He sometimes pretends to be insane, but sometimes not; sometimes easy, sometimes serious. And he does not give up wine and meat. His medicine for the villagers comes from the dirt of his body and it cures every disease. He plays exorcism and has never let the villagers down. His carefree style has only led to his high prestige among the people.
He was once appointed as the housekeeper of Tai Bei Mansion of Ling Yin Temple (beside West Lake,Hangzhou). His senior fellow has been in bad relations with him. He frames Ji Gong up by setting a fire on Tai Bei Mansion. Ji Gong is thus punished to raise fund for rebuilding it. He was given a deadline of 49 days, raise the fund to rebuild the mansion or leave Ling Yin Temple forever.
Why did his senior fellow set 49 days deadline? 7 multiply 7 equals 49 days, the 49th day in Buddhism is the most important day for the dead, it is believed that in the 49th day some of dead may go the Western World of Ultimate Bliss , some of them may reborn as human, others may go to hell to be punished for their sin.
The normal way of fund-raising for monk is through appealing, it seems impossible to raise so much money (might be a million LIANG silver?) in such a short time, by only one monk to rebuilt a temple mansion, but the methods that Ji Gong used for fund-raising are bizarre and proved to be very effective. He kept drinking, eating roasted whole chicken, and roaming in the street as usual, as happy and insane as before, but other people who cared him were all worrying about him.
But Ji Gong, just as a proverb goes, already has bamboo in his mind for his drawing.
The wife of the magistracy bullies the villagers, making them suffer bitterly. Ji Gong takes a small revenge on behalf of the villagers. The magistracy’s wife is angered and arrests Ji Gong. All the villagers protest outside the magistracy’s office demanding the release of Ji Gong. The magistracy’s wife is not disillusioned that she even puts more persecutions on Ji Gong. The villagers are helpless and run to Ling Yin Temple, praying for Ji Gong’s safety. Not until the magistracy’s wife is punished by Ji Gong again does she change her course. She promises to rebuild Tai Bei Mansion. Therefore at the 49th day, Ji Gong successfully raise the fund and meet the deadline set forth by his fellow monk to get rid of him, he thanks for the villagers and returns to Ling Yin Temple.