And  the Blessed One thought:  “I have taught the truth  which  is excellent in the beginning,  excellent in the middle, and excellent in the end; it is glorious in its spirit and glorious in its letter.  But simple  as it is,  the people cannot understand it.   I must speak  to them  in  their  own language.   I must adapt  my  thoughts  to  their thoughts.   They  are  like unto children,  and love  to  hear  tales.

Therefore,  I  will  tell  them stories to explain the  glory  of  the

Dharma.   If they cannot grasp the truth in the abstract arguments  by

which I have reached it,  they may nevertheless come to understand it,

if it is illustrated in parables.”                                   1

There was once a lone widow who was very destitute, and having gone

to the mountain she beheld hermits holding a religious assembly.  Then

the  woman was filled with joy,  and uttering praises,  said,  “It  is

well,  holy priests! but while others give precious things such as the

ocean caves produce, I have nothing to offer.”  Having spoken thus and

having searched herself in vain for something to give, she recollected

that  some  time before she had found in a dungheap  two  coppers,  so

taking these she offered them forthwith as a gift to the priesthood in

charity.                                                             1

The superior of the priests,  a saint who could read the hearts  of

men,  disregarding  the  rich gifts of others and beholding  the  deep

faith  dwelling  in  the heart of this poor  widow,  and  wishing  the

priesthood  to esteem rightly her religious merit,  burst  forth  with

full voice in a canto.   He raised his right hand and said,  “Reverend

priests attend!” and then he proceeded:                              2

“The coppers of this poor widow

To all purpose are more worth

Than all the treasures of the oceans

And the wealth of the broad earth.                       3


“As an act of pure devotion

She has done a pious deed;

She has attained salvation,

Being free from selfish greed.”                          4

The woman was mightily strengthened in her mind by  this  thought,

and said, “It is even as the Teacher says: what I have done is as much

as if a rich man were to give up all his wealth.”                    5

And  the  Teacher said:  “Doing good deeds  is  like  hoarding  up

treasures,” and he expounded this truth in a parable:                6

“Three merchants set out on their travels,  each with his  capital;

one of them gained much, the second returned with his capital, and the

third  one came home after having lost his capital.   What is true  in

common life applies also to religion.                                7

“The capital is the state a man has reached,  the gain is  heaven;

the  loss  of  his capital means that a man will be born  in  a  lower

state,  as a denizen of hell or as an animal.   These are the  courses

that are upon to the sinner.                                         8

“He who brings back his capital, is like unto one who is born again

as  a man.   Those who through the exercise of various virtues  become

pious householders will be born again as men, for all beings will reap

the fruit of their actions.   But he who increases his capital is like

unto one who practises eminent virtues.   The virtuous,  excellent man

attains in heaven to the glorious state of the gods.”                9


There was a man born blind,  and he said:  “I do not believe in the

world  of  light and appearance.   There are  no  colours,  bright  or

sombre.   There is no sun,  no moon,  no stars.   No one has witnessed

these things.”                                                       1

His friends remonstrated with him,  but he clung to  his  opinion:

