Fortune of Three Lifetimes
If you consider yourself very fortunate to make someone's acquaintance, then here's a great idioms for you to use.
In today's program, we'll learn a new phrase meaning, “to meet with extraordinary good fortune.” The idiom reads, “san sheng you xing” and literally means “the fortune of three lifetimes.”
In Buddhist belief, there are three incarnations, which are the past, present and future. People use the fortune of three incarnations to describe “indeed lucky.”
The idiom comes from a touching story of friendship. During the Tang Dynasty in ancient China, a monk called Yuan Guan had a good command of Buddhism. He has a very good friend called Li Yuan.
One day, as they were traveling through the Three Gorges of the Yantgze River, the two arrived at a village. They saw a pregnant woman drawing water from the river. Yuan Guan, the monk, pointed at the woman and said to Li Yuan, “The woman has been pregnant for three years, and is waiting for me to be reincarnated and become her son. I have been running away from this for a while. But today, now that I've seen her, I can't run away again. In three days, the woman will give birth to a baby. Please go to visit her. If the baby smiles at you, then it is me, it will be a sign. At the Mid-autumn Festival in 12 years time, I'll wait for you at the Tianzhu Temple in Hangzhou. Let's meet each other then.”
Three days later, just after they had separated, the monk died. At the same time, the woman gave birth to a baby boy.
Li Yuan went to visit the woman, and the baby smiled at him.
Twelve years later, at the time of the Mid-Autumn festival, Li Yuan went to the temple, as his old friend had asked him. As soon as he arrived, he saw a shepherd boy singing a poem. The lyrics went like this: “The one you are meeting is the one you are predestined to meet through three incarnations. I can remember clearly the days when we were singing of the moon and the wind. Thank you for coming to see me from afar. Though I look different, my friendship for you is still the same.”
After singing this poem, the shepherd boy left.
Of course, that shepherd boy was the reincarnated monk, Yuan Guan.
From this story, people drew the idiom “the fortune of three lifetimes.” It reads “san sheng you xing.”