Tuesday, November 09, 2010

White turtle repays gratitude

White turtle repays gratitude

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White turtle repays gratitude

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Once upon a time in Jin dynasty (China, year 265-420), General MAO Bao was in charge of Wu Chang town. One day, a soldier of his went to market with a few others for groceries.

When they were about done and heading back to camp, there came a fisherman...

Fisherman: Selling turtles! Turtles!

The fisherman came up to the soldiers and in his hand was a white turtle.
He said: Sirs, this white turtle is the only one left. I'll sell to you officers at cheaper price!

Soldier A: Hey! It's white? White turtle?!
The soldier: She's so cute! I'll buy her!

Soldier B: Why do you buy her for?
The soldier: So that I can raise her and set her free when she's older. It's good merit!


Soldier A: Hey, you have kind and sympathetic heart! Great!

And so he paid the fisherman and all of them got back to camp with their groceries.

Back in camp, the soldier raised the white turtle in a water tank, taking good care of her whenever he could.

As days went by, the white turtle grew bigger. They'd developed a strong bonding.

A few years went by, the white turtle could no longer live in the water tank.

One day, the soldier talked to white turtle sadly:
Oh, white turtle! You've grown up. I'll be sending you back to river. River is your real home.


A few days later the soldier brought the white turtle to a river.

He padded the turtle and said:
Go! White turtle. I hope we can meet again one day. Be careful, don't let fishermen catch you again. Take care!

White turtle swam a few strokes and turned back to gaze at the soldier, as if she missed him.

And then she continued moving forward, disappearing in the river.

The soldier was already missing the white turtle.

A few more years went by. SHI Ji Long, king of Zhao kingdom, attacked Jin dynasty. General Mao was given order to secure Zhu city.


In year 340, King SHI sent his top general with tens of thousands of troop to attack Zhu city.

General Mao and his troops defended the attack for a few days before being defeated due to poor back-up. He then led his troop to fall back and flee.

Enemy kept pursuing and Mao and his troop had no choice but to jump into a river.


The soldier who bought and raised the turtle jumped too to save his own life.

The moment he landed, to his shock, he felt he landed on a piece of big rock.

"This is strange! Why's the river so shallow?" He thought to himself.

And when he looked more carefully, it's the white turtle he saved and raised many years ago. He was in pleasant surprise.

The white turtle swam swiftly toward the opposite shore.

He tilted back, everywhere he saw was soldiers screaming and struggling in rapid flows.

And arrows from the enemy came down as if it was raining.


At last the white turtle managed to carry him to the opposite shore.

He said, appreciatively:
Thank you, white turtle. If it wasn't you, I would've died without doubt.

The white turtle looked at him, eyes to eyes, seemingly understanding the soldier.

Then the white turtle slowly turned around and swam back to the river. The soldier waved goodbye, full of thankfulness.

Jin troop suffered great loss in the battle of Zhu City. General Mao and his troop of six thousand soldiers all died in the river. Only the soldier, who saved and raised the turtle, survived because of the white turtle's help.

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Jun shi ci bei neng zhi jin
Bai gui tu bao qi ci xin
Ye de gong zhong bu gong ye
Fang sheng jie sha he tian xin

Army officer's compassionate mercy can throw gold
White turtle desire repay won't avoid difficulty
For getting living together not sharing karma
Release life abstain killing suit God's heart


It doesn't seem easily or readily understandable what the poem says; basically it means:

The compassion and humanity of the army officer can create miracle.
White turtle wanted to repay gratitude regardless of how difficult the situation could be.

In order to live together (and thus probably or unavoidably creating bad merits) but not sharing bad merits, preserving life forms and abstaining from killing is in line with God's will.

The individual merit of the soldier who saved and raised the turtle helped himself to be rescued when things were bad. Bear in mind that he most probably had done much more good deeds than just saving the turtle, with a heart of compassion and sympathy as he had. And in God's will he be saved and continued his good deeds and merits making, helping all living beings on earth.

And yes, we're gonna be just like him, if not more!

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+) Story modified by 慧长(Hui Zhang); comics drawn by 牧谷(Mu Gu); English translation by www.lews.info.

+) Story modified from 晋书(Jin Shu; JIN Book / Book of Jin Dynasty), 廿五史/二十五史(Nian Wu Shi / Er Shi Wu Shi; Twenty Five History / Two Ten Five History; "Twenty-five Official Dynastic Histories")

+) Some names of people/places/events involved: 毛宝将军(MAO Bao sergeant general), 武昌(Wu Chang, name of a city), 赵国(Zhao Kingdom), 石季龙(SHI Ji Long, king of Zhao Kingdom), 邾城(Zhu Cheng; Zhu City), 东晋咸康五年(Dong/East JIN Xian Kang 5th year, the year 340), 白龟报恩 (Bai Gui Bao En; White turtle repays gratitude).


Sylvia said...

这是生命的重扎, 也是心灵的召唤。。。。
所谓:众生原同一种性, 只是业缘别形体。

人类能感应环境, 与其亿万的动物皆无差别。 同样都能感应环境,改变环境的善恶。

感悟人生的脆弱,随时都会“关机”说"再见!"保握生命的每一时, 每一刻, 时时刻刻都是"人生最会的终点". 奋力一击, 博命演出. 把最好的一份感情散发出来....
只要一颗善念的种籽, 就可以创出一整片优美的森林, 只要一颗慈悲的慧心,就可以共创善业,让这娑婆的世界, 消灾免难,成为清净琉璃的世界!

~让人一分,福报立生; 贪人一分, 祸害根生。
因生果报,好因好缘; 心宽福大, 慈悲人间。~


Liou Duvinini said...


John J. C. Lew said...

Dear Sylvia,

Thank you for some advice. They go:


All beings are the same source, only the bodies and look are different.

Human beings can sense the nature, it's the same as thousands of animals. They too can sense the nature, and alter them to be better or worse.

Sensing the fragility and therefore salvaging all the moments, presenting the best emotional care...

With a single seed of kindness, creating a big piece of peaceful jungle. With a heart of wisdom, creating good deeds, making the evilish turn angelic!


Ha, there are some I've run of good words to translate. Hmm, I must be brushing up my English sooner!

Thanks again for sharing your ideas.

John Lew

John J. C. Lew said...

Dear Liou,

Gracias! Me alegro que te guste.

John Lew

The Runner said...

Dear John,

Great story.

A believer in the law of cause and effect, I believe kindness, like a boomerang always returns and a good deed is never lost.

May I take this opportunity to share with you a quote from the late Leo Buscaglia.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."

John, let's encourage one another to do good.

Kind regards,

live free run free

(Got the email from a dear friend who of course wouldn't mind me sharing great contents with you and me!)

Sylvia said...

Dear Dr. John!
Ha! Ha! PERFECT...... it's really what I mean. Wish can get more idea to share with u here!
Well done! Keep it up.....

John J. C. Lew said...

Dear the Runner,

A little kindness everyday gives rise to abundance of hope for a long time to come.



John J. C. Lew said...

Dear Sylvia,

Sharing itself is a wonderful kindness.



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