“What you say that you see,” he objected,  “are illusions.  If colours

existed  I should be able to touch them.   They have no substance  and

are not real.   Everything real has weight, but I feel no weight where

you see colours.”                                                    2

In those days there was a physician who was called to see the blind

man.   He mixed four simples, and when he applied them to the cataract

of  the  blind man the gray film melted,  and his  eyes  acquired  the

faculty of sight.                                                    3

The Tathagata is the physician, the cataract is the illusion of the

thought “I am,” and the four simples are the four noble truths.      4


There was a householder’s son who went away into a distant country,

and while the father accumulated immeasurable riches,  the son  became

miserably  poor.   And the son while searching for food  and  clothing

happened  to come to the country in which his father lived.   And  the

father saw him in his wretchedness,  for he was ragged and  brutalized

by poverty, and ordered some of his servants to call him.            1

When the sone saw the place to which he was conducted,  he thought,

“I must have evoked the suspicion of a powerful man, and he will throw

me  into prison.”  Full of apprehension he made his escape  before  he

had seen his father.                                                 2

Then the father sent messengers out after his son,  who was  caught

and  brought back in spite of his cries and  lamentations.   Thereupon

the father ordered his servants to deal tenderly with his son,  and he

appointed a labourer of his son’s rank and education to employ the lad

as  a helpmate on the estate.   And the son was pleased with  his  new

situation.                                                           3

From the window of his palace the father watched the boy,  and when

he saw that he was honest and industrious,  he promoted him higher and

higher.                                                              4

After some time,  he summoned his son and called together all  his

servants,  and made the secret known to them.   Then the poor man  was

exceedingly glad he was full of joy at meeting his father.           5

Little  by  little must the minds of men  be  trained  for  higher

truths.                                                              6


There was a bhikkhu who had great difficulty in keeping his  senses

and passions under control;  so, resolving to leave the Order, he came

to  the Blesse One to ask him for a release from the  vows.   And  the

Blessed One said to the bhikkhu:                                     1

“Take heed,  my son,  lest thou fall a prey to the passions of  thy

misguided  heart.   For  I see that in former  existences,  thou  hast

suffered  much  from the evil consequences of lust,  and  unless  thou

learnest  to  conquer thy sensual desire,  thou wilt in this  life  be

ruined through thy folly.                                            2

   “Listen to a story of another existence of thine, as a fish.      3

“The fish could be seen swimming lustily in the river, playing with his mate.   She,  moving in front,  suddenly perceived the meshes of a net,  and slipping around escaped the danger; but he, blinded by love, shot  eagerly after her and fell straight into the mouth of  the  net.  The fisherman pulled the net up, and the fish, who complained bitterly of  his  sad fate,  saying,  ‘this indeed is the bitter  fruit  of  my folly,’  would surely lave died if the Bodhisatta had not  chanced  to come by,  and,  understanding the language of the fish,  took pity  on him.   He bought the poor creature and said to him: ‘My good fish, had I not caught sight of thee this day,  thou wouldst have lost thy life.

