During the Tang Dynasty, when the Chancellor Li Guyan failed in the imperial examinations, he was passing through Luoyang and met a gentleman named Hu Lu. Mr. Hu Lu knew what happened among the spirits, so Li Guyan went to him to ask for his fate. The gentleman said, “There is no need to ask a man in a cage.”
Later, when Li Guyan returned to Chang’an and lived in Guidri, someone said that there was a monk in Shengshou Temple who was good at fortune telling, so he went to ask for advice. The monk said, “You are a man in a sarong.” In that year, the seventh year of Yuanhe, Xu Mengrong presided over the examination for the imperial examinations in his capacity as the minister of military affairs.
Li Guyan found someone among his cousins who worked in the imperial court and asked what he should do to prepare for the exam. This person knew that Li Guyan’s essays had a reputation and he was sure to win the imperial examination. He coaxed him, saying, “You should first go to see the examiner.” Li Guyan did not know that the man was deceiving him, so he took the essay he had written and went to see Xu Mengrong. When Xu Mengrong saw that his essay was beautifully written, he secretly sent someone to summon him and said to him, “A candidate cannot meet with the examiner before the examination, so there must be someone who is jealous of his talent.” Then he interrogated him. Li Guyan then told him the truth.
Xu Mengrong promised to let Li Guyan at the top of the list and to check off the name of the person who instigated him. After Li Guyan won the exam, he went to the monk at Shengshou Temple to ask for advice on what is a man in a sarong. The monk said, “I often go to and fro in the underworld, and I saw that anyone who could be a prime minister, the underworld covered his body and shape with a blue veil, that’s why I know.”
Later, Li Guoyan’s words came true, and all of them were fulfilled.
(From “The Biography of Pu Lu Ji”)
Li Deyu, a Tang minister, met a hermit three times
Li Deyu, who was the prime minister of the Tang Dynasty, once said that he met a strange man three times, all three of whom were hermits who had disappeared from the world, not fortune tellers.
When he was in charge of the northern gate, a hermit named Guan Yu Shan said to him, “Next year you will serve as a secretary to the monarch, but you must serve the young master.” Deyu was stunned to hear this and changed his face at once. The hermit seemed to regret his earlier slip of the tongue and left his seat to go. De Yu asked, “Why must you serve the young master?” The reply was, “You and the young master have had several generations of karma, so I say so.” Deyu was called to the court in the fall of that year, and by the first month of the following year, Emperor Mu Zong of Tang usurped the throne and called him to the palace.
While he was serving as chancellor, a hermit from Minzhong knocked at his door and asked for an audience. When Deyu got out of bed to meet him, the hermit said to him, “The situation before you will not last. If you don’t leave here as soon as possible, you will definitely become the prime minister in winter, but there will be a disaster coming. If you hasten to ask for a post in a foreign country, the person who replaces you will suffer. Ten years later, you will be the chancellor, and you will enter the capital from the west and enter the palace.” In the autumn of that year, Deyu went out of the capital to guard the Wu Gate, and after a year he entered the court to see the emperor, and then was sent to the town of Nanyan to guard it.
At the end of the fall, a Yu Sheng from the county led a Daoist priest from Yecheng County to meet De Yu, and only when he came to the guest’s place, he said to De Yu without waiting to be seated, “You are to be appointed as the southwestern governor. The talisman for the southwest border crossing will be delivered by October 15.”
What the above three strange people said all coincided with what happened later, and there was not even a discrepancy in time. Since Tang Xianzong was banned in the palace, after ten years, Deyu became the official minister, and was admitted to the palace from Xishu to the capital. The person who ruled in place of Deyu was soon banished.
(Out of “Poor Sorrow”)