Master Jun Hong Lu’s public talk
Jakarta, Indonesia

22 April 2017

Nurhaci was the first emperor of the Qing dynasty in Chinese history. In those days, he went through much hardship in unifying the Jurchen tribes. On one occasion, he led his troops in an attack on a town. There were two leaders in the town and they both shot Nurhaci with arrows. Nurhaci passed out after losing a lot of blood and almost died. A few days later, Nurhaci’s troops conquered the town and held the two leaders captive. The officers and soldiers shouted, ‘Revenge for Nurhaci!’ and wanted to rip the captives to pieces.

At this crucial moment, Nurhaci stopped them and said, ‘When two armies confront one another, everyone tries their hardest to win. Though they shot me with arrows, their behaviour was only being loyal to their duty. So, why should they be executed for hurting me? These courageous people should be rewarded instead of being punished.’ Afterwards, Nurhaci awarded accolades to these two leaders. This news then spread throughout every tribe of Jurchen. Everyone praised Nurhaci for what he did. As such, everyone came together and pledged allegiance to Nurhaci one after another. Many years later, Nurhaci finally unified the Jurchen tribes and amassed many great achievements.

This story teaches us to be magnanimous. Appreciating and rewarding your enemy is not only an act of magnanimity but also represents a kind of wisdom for how to conduct oneself in society. When one can even forgive your enemy, others may think of you as a wise leader, and find you reliable and trustworthy. Just think about this: what Nurhaci received in return exceeded even these—a reputation that lasted a lifetime!

The Wisdom of Rewarding One’s Enemy