I  shall save thee,  henceforth avoid the evil of lust.’   With  these

words he threw the fish into the water.                              4

“Make the best of the time of grace that is offered to thee in  thy

present existence,  and fear the dart of passion which,  if thou guard

not thy senses, will lead thee to destruction.”                      5


A  tailor who used to make robes for the brotherhood was  wont  to

cheat  his customers,  and thus prided himself on being  smarter  than

other  men.    But  once,  on  entering  upon  an  important  business

transaction  with  a  stranger,  he found  his  master  in  fraudulent

practices, and suffered a heavy loss.                                1

And the Blessed One said:  “This is not an isolated incident in the

greedy  tailor’s  gate;  in  other incarnations  he  suffered  similar

losses, and by trying to dupe others ultimately ruined himself.      2

“This same greedy character lived many generations ago as a  crane

near a pond, and when the dry season set in he said to the fishes with

a bland voice: ‘Are you not anxious for your future welfare?  There is

at present very little water and still less food in this  pond.   What

will you do should the whole pond become dry, in this drought.”      3

   “’Yes, indeed’ said the fishes, ‘what should we do?’              4

“Replied the crane: ‘I know a fine, large lake, which never becomes

dry.   Would you not like me to carry you there in my beak?’  When the

fishes began to distrust the honesty of the crane, he proposed to have

one  of them sent over to the lake to see it;  and a big carp at  last

decided  to take the risk for the sake of the others,  and  the  crane

carried him to a beautiful lake and brought him back in safety.   Then

all doubt vanished, and the fishes gained confidence in the crane, and

now  the crane took them one by one out of the pond and devoured  them

on a big varana-tree.                                                5

“There was also a lobster in the pond, and when it listed the crane

to  eat him too,  he said:  ‘I have taken all the fishes away and  put

them in a fine, large lake.  Come along.  I shall take thee, too!’   6

“’But how wilt thou hold me to carry me along?’ asked the lobster.7

“’I shall take hold of thee with my beak,’ said the crane.        8

“’Thou wilt let me fall if thou carry me like that.   I will not go

with thee!’ replied the lobster.                                     9

“’Thou needest not fear,’ rejoined the crane;  ‘I shall hold  thee

quite tight all the way.’                                           10

“Then the lobster said to himself: ‘If this crane once gets hold of

a  fish,  he  will certainly never let him go in a lake!   Now  if  he

should  really put me into the lake it would be splendid;  but  if  he

does not, then I will cut his throat and kill him!’  So he said to the

crane:  ‘Look  here,  friend,  thou wilt not be able to hold me  tight

enough; but we lobsters have a famous grip.  If thou wilt let me catch

hold of thee round the neck with my claws,  I shall be glad to go with

thee.’                                                              11

“The crane did not see that the lobster was trying to outwit  him, and agreed.   So the lobster caught hold of his neck with his claws as securely  as  with a pair of blacksmith’s  pincers,  and  called  out:

‘Ready, ready, go!’                                                 12

“The crane took him and showed him the lake,  and then turned  off

toward the varana-tree.  ‘My dear uncle!’ cried the lobster, ‘The lake

lies that way, but thou art taking me this other way.’              13

“Answered the crane: ‘Thinkest thou so?  Am I thy dear uncle?  Thou

meanest me to understand,  I suppose,  that I am thy slave, who has to

lift thee up and carry thee about with him,  where thou pleasest!  Now

cast  thine  eye upon that heap of fish-bones at the  root  of  yonder

varana-tree.  Just as I have eaten those fish, every one of them, just

so will I devour thee also!’                                        14

“Ah!  those fishes get eaten through their own stupidity,’ answered

the  lobster,  ‘but  I  am not going to let  thee  kill  me.   On  the

contrary,  it is thou that I am going to destroy.   For thou,  in  thy

folly,  hast not seen that I have outwitted thee.   If we die, we both

die  together;  for I will but off this head of thine and cast  it  to

the  ground!’  So saying,  he gave the crane’s neck a pinch  with  his

claws as with a vise.                                               15

“Then  gasping,  and  with tears  trickling  from  his  eyes,  and

trembling  with  the fear of death,  the crane besought  the  lobster,

saying: ‘O, my Lord! indeed I did not intend to eat thee.  Grant me my

life!’                                                              16

“Very  well!  fly  down and put me into  the  lake,’  replied  the

lobster.                                                            17

“And  the crane turned round and stepped down into  the  lake,  to

place  the lobster on the mud at its edge.   Then the lobster cut  the

crane’s  neck through as clean as one would cut a lotus-stalk  with  a

hunting-knife, and then entered the water!”                         18

When the Teacher had finished this discourse,  he added:  “Not  now

only was this man outwitted in this way, but in other existences, too,

by his own intrigues.”                                              19


There  was a rich man who used to invite all the Brahmans  of  the

neighbourhood to his house, and, giving them rich gifts, offered great

sacrifices to the gods.                                              1

And the Blessed One said:  “If a man each month repeat a  thousand

sacrifices and give offerings without ceasing,  he is not equal to him

who but one moment fixes his mind upon righteousness.”               2

The  world-honoured Buddha continued:  “There are  four  kinds  of

offering:  first,  when  the  gifts  are large and  the  merit  small;

secondly,  when the gifts are small and the merit small; thirdly, when

the gifts are small and the merit large;  and fourthly, when the gifts

are large and the merit is also large.                               3

“The first is the cause of the deluded man who takes away life  for

the purpose of sacrificing to the gods,  accompanied by carousing  and

feasting.  Here the gifts are great, but the merit is small indeed.  4

“The  gifts  are small and the merit  is  also  small,  when  from

covetousness  and an evil heart a man keeps to himself a part of  that

which he indends to offer.                                           5

“The merit is great,  however,  while the gift is small, when a man

makes  his offering from love and with a desire to grow in wisdom  and

in kindness.                                                         6

“Lastly,  the gift is large and the merit is large,  when a wealthy

man,  in  an unselfish spirit and with the wisdom of a  Buddha,  gives

donations and founds institutions for the best of mankind to enlighten

the minds of his fellow-men and to administer unto their needs.”     7


There was a certain Brahman in Kosambi,  a wrangler and well versed

in the Vedas.  As he found no one whom he regarded his equal in debate

he used to carry a lighted torch in his hand,  and when asked for  the

reason of his strange conduct, he replied: “This world is so dark that

I carry this torch to light it up, as far as I can.”                 1

A samana sitting in the market-place heard these words  and  said:

