Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Big Quilt of Emperor Xuanzong, Tang Dynasty, 712 AD China

(The Wisdom of Cultivation in Ancient China edited by Stephen Sili Lin, Copyright 2010 Australia

In my last article I talked the big quilt made by a wise mother from my hometown in 220 or so. Senior Minister Meng Zong’s mother sewn a big one for him to share with his poverty-stricken classmates who later turned his good friends and supporters. About 500 years later, there is another big quilt that left significant marks in history.

ON 21st July, 710 AD, Prince Longji, of Tang Dynasty of ancient China, has dethroned his predecessor through a military coup in which he and his followers killed Queen Wei and Princess Anle. He has honoured this father the ousted Ruizong Emperor and offered him the reign. Prince Longji was nominated Crown Prince. In August 712 AD, Emperor Ruizong retired and passed on the reign to Prince Longji, who was better-known as Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty.

He has awarded his 5 brothers official titles as King of Song, King of Shen, King of Qi, King of Xue, and King of You.

IN his early days as Emperor, he has ordered a big pillow and big quilt so that the 6 of them can sleep in. IN his royal palace, he has also set up 5 tents for them so that they can stay together overnight. In 713, his partner in Coupe Prince Taiping tried to dethrone him; he struck out and pre-empted the conspiracy and awarded her death by suicide. Subsequently he enjoyed 44 years of the reign of China.

Historians commented that such sharing of big quilt and pillow played an important role in his reign: this conduct has consolidated his power, and gained the image as fair and open and ready to share privileges and power with brothers, who in return, became his die hard supporters in the consequential political struggles.

IN Australian recent history, party leaders from both persuasions have shared houses; wonder if their power-sharing arrangement can be consolidated when they start sharing pillows and quilts.

Australia would certainly be a better place if Wayne, Rudd, Abbot and Hockey can share the same bed and same blanket, history would really repeat itself… Australians can embrace another economic boom and long phase of prosperity.

In hindsight, Michael Jackson’s peculiar hobbies of inviting children to share his big bed and huge blankets should be perceived as innocent as fraternal bonding, a form of pure love between brothers.