The Power of Filial Piety

A cripled man begging in the street.

A man named Guo begged in the street in order to provide for his sick mother and brother. (Image: via The Epoch Times)

According to Confucianism, obedience, respect, and care for one’s parents and the elderly are considered to be the fundamentals of proper behavior. This virtue was known as filial piety in ancient times. Here is a folk story that tells of the incredible wonder that filial piety could bring.

A beggar by the name of Guo lived in Huofu City of Wanzai County during the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 1271-1368) He was born with his left wrist and both ankles twisted out of shape. He could only pivot on his right hand to drag his body forward. People called him “Dragging Guo.” Dragging Guo’s mother was old and suffered from gout. His brother was also a sick man. Guo begged on the street on the first and fifteenth day of each month. People knew of his family’s situation and were willing to give him food and different items. Guo managed to bring in enough from his begging to sustain the three of them for 18 years without complaint.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

One winter day in 1296, Guo met a Taoist priest on the street. Seeing that despite Guo’s own harsh life, he was still willing to honor filial piety to take care of his mother and brother, the priest gave him five pills. “Take the pills and your chronic ailments will be healed instantly,” he told Guo. Guo did as instructed. He swallowed all the pills and his twisted joints straightened into shape in just an instant.

Because of filial piety, One day a Taoist priest Guo met told him he could be healed by taking the pills he was given.
One day, Guo met a Taoist priest who told him he could be healed by taking the pills he was given. (Image: via The Epoch Times)

For his filial piety, the Doist priest gave Guo five more pills

The amazing recovery made Guo a normal person. He had no excuse to beg anymore, and neither did the people in town give him food any longer. Making a living for three mouths became a big problem for Guo. At this lowest point in his life, he met the priest again. Bowing respectfully to thank him, Guo said: “Thank you so much for healing me. But I was too foolhardy to take all the pills myself without thinking about my mother. She is still sick in bed. What should I do now?” For his filial piety, the priest gave him another five pills. He told him his mother’s sickness would be healed by taking two. A rich man who had the same illness as Guo’s mother heard about the remaining three pills.

The rich man said to Guo: “I heard that you have three miracle pills. I will buy them with a silver ingot (worth 50 taels, or over US$30,600). What do you think?” Guo did not want the money. Instead, he asked the rich man to provide for his family of three for life should the rich man really recover from his illness after taking the pills. The man agreed.

Upon taking the pills, the rich man was healed instantly. He kept his promise to provide for Guo’s family for the rest of their lives.

Their story spread around and people were amazed by Guo’s filial piety, which touched the immortal who in return bestowed blessings on him. Even a beggar like Guo could respect his parent and love his brother in such a way. As normal folks, we too can help others and accumulate good karma in our own way.

Translated by Cecilia

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Artificial intelligence.

The Emergence of Artificial Intelligence and Its Benefit to Humanity

Every human has an innate nature that always seeks something that can improve everyone’s life ...

A martial artist practicing kung fu.

The Wisdom Behind Chinese Martial Arts

There is wisdom in Chinese martial arts. If you’ve always been curious about kung fu ...

A large family sharing dinner.

Intuitive or Intentional Eating: Which Works Best for You?

Eating is an essential aspect of human existence. Not only is it necessary for people ...


4 Reasons Why Decluttering Will Improve Your Mind, Body, and Soul

You’re not the only one who feels stressed out by a messy house, and the ...

Young woman looking longingly at chocolate pastries.

Is the Incentive for Emotional Eating the Same as for Binge Eating?

Finding comfort in food is quite common these days, and it is called emotional eating. ...

Chinese writing in a wok.

Most assume writing systems get simpler. But 3,600 years of Chinese writing show it’s getting increasingly complex

At this very moment, the words you are reading are entering your mind at the ...

The Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Station.

Fukushima Aftermath: Japan Set to Release Treated Radioactive Water into the Ocean

A top government spokesperson recently announced that Japan is taking steps toward discharging more than ...

The Oura ring.

How the Oura Ring Can Upgrade Your Health?

If you’ve heard about the Oura ring before, you aren’t the only one. This ring ...

A nuclear power plant.

Nuclear Fuel Alternatives After Fukushima Have Challenges Ahead

After the Fukushima disaster, research at The University of Manchester suggests that the preferred candidate ...

Send this to a friend