“My  friend,  if thine eyes are blind to the sight of the  omnipresent

lifht of the day,  do not call the world dark.  Thy torch adds nothing

to  the  glory of the sun and thy intention to illumine the  minds  of

others is as futile as it is arrogant.”                              2

Whereupon  the  Brahman asked:  “Where is the sun  of  which  thou

speakest?”   And the samana replied:  “The wisdom of the Tathagata  is

the sun of the mind. His radiancy is glorious by day and night, and he

whose faith is strong will not lack light on the path to Nirvana where

he will inherit bliss everlasting.”                                  3


While the Buddha was preaching his doctrine for the conversion  of the world in the neighbourhood of Savatthi,  a man of great wealth who sufferd  form many ailments came to him with clasped hands  and  said:

“World-honoured  Buddha,  pardon  me  for my want of  respect  in  not

saluting thee as I ought, but I suffer greatly from obesity, excessive

drowsiness,  and  other  complaints,  so that I  cannot  move  without

pain.”                                                               1

The  Tathagata,  seeing  the  luxuries  with  which  the  man  was surrounded  asked him:  “Hast thou a desire to know the cause  of  thy ailments?”   And  when the wealthy man expressed  his  willingness  to learn,  the Blessed One said: “There are five things which produce the condition of which thou complainest:  opulent dinners,  love of sleep, hankering  after pleasure,  thoughtlessness,  and lack of  occupation.

Exercise self-control at thy meals,  and take upon thyself some duties

that  will exercise thy abilities and make thee useful to thy  fellow-

men.  In following this advice thou wilt prolong thy life.”          2

The rich man remembered the words of the Buddha and after some time having recovered his lightness and body and youthful buoyancy returned to  the  World-honoured  One and,  coming  afoot  without  horses  and attendants,  said to him: “Master, thou hast cured my bodily ailments;

I come now to seek enlightenment of my mind.”                        3

And the Blessed One said:  “The worldling nourishes his  body,  but

the wise man nourishes his mind.   He who indulges in the satisfaction

of  his appetites works his own destruction;  but he who walks in  the

path  will  have both the salvation from evil and  a  prolongation  of

life.”                                                               4


Annabhara,  the slave of Sumana,  having just cut the grass on  the

meadow,  saw a samana with his bowl begging for food.   Throwing  down

his  bundle of grass he ran into the house and returned with the  rice

that had been provided for his own food.                             1

The samana ate the rice and gladdened him with words of  religious

comfort.                                                             2

The  daughter of Sumana having observed the scene  from  a  window

called out: “Good!  Annabhara, good!  Very good!”                    3

Sumana hearing these words inquired what she meant,  and on  being

informed  about Annabhara’s devotion and the words of comfort  he  had

received from the samana,  went to his slave and offered him money  to

divide the bliss of his offering.                                    4

“My lord,” said Annabhara,  “let me first ask the venerable  man.”

And approaching the samana,  he said: “My master has asked me to share

with  him  the bliss of the offering I made thee of  my  allowance  of

rice.  Is it right that I should divide it with him?”                5

The samana replied in a parable.   He said:  “In a village of  one hundred houses a single light was burning.  Then a neighbour came with his lamp and lit it;  and in this same way the light was  communicated from  house to house and the brightness in the village was  increased.  Thus  the light of religion may be diffused without stinting  him  who communicates  it.   Let  the bliss of thy offering also  be  diffused.

Divide it.”                                                          6

   Annabhara  returned to his master’s house and  said  to  him:   “I

present  thee,  my  lord,  with a share of the bliss of  my  offering.

