Great Peace Extensive Record
(Thai Ping Gworng Gey)
Worng-Ngon was a native of Doy county and became an official messenger at that place. He said to himself: "My condition in life is too mean for me to live in the society of others." When studying, he held a whip for self-castigation and carried a thorn in his bosom to keep him from drowsiness......
He had very good eyesight like a youth. He was in the habit of eating cinnabar, and his body was red all over. In winter he wore no cloth. He used to sit on a spirit tortoise, two feet broad, and to those who asked him how many years he had sat there he answered: "Long ago Foc-Hey caught this animal when he first invented nets, and gave it to me. I have sat on its back so long that the shell has become quite flat. The tortoise fears the light of sun and moon, and puts out its head only once in two thousand years. This I have seen it do five times already since I have been sitting here." When Worng-Ngon wandered about, he carried the tortoise on his back. Men of that time called him "Ngon of the Myriad Years".
Tzeong Tzee Forng
Tzeong Tzee Forng, whose name was Leong, was a native of Horn nation, he took refuge in Nam-Yeong, and then migrated to Pooid, later, he became a citizen of Pooid nation.
One day in his childhood, when he was sauntering over the bridge at Hah-Pey, it was snowing heavily and the wind was strong. An old man clad in a coarse serge garment crossed his path, and deliberately let one of his shoes fall under the bridge. Thereupon he turned to Tzee Forng and said: "Good child, run down and fetch my shoe for me." Tzee Forng showed no annoyance, he went down and brought up the shoe. The old man extended his foot, and Tzee Forng put the shoe on the old man's foot respectfully.
Then the old man smiled, saying: "Good child, you are teachable. Meet me here at dawn in five days' time." Though he thought this very strange, Tzee Forng assented, and at dawn on the fifth day he went to the rendezvous; but the old man was already there, and said: "Why do you come late when you have an appointment with an old man?" And he departed, telling Tzee Forng to meet him in the early morning five days later. On the fifth day Tzee Forng was there at cock-crow, but the old man was again before him, asked why he was late, and went away telling him to come very early five days later. This time, Tzee Forng went before it was midnight, and the old man arrived very soon after. "That's as it should be," he exclaimed, well pleased; and producing a scripture he said: "Read this, and you may become the teacher of emperors. In ten years' time you will begin to rise, and after thirteen years, my child, you will see me: a yellow stone lying at the foot of Mount Goc-Sing --- that is I." Then he departed, saying nothing further, and was not seen again.
Tzee Forng began studying the scripture, therefore he became able to make correct decisions according to the situations, and helped the first emperor of Horn dynasty to establish his empire. That scripture was called by the later generations as Yellow-Stone Elder's Book, if one cultivates himself according to it, his energy will be refined and his strength will increase, his body will become ethereal and transformed, and he will become a friend of the heavenly immortals.
Thirteen years later, Tzee Forng was already a great minister. When he went to the foot of Mount Goc-Sing, he did actually see a yellow stone, which he took home with him and treated with extraordinary honour .... Being afflicted with many physical ailments, Tzee Forng began his Taoist cultivation...
When Tzee Forng, the Marquis of Lau, departed this world, he was buried on the Dragon's Head Plateau. During the rebellion of the Red Eyebrows [at the close of the Former Horn dynasty] his tomb was broken open, but only a yellow stone pillow was found, which by a sudden transformation flew away like a shooting star. No corpse nor clothing was to be seen, but a certain Book of Plain Words was recovered, and also several chapters of a military treatise.
Tzee Forng became an immortal with the title "Ultra-Mystical Child", and began dwelling in the Ultra-Pellucid Realm as a follower of the Elder Lord. Tzee Forng's grandson Doe-Ling also achieved Tao, at the time he ascended to Kwun-Lorn, Tzee Forng went there to receive him.
Law Gong Yiun
Law Gong Yiun was a native of Ngoc-Tzau [Moe-Tseong]. The prefect of that place gave a feast in celebration of spring, and spectators poured into the city. Among them was a man dressed in white, over one Tzeong in height, and very strange in his appearance. He came along with the crowd, and the gate-keepers all wondered at him. Just then a youth passed by, and shouted angrily to the stranger: "Hi! you there: why have you left the place where you belong, and come to frighten these officials? Get out as fast as you can!" Thereupon the man picked up his skirts and ran away. But the police runners took the youth into custody, and having brought him into the banqueting hall, informed the prefect of the affair. The latter asked what his name was, and he replied: "My surname is Law, my personal name is Gong-Yiun. Ever since I was a child I have been interested in Taoist arts. I just happened to catch sight of the Keeper of the River Dragons, who had come ashore to see the fun, and I sent him about his business." The prefect did not believe this story, and said: "You will have to show him to me in his proper shape."--"Very well," was the reply, "if you will kindly wait until to-morrow."
