When the Lion's Eyes Turn Red Print
Real China
Friday, 03 April 2020 13:22

For a long time, Chinese people have believed in Gods and respected Buddhas. But in some areas, people slipped away from their faith.

A long time ago, in one village, an old man, a beggar appeared, going door to door to beg food. No one gave him food, and he found no  altars to worship in their houses.

When approaching the end of village, he saw a big house, with 2 stone lions at gate. He knocked at the door and the owner refused to offer food to the beggar, but an old woman, who was the housemaid, came to the rescue. She told the beggar, she had one bowl of rice offering for the Buddha statue, and she can give half to the beggar.

The beggar was delighted, seeing the old woman’s kindness and her devout heart to Buddha, the old man disclosed to her, that he was the Bodhisattva Dizang (Ksitigarbha) descended to the human world, hoping to find that people still believed and respected Gods or Buddha.

He decided to seek out the last believers and save them.

Divine intervention

Bodhisattva Dizang told the old woman what would happen, he pointed to the pair of stone lions in front of the house and said: “When the lions’ eyes turn red, the great flood will be coming here. You will have to hurry and run to the hilltop. I can guarantee that you will be safe.” With these words, the Bodhisattva-turned beggar left.

The kind-hearted woman told the beggar’s words to everyone in the village. No one, however, believed her. Instead, the villagers mocked and scolded her. They said that she was insane and superstitious: How on earth could the eyes of stone lions turn red? How can you believe a beggar’s words? She pleaded with the villagers to believe her, but to no avail.

The old woman kept the beggar’s prediction in mind and checked the eyes of the stone lions every day. One day, several mischievous youths decided to make fun of the old woman. “Let’s play a trick on the woman; let’s paint the lions’ eyes with red dye.”

The youths waited until the old woman went to buy groceries for the master, quickly painted the lions’ eyes red and hid themselves nearby to see what would happen.

Coming back from the market, seeing that the stone lions’ eyes had indeed turned red, the old woman panicked. She ran to the villagers and shouted to them, “Hurry up and run! The great flood is coming!” No one listened. They laughed at her till their bellies hurt.

Convincing no one, the old woman ran up the hill alone. By the time she reached the hilltop, she looked back, only to see that the whole village had been submerged in water.

She sobbed in great sadness.