see him. After diagnosis, the doctor informed Guo that his illness was not as serious as it appeared, and that as long as he stuck to the doctor's prescription and followed the directives, he should be fine.

Soon, the doctor returned to the south and Guo slowly recovered from the illness. But when the summer season arrived, his asthma worsened, and even after taking 20 packs of the prescribed medicine, the condition did not improve. In fact it is common for asthma symptoms to appear more severe during the summer, since the Five Agents for the hot season is Fire while lung belongs to the Metal category, and Fire conquers Metal. But Guo didn't know that, and when he realised the time was fast approaching to the end of the third year since the Daoist predicted his death, he was alarmed. Still, for fearing he might meet a doctor Wang, he decided to stick to the old prescription and sent his son to get more packs of medicine.

In those days, prescriptions were all written on thin rice paper, and after being passed through many hands, the paper were easily got damaged with holes. So the son asked a duty doctor in the medicine store to hand copy the prescription, as Chinese prescriptions normally contain characters and marks that are not intelligible to layman.

The doctor read the prescription, and raised doubt about an ingredient that is classified as being warm in nature. "How can your father keep taking this hot element in the summer?"

The son explained to the doctor that his father believed in no one but that particular doctor from south, so insisted to stick to his prescription. "On the whole it's a good prescription," the doctor told the son. "Your father can keep using it. I just make a few minor changes with some ingredients."

The son was very happy and brought the medicine to his father. However, four or five days after taking the medicine that was modified by the duty doctor, the old man's condition suddenly deteriorated, suffering from short breath with his face turned purple. Within just one day, he died.

Later the son discovered with horror that the duty doctor's surname was no other but Wang.

Lao Tze noted in The Book of Virtues: "Heaven and Earth remain unmoved, regarding every thing as part of illusive games". Doctor Wang was merely sent by fate to end the old man's existence. In this regard, all doctors play a role in their patients' life assigned by destiny, and they can only save people who are fated to be saved.

That rich man did not really believe in destiny, nevertheless, which is why he thought he could avoid the doomed outcome by not to consult Doctor Wang. But in the end he still died at the hand of Doctor Wang no matter how hard he tried.

In fact, the Daoist had advised the rich man to negotiate with the parties involved, sadly the rich man rejected the idea, thus lost the last chance to escape the fate.

A wise way to deal with our destiny, I think, is to acknowledge its existence, to face up to the consequences of our past actions and to do things differently so as to create a more desirable future.

In the past there was a man named Yuan Kunyi (袁坤仪) who lived a life that was predicted by a Daoist master down to tiny details including the date of his death. When he approached the end of his year, he met a Buddhist monk called Cloudy Valley Zen Master (云谷禅师) who taught him how to change his fate. Yuan faithfully followed the monk's advice and eventually amended his own destiny, as well as his life expediency. Before his death, he wrote a book telling his fate-altering story titled "Liaofan's Four Lessons" (《了凡四训》).

Excerpt of original Chinese text by 池草












寓公后来就不信命了,觉得不找姓王的看病就可以改变命运,结果还是死在那人手上。所以对命运首先我会承认和接受,好吧,会死在姓王的手上,那就死在他手上咯,前生的孽债,今世的恶缘躲不过的。然后,我就会想怎么能够 改变命运的进程。道士让寓公去禳解他偏不去。禳解就是祈求鬼神,请求化解冤孽,原谅过错的方式了。


4) Cosmic Rays

Prev: Men of Bronze
Next:Cosmic Rays - A Doctor's Story (4)


Doctor & Government

A good doctor addresses problems in your body;
A better doctor addresses problems in your heart;
The best doctor addresses problems in your fate.


A good government relies on the law;
A better government appeals to the ethics;
The best government leads to the enlightenment.


A Portrait Made of Crops

This is a portrait of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao crafted by 15 villagers in Qingchuan, the centre of the Sichuan earthquake last year. The whole picture measuring 1.83m high and 3.05m wide was entirely made of 25 kg crops in five different colours, including green beans and white sesame. In the background are the images of new houses built under the assistance of the government. The villagers used this way to show their appreciation for the jobs done by the current Chinese leadership.

(Source of info & photo: 王向华, 裴蕾 and 覃丹, from 四川在线/四川日报)

Home List About This Website Contact Us

Copyright © 2008 - 2017