Deign to accept it.”                                                 7

Sumana  accepted  it and offered his slave a  sum  of  money,  but

Annabhara replied:  “Not so,  my lord,  if I accept thy money it would

appear as if I sold thee my share.   Bliss cannot be sold;  I beg thou

wilt accept it as a gift.”                                           8

The master replied:  “Brother Annabhara,  from this day forth  thou

shalt be free.  Live with me as my friend and accept this present as a

token of my respect.”                                                9


There was a rich Brahman, well advanced in years, who, unmindful of

the impermanence of earthly things and anticipating a long  life,  had

built himself a large house.                                         1

The Buddha wondered why a man so near to death had built a  mansion

with  so many apartments,  and he sent Ananda to the rich  Brahman  to

preach  to  him  the  four noble truths  and  the  eightfold  path  of

salvation.                                                           2

The  Brahman  showed Ananda his house and  explained  to  him  the

purpose  of  its  numerous chambers,  but to the  instruction  of  the

Buddha’s teachings he gave no heed.                                  3

Ananda said: “It is the habit of fools to say, ‘I have children and

wealth.’   He who says so is not even master of himself;  how  can  he

claim  possession of children,  riches,  and servants?   Many are  the

anxieties of the worldly,  but they know nothing of the changes of the

future.”                                                             4

Scarcely  had  Ananda left,  when the old man  was  stricken  with

apoplexy and fell dead.  The Buddha said, for the instruction of those

who are ready to learn: “A fool, though he lives in the company of the

wise,  understands nothing of the true doctrine, as a spoon tastes not

the flavour of the soup.   He thinks of himself only, and unmindful of

the advice of good counsellors is unable to deliver himself.”        5


There was a disciple of the Blessed One,  full of energy and  zeal

for  the truth,  who,  living under a vow to complete a meditation  in

solitude,  flagged in a moment of weakness.   He said to himself: “The

Teacher  said  there are several kinds of men;  I must belong  to  the

lowest  class and fear that in this birth there will be  neither  path

nor fruit for me.   What is the use of a forest life if I cannot by my

constant  endeavour attain the insight of meditation to which  I  have

devoted  myself?”   And  he  left the solitude  and  returned  to  the

Jetavana.                                                            1

When the brethren saw him they said to him:  “Thou hast done wrong,

O brother,  after taking a vow,  to give up the attempt of carrying it

out;” and they took his to the Master.                               2

When the Blessed One saw them he said:  “I see,  O mendicants, that

you  have  brought this brother here against his will.   What  has  he

done?”                                                               3

“Lord,  this brother,  having taken the vows of so  sanctifying  a

faith,  has abandoned the endeavour to accomplish the aim of a  member

of the order, and has come back to us.”                              4

Then the Teacher said to him:  “Is it true that thou hast given  up

trying?”                                                             5

   “It is true, O Blessed One!” was the reply.                       6

The Master said:  “This present life of thine is a time of  grace.

If  thou  fail now to reach the happy state thou wilt have  to  suffer

remorse  in future existences.   How is it,  brother,  that thou  hast

proved so irresolute?   Why,  in former states of existence whou  wert

full  of determination.   By thy energy alone the men and bullocks  of

five  hundred  wagons obtained water in the  sandy  desert,  and  were

saved.  How is it that thou now givest up?”                          7

By  these  few  words  that  brother  was  re-established  in  his resolution.   But he others besought the Blessed One,  saying:  “Lord!

