Ancient tales of filial piety
Updated: 2012-08-20 09:00
Four stories from 24 Filial Exemplars, a classic Confucian text by Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) scholar Guo Jujing.
Liu Heng was Emperor Wen of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24). His mother, Empress Dowager Bo, was once ill for three years. He attended to his mother each day after dealing with affairs of state. For safety reasons, he would test the medicine before he took it to his mother. When his mother finally recovered, he fell ill because of exhaustion. His benevolence and filial piety were praised throughout the kingdom. During his reign, the population flourished and the country prospered.
Dear to him
Tan Zi was a viscount in the State of Tan during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). His aged parents suffered from eye diseases and needed to drink deer's milk as part of their treatment. He therefore disguised himself in a deerskin and sneaked into a herd of deer in the mountains to obtain deer's milk. Once, when he was taking deer's milk, a hunter mistook him for a deer and was going to shoot him. He revealed himself and told the truth to the hunter. The hunter respected his filial piety and escorted him out of the mountains.