According to Shi Ji (Historical Records), Bian Que was from Zhengdi, Bohai County in the Qi Kingdom. His original name was Qin Yueren. When young, he worked as a hotel manager.
A traveler called Chang Sangjun was a frequent guest at Bian Que’s hotel. Bian Que considered Chang Sangjun to be a special man and therefore paid special attention to him. Chang Sangjun also knew that Bian Que was no ordinary person. They became good friends. One day, after more than ten years of their knowing each other, Chang Sangjun invited Bian Que to his place to have a private conversation. Chang Sangjun told Bian Que, “I am getting old and my life may end soon. I have a secret recipe that I want to give to you. I hope you can keep it a secret.”
Bian Que said, “I will do what you told me.”
Chang Sangjun brought out a packet of medicine from his pocket and handed it to Bian Que, “You can mix the medicine with dew drops from the sky and drink it; then you can see everything in 30 days.” After Bian Que accepted the medicine, Chang Sangjun suddenly vanished. He realized that Chang Sangjun was no ordinary man.
Bian Que took the medicine as Chang Sangjun had told him. Thirty days later he could see people on the other side of a wall. Using this special talent, he could see people’s internal organs and their diseases. But he still used the traditional pulse checking technique to disguise his real capability. He practiced medicine during the Qi Kingdom and the Zhao Kingdom. During the Zhao Kingdom, he called himself Bian Que.
A famous doctor called Bian Que practiced medicine in China from 2697 B.C. to 2598 B.C. Qin Yueren lived 2,000 years later, but because Qin Yueren’s skill in treating patients was superb, out of respect, people called him Bian Que. Gradually, everyone called came to call him Bian Que, and few knew his real name, Qin Yueren.
Bian Que used many different techniques in his medical practice: herbs, acupuncture, massage and all kinds of methods, depending on the situation, and was capable of treating all manner of diseases. He traveled extensively in different kingdoms and treated people of all social status. No matter where he went, he would treat people according to their most urgent need.
Zhao Jianzi, a senior minister in the Jin Kingdom was seriously ill and in a deep coma for five days. When Bian Que was called in to see him, he only took one glimpse at Zhao Jianzi and promptly left the room. When Minister Dong An asked Bian Que about his diagnosis, Bian Que said, “His blood circulation is normal, don’t panic. In the past, Qin Mu Gong, King of the Qin Kingdom also had the same ailment and he recovered in seven days.”
Several days later Zhao Jianzi woke up from the coma. When someone told Zhao Bian Que’s words, Zhao Jianzi was amazed. He later gave Bian Que 40,000 mu (Chinese land measure; 1 mu equals 0.165 acre) of land to express his appreciation.
On one occasion, Bian Que traveled to the Guo Kingdom where the prince lay, apparently dead from illness. After listening to a doctor name Zhong Shuzi describing the prince’s symptom, Bian Que knew that the prince was not dead; his symptom was called “Shi Jue” (false death).
Bian Que told Zhong Shuzi that the prince could recover. Zhong Shuzi said, “I heard that in a time long, long ago a famous doctor named Yu Fu had used no regular medicines in his practice. He could see the diseases by observation only. He would follow the energy meridians in people’s internal organs, dissect the tissues, unclog the meridians, stitch the tendons, clean up the membranes, wash the organs, cultivate the spirit and change the body. If you could do all these, then the prince could recover. Otherwise, you couldn’t even convince an infant that the prince could come back alive.”
After he heard Zhong Shuzi’s comments, Bian Que sighed deeply and said, “What you have just described was only a tiny portion of the medical diagnosis; it’s like watching the sky through a bamboo pipe and observing flowers via a narrow slit. My treatment is very special. There is no need to take the pulse, no need to watch for color and energy flow, no need to listen to the voice or even see his physical condition. Without all those techniques I could tell the root cause of his illness. If I see the outside symptoms, I can deduce the internal cause. On the other hand, if I know the internal cause, then I can predict the outside symptoms. When people get sick it shows on the surface. Based on this I can diagnose people a thousand miles away. I have many ways to diagnose and treat illness. You can’t just look at things from one angle.” After that, Bian Que told one of his students to perform acupuncture on the prince. Soon the prince woke up from death. This incident earned Bian Que a great reputation. People called him a miracle doctor who could bring dead people back to life.
Another time Bian Que met with Qin Huangong, the Qin Kingdom king in whose body he detected a serious illness. Bian Que told Qi Huangong that his disease was within his flesh, but Qi Huangong ignored him. Five days later, Bian Que told Qi Huangong that the disease was now in his blood vessels. His advice was ignored again. Another five days later, Bian Que saw that Qi Huangong’s disease had progressed to his internal organs, and yet another five days later it had entered his bone marrow. Even a god in charge of life and death could no longer reverse the disease. Bian Que escaped right away. When Qi Huangong’s disease became serious his people were looking for Bian Que to treat the king, but it was too late. Bian Que had left. Having ignored doctor Bian Que’s early warnings, Qi Huangong died of the disease.
The above-cited historical accounts tell us that Bian Que was using his “supernormal power” to treat patients. He could see the root cause of the diseases. His diagnostic practice such as checking the pulse was only an act, to comfort people. Other famous doctors such as Hua Tuo, Sun Simiao and Li Shizhen all possessed this ability. Many of them were Taoist cultivators themselves who placed special emphasis on virtue and took fame and money very lightly. Bian Que used his ability to treat patients. He could immediately see the root cause, apply the right treatment and achieve the ideal results; therefore, people called him “miracle doctor.”
From a cultivator’s perspective, everyone has the potential for supernormal power. But with today’s declining moral standards, people have become very materialistic and emphasize tangible things. As a result, people have gradually lost their native abilities. Modern day doctors use a stethoscope, X-ray machines, CT machines and other medical devices to do diagnoses. People think that these are advanced equipment, but the doctors often use them incorrectly and get a wrong diagnosis. Bian Que’s special ability let him see people’s internal organs. He could see the actual circumstances on different levels. Compared to the modern day doctors, which is more advanced and more “miraculous”?
People know that since ancient times, traditional Chinese medicine placed great value on virtue, but they don’t know why. The real reason is a close relationship between a person’s altruistic, virtuous mindset and the capacity to heal. When doctors lose their virtue, their healing efforts will not work. Supernormal abilities, the most essential portion of ancient medical practice, right now are non-existent; they have been abandoned. Modern-day traditional Chinese medicine pays little attention to virtue in medical practitioners; all they are doing now is clinging to the experiences and recipes inherited from the past. They teach superficial elements while ignoring the essence. There are no Bian Ques or other “miracle doctors” around any more.