Tell us how this was.”                                               8

“Listen, then, O mendicants!” said the Blessed One; and having thus

excited their attention,  he made manifest a thing concealed by change

of birth.                                                            9

Once  upon a time,  when Brahmadatta was  reigning  in  Kasi,  the

Bodhisatta was born in a merchant’s family;  and when he grew  up,  he

went about trafficking with five hundred carts:                     10

One day he arrived at a sandy desert many leagues across.  The sand

in the desert was so fine that when taken in the closed fist it  could

not be kept in the hand.   After the sun had risen it became as hot as

a  mass of burning embers,  so that no man could walk on  it.   Those,

therefore,  who had to travel over it took wood,  and water,  and oil,

and  rice  in their carts,  and travelled during the  night.   And  at

daybreak they formed an encampment and spread an awning over it,  and,

taking their meals early,  they passed the day lying in the shade.  At

sunset  they supped,  and when the ground had become cool  they  yoked

their  oxen and went on.   The travelling was like a voyage  over  the

sea;  a desert-pilot had to be chosen, and he brought the caravan safe

to the other side by his knowledge of the stars.                    11

Thus the merchant of our story traversed the desert.   And when  he

had passed over fifty-nine leagues he thought, “Now, in one more night

we shall get out of the sand,” and after supper he directed the wagons

to be yoked,  and so set out.   The pilot had cushions arranged on the

foremost cart and lay down, looking at the stars and directing the men

where to drive.   But worn out by want of rest during the long  march,

he fell asleep,  and did not perceive that the oxen had turned  around

and taken the same road by which they had come.                     12

The oxen went on the whole night through.   Towards dawn the  pilot

woke up,  and, observing the stars, called out: “Stop the wagons, stop

the  wagons!”  The day broke just as they stopped and were drawing  up

the carts in a line.   Then the men cried out:  ‘Why this is the  very

encampment  we left yesterday!   We have but little wood left and  our

water is all gone!  We are lost!”  And unyoking the oxen and spreading

the canopy over their heads,  they lay down in despondency,  each  one

under  his  wagon.   But the Bodhisatta said to himself,  “If  I  lose

heart,  all these will perish,” and walked about while the morning was

yet cool.   On seeing a tuft of kusa-grass,  he thought:  “This  could

have grown only by soaking up some water which must be beneath it.” 13

And he made them bring a spade and dig in that spot.   And they dug

sixty cubits deep.   And when they had got thus far,  the spade of the

diggers struck on the rock; and as soon as it struck, they all gave up

in dispair.   But the Bodhisatta thought,  “There must be water  under

that  rock,” and descending into the well he got upon the  stone,  and

stooping  down applied his ear to it and tested the sound of  it.   He

heard  the  sound of water gurgling beneath,  and when he got  out  he

called  his page.   “My lad,  if thou givest up now,  we shall all  be

lost.  Do not lose heart.  Take this iron hammer, and go down into the

pit, and give the rock a good blow.”                                14

The lad obeyed,  and though they all stood by in despair,  he  went

down full of determination and struck at the stone.  The rock split in

two and fell below, so that it no longer blocked the stream, and water

rose  to  fill its depth from the bottom to the brim of the  well  was

equal to the height of a palm-tree.   And they all drunk of the water,

and  bathed in it.   Then they cooked rice and ate it,  and fed  their

oxen with it.   And when the sun set, they put a flag in the well, and

went to the place appointed.   There they sold their merchandise at  a

good profit and returned to their home, and when they died they passed

away according to their deeds.   And the Bodhisatta gave gifts and did

other virtuous acts, and he also passed away according to his deeds.15

After the Teacher had told the story he formed the  connection  by

saying  in  conclusion,  “The caravanleader was  the  Bodhisatta,  the

future Buddha;  the page who at that time despaired not, but broke the

stone,  and  gave  water to the multitude,  was  the  brother  without

perseverance; and the other men were attendants on the Buddha.”     16


Bharadvaja,  a wealthy Brahman farmer, was celebrating his harvest-

thanksgiving when the Blessed One came with his alms-bowl, begging for

food.                                                                1

Some of the people paid him reverence,  but the Brahman was  angry and said:  “O samana,  it would be more fitting for thee to go to work than to beg.   I plough and sow,  and having ploughed and sown, I eat.

If thou didst likewise, thou, too, wouldst have something to eat.”   2

The Tathagata answered him and said:  “O Brahman, I too, plough and

sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat.”                           3

“Dost  thou  profess to be a  husbandman?”  replied  the  Brahman.

