Bi Gan (比干), real name known as Zi Gan (子干). Due to he was ever being bestowed with the title Bi (a post in the Imperial Court 曾封為比﹐因此又稱為比干), at later part of the history, he was being addressed as Bi Gan.
Bi Gan was born in late Shang Dynasty, on the 4th Day of Lunar 4 Month in BC1092 (生于商朝末年農曆四月初四日). He was the younger brother of King Yi, which King Yi was the father of King Zhou. And so, in the Imperial Court, King Zhou had to address Bi Gan as Royal Uncle (皇叔).
From records, Bi Gan was known as the descendant of Yellow Emperor (Huang Di 黃帝之後裔).
Since young, Bi Gan had been studying very hard to gain knowledge and skills in order to assist the Shang Empire in bringing peacefulness and prosperity to the citizens, etc.
After growing up, he assisted his nephew, King Zhou (商紂王), in handling issues that were associated with the Empire and looked into benefit-gaining for the citizens and Officers-in-Serving. With his loyalty and contributions, within a few years of serving the Nation, he was being promoted to a Premier (丞相).
Soon after Da Ji (妲己), the new concubine of King Zhou, being fetched into the Imperial Court, King Zhou was totally subdued by her beauty and within a short period, King Zhou lost his concentration in the handling of regular tasks that were associated with the Empire.
Upon knowing that King Zhou was not behaving uprightly, Bi Gan sent in Petition to make harsh reminders for his nephew, sincerely hoping that he would change, but after several tries, Bi Gan failed.
Realizing that King Zhou had lost his trust on him, Bi Gan decided to send in his resignation of his post.
After Bi Gan resigned from his post, King Zhou became more daring and started to fool around without any controls. Within a few months, the whole Imperial Court was in a chaos. Without any ways of stopping the chaotic, one of the loyal Officers came to look for Bi Gan, hoping that he could make a return back to the Imperial Court to pursue King Zhou to turn-over-a-new-leaf.
As the uncle of King Zhou and being loyalty to his own family Empire, Bi Gan had to make a return.
At BC1029, Bi Gan made his return to the Imperial Court.
Upon returning to the Imperial Court, Bi Gan went directly to King Zhou to advise him to leave Da Ji immediately and concentrated on handling the Empire issues.
But after several rounds of argument, King Zhou was being provoked and without any consideration, he made a crude comment on Bi Gan, saying that, since Bi Gan was a loyalty person, then Bi Gan shouldn’t be afraid to die in front of the Imperial Throne, if Bi Gan would to dig his heart out, he would consider of changing (義仁忠者﹐心有七竅﹐稱為七竅玲瓏心﹐掏出為證).
Immediately after King Zhou made the comment and in order to show his loyalty & wanting King Zhou to change, Bi Gan took a dagger and cut open his body to dig out his heart, within seconds, the loyalty Officer Bi Gan died. At that time, Bi Gan was only 63 years old.
Due to his loyalty and compassionate, after his death, the people respected him as a Deity of Loyalty, and due to the influence of the story of "Creation of Deities – Feng Shen Bang", Bi Gan was also being respected as a Deity of Wealth.
Till today in China, Temples that are dedicated to Bi Gan are still being visited by a lot of Taoists, followers, his descendants, etc.
Bi Gan, the Ancestor of the Lin Clan (比干為林姓始祖).
After Shang Empire was being overthrown, Zhou Dynasty ascended the throne.
Just before Zhou Wu Wang, Ji Fa (周武王姬發), entered to the main Capital City, he got a news of Bi Gan’s pregnant wife (比干之妻陳氏) was hiding inside the forest.
Upon knowing that, Ji Fa went to the forest to invite her out. After meeting up with Bi Gan's wife, Ji Fa made promises that he would protect her from any dangers, etc. And in order for the others not to recognize her as Bi Gan's wife, Ji Fa gave the unborn child the surname Lin (meaning the Forest 以林為姓) and a name of Jian (meaning Strong 以堅為名).
From then, Bi Gan's son used the surname to continue the lineage.
And this is how the surname Lin came about.