When the time came, the youth dug a small pit by the river bank, just one foot deep, and about ten feet away from the water's edge. This is filled with water. While the prefect and other citizens were looking doubtfully at these preparations, a white fish, five or six inches long, came swimming down with the current and leapt into the pool. It gradually increased in size, and a thin column of blue smoke began to rise out of the water. Very soon a dark haze filled the sky, making it hard to distinguish one object from another. Gong-Yiun then said: "Let us adjourn to the Court house." But before they had got there, lightning flashed, and a deluge of rain followed. When this had abated, they saw a huge white dragon in the middle of the river, with its head touching the clouds. A moment later it had vanished.
Now it happened that Emperor Yiun-Tzong was passionately fond of Immortal magic, so the prefect sent Gong-Yiun to the Court, together with a memorial recounting the miracle. The Emperor was playing Wai-chess with Tzeong-Gwaw (* One of the "Eight Immortals" ) and Yip Fard Seen. When these two saw the newcomer, they burst out laughing and said: "What on earth can this village lad have to teach us ?" Each then took a handful of Wai-chess pips and asked him: "What have we got in our closed fists ?" Gong-Yiun replied: "Nothing at all." They opened their hands, and sure enough they were empty, all the pips being held by Gong-Yiun! The Emperor was dumbfounded, and directed that he should be seated in the same order of seniority as Tzeong and Yip.
There was a certain fruit known as 'sun-ripened berries' which was then for the first time being brought to the Court from the distant province of Gim-Narm. It was fetched by the magic arts of Tzeong and Yip, and used to arrive every day just after noon. On this day, however, night came without the fruit. The two magicians looked at each other and said: "Can this be the work of Master Law ?" It was cold weather, and they were sitting round the stove. Gong-Yiun, who had previously stuck a chopstick in the fire, now laughed and drew it out. Soon afterwards the fruit arrived. Yip questioned the bearer as to the delay, and he said: "When I was just about to reach the capital, blazing fire filled the heavens, and there was no way for me to pass. A few moments ago the fire died away, and I was able to get through." Thenceforward, everyone treated Gong-Yiun with the utmost deference.
Yiun-Tzong took lessons from Gong-Yiun in the art of making himself invisible, but could not get the latter to disclose the whole secret, so that either a piece of his robes or a corner of his hat could always be seen. He inquired the reason, and Gong-Yiun replied: "Your Majesty is unable to cast away the Empire like an old shoe, and is only making a game of Tao. Were you complete master of all my magical arts, the bearers of the Imperial seal would be oppressed with the weight of your intellect." This made Yiun Tzong very angry, and he began cursing his teacher; whereupon Gong-Yiun quickly passed into the substance of one of the pillars in the hall, from which coign of vantage he remonstrated with the Emperor on his lack of courtesy. More furious still, the Emperor ordered the pillar to be removed, but when it had been cut away, a loud voice was still heard issuing from the stone pedestal. This also was removed, and on examination was found to be transparent, the form of Gong-Yiun, little more than an inch high, being clearly visible within. The pedestal was then smashed to pieces, but in each of the fragments a tiny figure still remained. Thoroughly alarmed, the Emperor now offered an apology, and the figures disappeared.
Some time afterwards, an Imperial envoy was making his way to Soc when he met Gong-Yiun face to face. Taking a sealed envelope from his sleeve, the latter said: "Pray give this to his Majesty, and say it comes from one Wai Si-Yiun. He will understand." On reading the letter, Yiun Tzong was quite disconcerted; but no sooner had the envoy left the presence than Gong-Yiun himself appeared. "Why have you changed your name?" asked the Emperor. "Your Majesty removed my head," was the reply, "so I made the same alteration in my name."
(* The three characters used for writing "Wai Si-Yiun" are the same as those for "Law Gong Yiun" minus their tops )
The Emperor humbly admitted his fault and wanted to make amends; but Gong-Yiun assured him that the whole affair was merely a joke. "One who has attained Immortality," he said, "is immune from all calamity. Heaven and Earth might be engulfed, and still he would remain unscathed; how much less could he be injured by ordinary weapons?"
Yip Fard Seen
Yip Fard Seen, whose alternative name was Doe-Yiun, was a native of Yip town in Narm-Yeong, and lived in Tsong-Yeong town in Tsiu-Tzau later. The members in his family for four generations were all Taoist cultivators, who kept doing virtuous practices but never publicized their good deeds. They were skilled in the arts of divination and the preservation of vitality, and kept using their abilities to help and save other living beings.