“Where, then, are thy bullocks?  Where is the seed and the plough?”  4

The Blessed One said:  “Faith is the seed I sow: good works are the

rain that fertilizes it; wisdom and modesty are the plough; my mind is

the guiding-rein;  I lay hold of the handle of the law; earnestness is

the  goad I use,  and exertion is my draught-ox.   This  ploughing  is

ploughed to destroy the weeds of illusion.   The harvest it yields  is

the immortal fruit of Nirvana, and thus all sorrow ends.”            5

Then the Brahman poured rice-milk into a golden bowl and offered it

to the Blessed One, saying: “Let the Teacher of mankind partake of the

rice-milk, for the venerable Gotama ploughs a ploughing that bears the

fruit of immortality.”                                               6


When Bhagavat dwelt at Savatthi in the Jetavana,  he went out  with

his  alms-bowl to beg for food and approached the house of  a  Brahman

priest while the fire of an offering was blazing upon the altar.   And

the priest said:  “Stay there,  O shaveling;  stay there,  O  wretched

samana; thou art an outcast.”                                        1

   The Blessed One replied: “Who is an outcast?”                     2

“An outcast is the man who is angry and bears hatred;  the man  who

is  wicked  and hypocritical,  he who embraces error and  is  full  of

deceit.                                                              3

“Whosoever is a provoker and is avaricious,  has evil  desires,  is

envious,  wicked, shameless, and without fear to commit wrong, let him

be known as an outcast.                                              4

“Not by birth does one become an outcast,  not by birth  does  one

become  a  Brahman;  by deeds one becomes an  outcast,  by  deeds  one

becomes a Brahman.”                                                  5


Ananda,  the favourite disciple disciple of the Buddha, having been

sent by the Lord on a mission,  passed by a well near a  village,  and

seeing Pakati,  a girl of the Matanga caste, he asked her for water to

drink.                                                               1

Pakati said:  “O Brahman,  I am too humble and mean to  give  thee

water  to  drink,  do not ask any service of me lest thy  holiness  be

contaminated, for I am of low caste.”                                2

And Ananda replied:  “I ask not for caste but for water;” and  the

Matanga’s girl’s heart leaped joyfully and she gave Ananda to drink. 3

Ananda  thanked  her and went away;  but she  followed  him  at  a

distance.                                                            4

Having heard that Ananda was a disciple of Gotama  Sakyamuni,  the

girl repaired to the Blessed One:  “O Lord help me, and let me live in

the place where Ananda thy disciple dwells,  so that I may see him and

minister unto him, for I love Ananda.”                               5

And  the Blessed One understood the emotions of her heart  and  he

said:  “Pakati,  thy heart is full of love, but thou understandest not

thine  own sentiments.   It is not Ananda that thou  lovest,  but  his

kindness.  Accept, then, the kindness thou hast seen him practise unto

thee, and in the humility of thy station practise it unto others.    6

“Verily there is great merit in the generosity of a king  when  he

ignores  the wrongs which he suffers and cherishes kindness and  good-

will to all mankind.   He will cease to hate his oppressors,  and even

when  powerless to resist their usurpation will with  compassion  pity

their arrogance and supercilious demeanour.                          7

“Blessed art thou,  Pakati, for though thou art a Matanga thou wilt

be a model for noblemen and noblewomen.   Thou art of low  caste,  but

Brahmans  may learn a lesson from thee.   Swerve not from the path  of

justice  and righteousness and thou wilt outshine the royal  glory  of

queens on the throne.”                                               8


It is reported that two kingdoms were on the verge of war for  the

possession of a certain embankment which was disputed by them.       1

And the Buddha seeing the kings and their armies ready  to  fight,

requested them to tell him the cause of their quarrels.   Having heard

the complaints on both sides, he said:                               2

“I  understand  that the embankment has value  for  some  of  your

people;  has  it  any intrinsic value aside from its service  to  your

men?”                                                                3

“It has no intrinsic value whatever,” was the reply.  The Tathagata

continued: “Now when you go to battle is it not sure that many of your

men will be slain and that you yourselves, O kings, are liable to lose

your lives?”                                                         4

And they said:  “Verily, it is sure that many will be slain and our

own lives be jeopardized.”                                           5

“The blood of men,  however,” said Buddha,  “has it less  intrinsic

value than a mound of earth?”                                        6

“No,” the kings said,  “the lives of men and above all the lives of

