King Zhou asked Tan Ji, "Why is that old man so energetic, while the young man is freezing? He's still a boy; he shouldn't be afraid of the cold." Tan Ji told him, "There's a very mysterious principle to this, which you wouldn't know. The old man and the young man are brothers. The old man was born when his parents were still young, while the young man was born in his parents' old age, when their marrow was deficient and their energies were in decline. That's why their second child is afraid of the cold. If you don't believe it, why don't you bring those two men here and open up their bones? You' ll find that the old man's bones are full of marrow, while the young man's bones are only half-filled. He's cold because his vital energy is deficient."
"Really?" said King Zhou.
"Why don't you check it out for yourself?" said his wife. Thereupon King Zhou had the two men brought before him and ordered their shins to be opened so he could examine their marrow. And it was just as Tan Ji had said. "Tan Ji, you're really divine. You're a psychic. You weren't off in the least," exclaimed the King. That was the incident of slicing open the shins of those who were wading in the morning puddles.
And he also ripped open the wombs of pregnant women. When King Zhou and Tan Ji were standing in the Star-plucking Tower, they saw a woman with a big belly who was nearly about to give birth. King Zhou said to Tan Ji, "You were right in your prediction about the marrow of the old man and the young man that morning. Now, do you know whether this woman has a boy or a girl in her womb?"
"Oh, it's a boy," said Tan Ji.
"I don't believe it," said King Zhou. "Why don't you open up her womb and take a look?" suggested Tan Ji. Thereupon he had the woman brought to him and they cut her open to see if the baby was a boy or a girl. How could they do that? The woman had not done anything wrong; how could they cut her open and kill her just to see if Tan Ji's statement was true? His heart was such that he could rip open the womb of a pregnant woman.
His lust is unbridled. He neglects governmental affairs and does not handle things according to reason and principle. And he robs and abuses the people. He kills and harms the common people. He is rejected by gods and humans alike. The heavens don't want him, and people don't want him either. He is one man alone, just a single individual, and by riding against this one man, I can save the people who are as if drowning in water and burning in fire. How is this causing chaos? How can this bring on disaster and turmoil?"
After that, ignoring the advice of the two brothers, he went on to destroy King Zhou and change the name of the dynasty from Yin to Zhou. When Bai Yi and Shu Qi heard of this, they were ashamed to eat the grain of the state of Zhou. They thought, "Now that you've gained the country, we are not going to eat your grain." Why? Because he had, in the position of minister, subjugated his king, and that was wrong. And so they retired to Shouyang Mountain where they starved to death. They stopped eating rice and picked wild thorn-ferns and vegetables from the mountains to eat. But then someone told them that the wild vegetables were also grown on the land of the Zhou Dynasty. After that, they stopped eating wild vegetables as well. Thorn-ferns are a kind of vegetable that grows in the mountains. When they heard someone remark that eating the thorn-ferns which grew on the land was equivalent to eating the rice of the state of Zhou, they stopped eating the thorn-ferns as well and starved to death. To this day they are praised for their righteousness and sense of shame. The people still praise them for being righteous individuals with a sense of shame.
Those who study Buddhism should lessen their desires and purify their minds, instead of indulging in their desires. This is the key point. It is the basic foundation of good health.
-The Venerable Master