The Domestic Fowls and Animals Rise to Heaven

From FYSK: Daoist Culture Centre - Database
Jump to: navigation, search

According to the Biographies of Immortals ( 《神仙傳》 Shenxian Chuan ) by Ge Hong, Liu An, king of Huainan, used to summon many magicians in the hope that they would refine an elixir which, he thought, would transform him into an immortal. In the story, he got the elixir. Just before ascending to heaven, he scattered in the courtyard some extra elixir, which was eaten his domestic fowls and animals. After eating it, they rose to heaven along with their master. People draw a conclusion from the story, saying that one man achieving his cultivation would benefit even fowls and animals in his house. In Daoism, this story was used to encourage people to pursue Dao. Later, an idiom developed from the story, which was used to describe nepotism among officials.