Yip Fard Seen's mother was Lau, once she had a dreamt that a shooting star entered her mouth, she swallowed it and became pregnant. Fifteen months later, the baby was born. When he was seven, he disappeared in a river, and did not return home for three years. Later, when his parents asked about that, he said: "Green Child leaded me to a place and gave me Cloud Liquid to drink, thus I stayed there for a while." He also said that by Green Child's guide he had made a pilgrimage to the Ultra Supreme Lord, so he stayed there for a while.
When Yip Fard Seen was twenty, he was nine Tsec tall, and there were two Ng on his forehead. He had a very good temper and an innocent character; he did not eat meat, and often stayed in a tranquil room. Sometimes he traveled among forests and lakes, and sometimes he visited clouds and springs. Since he returned from the palace of Immortals, he had already mastered the skill of commanding spirits.
The Emperor Goe-Tzong heard of his fame, and invited him to come to the capital. Here he wanted to confer on him rank and office, but Fard-Seen steadfastly declined them, and asked only to be a Taoist. Accordingly, he was installed in a temple attached to the Palace and treated very liberally. To help the people with various illnesses, Fard-Seen said incantations towards them, and they were all cured.
On one occasion Fard-Seen was sacrificing before an altar which he had erected in the Ling-k'ung Temple, while a crowd of men and women watched the proceedings. Suddenly thirty or forty persons threw themselves into the flames. The onlookers were horrified, and hastened to pull them back to safety. But Fard-Seen smiled and said: "These people were all possessed by disease-demons, which have been detected by my magic art." Inquiry proved this to be true, and the sufferers went away cured.
The Feast of Lanterns, on the 15th night of the 1st moon, was being celebrated in the grounds of the Palace with lavish profusion. The Imperial Artificer had designed a twelve-storeyed belvedere, 150 feet in height, made of coloured silk and hung with blue and gold ornaments, jade and other precious stones, which tinkled harmoniously in the lightest breeze. The lanterns, made in the shape of prancing dragons, phoenixes, tigers and leopards, showed a degree of inventive skill hardly attainable by man.
Yeh Fard-Seen, hurriedly summoned by the Emperor to behold the spectacle, admired it greatly: "Only the display at Sai-Leong [in Gum-Soc] can compare with it," he said. "Why, have you been there so lately?" asked the Emperor. "I had just come from there," replied Fard-Seen, "when I received your Majesty's summons." The Emperor was puzzled by this, and said: "If wanted to go there now, could I do so?" --- "With the greatest of ease," replied Fard-Seen; and he bade the Emperor shut his eyes, recommending him not to take a peep, as otherwise he might be terrified by what he saw. The Emperor followed his advice, and with one bound they found themselves flying through the upper air. When their feet touched earth again, Fard-Seen said: "Now you may gaze your fill." And they beheld row upon row of lanterns extending for miles in continuous array amid tightly packed horses and chariots and vast crowds of sightseers. The Emperor expressed his wonder at the scene, and after a while Fard-Seen said: "Now we have enjoyed the spectacle, we must go back." So once again the Emperor shut his eyes and rose up with his companion into the void. In an instant they were back in their original position at the foot of the belvedere, where songs and music were still in progress ....
Fard-Seen had arranged to make a sea-trip to Gwa-Tzau, and the boatmen were waiting for him when they saw two old men, one dressed in yellow and the other in white, who settled down on the shore and decided to while away the time with a game of Wai-Chess. So they made a beckoning gesture in the air, and an imp emerged from the water, his clothes showing no trace of wet. He was told to bring a chess-board and a table, and they sat down to their game after having agreed that "the winner should eat the Taoist who was coming on the morrow from the north". They laughed heartily at this gibe, and began putting down their pips. After a while the man in white exclaimed: "You have lost, my dear Sir! Though he is a delicious morsel, I hope you won't poach on my preserves!" Then they strolled out a long distance over the water and sank beneath the surface.
The boatmen, realizing that mischief was intended to Fard-Seen, felt very uneasy, and when the Household Officer came along, informed him of what had passed. He too was much alarmed, and told Fard-Seen what he had heard. But the latter only smiled and said: "Indeed! Happily there is no cause for anxiety" The boat had no sooner put off than a fierce storm arose, obscuring the light day. The other people on board grew pale with fear, but Fard-Seen said quietly to his attendants: "Take my black charm and throw it over the bows." Directly this was done, the waves subsided and all was still, and they soon accomplished their voyage. Fard-Seen then told the boatmen that they would find a huge fish somewhere within a radius of ten Ley. And, sure enough, a white fish over a hundred feet long and thirty spans in girth was discovered lying stark and stranded on a sand-bank.