Story of Sun Simiao: Medicine, Cultivation Practice, and Virtue (Part 3)
(Minghui.org) (Continued from Part 2)
As a practitioner of cultivation, Sun Simiao not only possessed miraculous medical skills, he also had high moral values. He treated not only people, he also applied his skills to help non-humans, such as dragons and tigers.
Providing a Cure for a Dragon
Someone knocked at the door of Sun's hut in the mountains one night. Sun opened the door and saw a scholar dressed in white. It was raining hard outside and there were the sounds of thunder and bolts of lightning crossing the sky, but the scholar’s clothes were not wet at all. “Are you here because of your illness?” Sun asked. The man nodded to say yes.
After examining his meridian system, Sun asked, “You are not human, right?”
The man was caught off guard, and then calmed down and asked, “Why do you think so?”
Sun smiled and replied, “You came with thunder, lightning, torrential rain and howling winds. As you calmed down, all of them ceased. Your clothes were not wet in the rain and your meridian system is very unique. If I am not mistaken, you must be the revered dragon deity of the water palace.”
The man nodded and answered, “People say you are an enlightened person who knows heaven and earth well. I think you really are!”
The deity then talked about his problem. Several days earlier, he had felt especially hungry and ate things in a hurry. But something had stuck in his esophagus. He had only been able to drink some soup over the past few days to survive.
Hearing this story, Sun asked his attendant to bring a bucket of herbal soup. He told the deity to drink the soup without stopping; otherwise, his condition would be difficult to cure.
The man picked the bucket and consumed it in one gulp. There was a turmoil in his stomach and discomfort in his throat. Lowering his head, he vomited back into the bucket. When looking in the bucket, he surprisingly saw a long snake in it.
“Thank you very much for the wonderful medicine! It really solved my problem,” the man said in awe.
“Nothing special, it is just a jar of smashed garlic mixed with vinegar. The snake is unable to stand such a strong sour and spicy flavor,” Sun replied with a smile.
He continued after a pause, “Although the root of your illness was removed, your strength has yet to be restored. How about I apply a needle and you will be good once for all?” The man agreed and said yes.
Walking behind the man, Sun took out a foot-long needle and suddenly inserted it near the top of the man's head. Howling loudly, the man returned to his original shape—a giant dragon thick as a bucket covered with silver scales. He collapsed on the ground motionlessly, his two giant eyes looking at Sun.
“As I pull out the needle, please quickly run to that stone wall. If you can make it through the rocks and fly high above, your energy will be restored,” he said.
Just as he pulled the needle, he called aloud, “Now! Hurry!”
The dragon swirled his body toward the rocks. He quickly disappeared into the wall of stones, leaving a wide, deep cave behind him.
After a while, the voice of the man in white came from the sky, “Thank you for helping non-humans and setting a good example for immortals. After going back, I will forever help people by preventing droughts and floods.”
Opening the door to his hut, Sun saw lightning in the sky as the white-clothed figure shot up and then disappeared into the clouds.
Helping a Tiger
Once when returning to the mountains after treating patients, a ferocious tiger leapt out from the shrubbery and blocked his way. Although as a cultivator of the Dao, Sun had already taken life and death very lightly, encountering a tiger in this way made him consider things, and he was rather taken aback.
The tiger, seemingly sensing that Sun had misunderstood its intentions, stopped about three feet away from Sun. It then withdrew its front claws and crouched on the ground, like a person prostrating oneself.
Sun felt that it was a strange situation and thought to himself that this mountain robber baron might need help, so he asked the tiger, “Do you have an illness that needs treatment?” The tiger lowered its head to the ground three times in agreement.
Sun thought to himself: dragons belong to the divine, but the tiger is the king of beasts and it harms people. Were I to cure it, wouldn’t I be committing a bad deed?
He then said, “Throughout my life, I have not treated villains, the wicked, and the harmful. You are a cruel creature. If I help you treat your illness, how do I know you will not continue to kill people?” With those words, Sun continued walking forward.
Following him closely, the tiger nibbled at Sun's coat and purred with tears in its eyes. Being a compassionate cultivator, Sun felt sympathetic toward it and was moved to tears. He stopped and said, “It would be fine if you really want me to treat you. But you must promise not to harm people from now on.” The tiger dropped Sun's coat, crouched on the ground like a lamb, and nodded.
Sun continued, “People today often do not keep to their word. I don’t know if you would do that too. So please come to me every day, and I can check your mouth to see what you ate.” The tiger nodded again.
As the tiger opened its mouth, Sun looked inside and saw a bone stuck in its throat. He took out a copper bell and placed it up inside the tiger's jaw to prevent it from biting him. He then reached his hand into its mouth and pulled at the bone with all his strength. The tiger was in tremendous pain and bit down on the copper bell because of the pain, but it did not hurt Sun with the bell in place.
This way, Sun cured the tiger’s illness. The tiger kept its promise and accompanied Sun every day. When Sun went in the mountain to collect herbs, it would carry the medicine basket and digging hoe. When Sun went to treat patients, it would carry his medicine chest and give Sun a ride to the destination.
In the ancient times, Chinese doctors always carried a bell with them. Because of this story of Sun, the bell was later called a “tiger bell”.
(To be continued)