kings, are priceless.”                                               7

Then the Tathagata concluded: “Are you going to stake that which is

priceless against that which has no intrinsic value whatever?”       8

The wrath of the two monarchs abated,  and they came to a peaceable

agreement.                                                           9


There was a great king who oppressed his people and was  hated  by

his subjects;  yet when the Tathagata came into his kingdom,  the king

desired  much to see him.   So he went to the place where the  Blessed

One stayed and asked:  “O Sakyamuni,  canst thou teach a lesson to the

king that will divert his mind and benefit him at the same time?”    1

And the Blessed One said:  “I shall tell thee the parable  of  the

hungry dog:                                                          2

“There was a wicked tyrant;  and the god Indra,  assuming the shape of a hunter,  came down upon earth with the demon Matali,  the  latter appearing  as  a dog of enormous size.   Hunter and  dog  entered  the palace,  and the dog howled so woefully that the royal buildings shook by  the  sound to their very foundations.   The tyrant  had  the  awe-inspiring  hunter  brought before his throne and  inquired  after  the cause  of the terrible bark.   The hunter said,  ‘The dog is  hungry,’ where-upon  the frightened king ordered food for him.   All  the  food prepared  at the royal banquet disappeared rapidly in the dog’s  jaws, and still he howled with portentous significance.   More food was sent for,  and all the royal store-houses were emptied,  but in vain.  Then the  tyrant  grew  desperate and  asked:  ‘Will  nothing  satisfy  the cravings  of  that  woeful beast?’   ‘Nothing,’  replied  the  hunter, ‘nothing  except perhaps the flesh of all his enemies.’  ‘And who  are his enemies?’ anxiously asked the tyrant.   The hunter  replied:  ‘The dog will howl as long as there are people hungry in the  kingdom,  and his  enemies are those who practise injustice and oppress  the  poor.’

The oppressor of the people,  remembering his evil deeds,  was  seized

with remorse, and for the first time in his life he began to listen to

the teachings of righteousness.”                                     3

Having ended his story, the Blessed One addressed the king, who had

turned pale, and said to him:                                        4

“The Tathagata can quicken the spiritual ears of the powerful,  and

when thou, great king, hearest the dog bark, think of the teachings of

the Buddha, and thou mayest still learn to pacify the monster.”      5


King Brahmadatta happened to see a beautiful woman,  the wife of  a

Brahman merchant, and, conceiving a passion for her ordered a precious

jewel secretly to be dropped into the merchant’s carriage.   The jewel

was missed, searched for, and found.  The merchant was arrested on the

charge  of  stealing,  and  the king pretended to  listen  with  great

attention to the defence, and with seeming regret ordered the merchant

to be executed, while his wife was consigned to the royal harem.     1

Brahmadatta attended the execution in person,  for such sights were wont  to give him pleasure,  but when the doomed man looked with  deep compassion at his infamous judge,  a flash of the Buddha’s wisdom  lit up the king’s passion-beclouded mind; and while the executioner raised the sword for the final stroke, Brahmadatta felt the effect in his own mind,   and  he  imagined  he  saw  himself  on  the  block.    “Hold, executioner!” shouted Brahmadatta, “it is the king whom thou slayest!”

But it was too late!  The executioner had done the bloody deed.      2

The king fell back in a swoon,  and when he awoke a change had come

over him.   He had ceased to be the cruel despot and henceforth led  a

life of holiness and rectitude.  The people said that the character of

the Brahman had been impressed into his mind.                        3

   O ye who commit murders and robberies!   The veil of  self-delusion

covers  your eyes.   If ye could see things as they are,  not as  they

appear,  ye  would  no longer inflict injuries and pain  on  your  own

selves.   Ye  see not that ye will have to atone for your evil  deeds,

for what ye sow that will ye reap.                                   4


There was a courtesan in Mathura named Vasavadatta.   She  happened

to  see  Upagutta,  one of Buddha’s disciples,  a tall  and  beautiful

youth,  and  fell desperately in love with him.   Vasavadatta sent  an

invitation  to the young man,  but he replied:  “The time has not  yet

arrived when Upagutta will visit Vasavadatta.”                       1

The courtesan was astonished at the reply,  and she sent again  for

him, saying: “Vasavadatta desires love, not gold, from Upagutta.”  But

Upagutta made the same enigmatic reply and did not come.             2

A few months later Vasavadatta had a love-intrigue with the  chief

of the artisans,  and at that time a wealthy merchant came to Mathura,

who fell in love with Vasavadatta.  Seeing his wealth, and fearing the

jealousy of her other lover,  she contrived the death of the chief  of

the artisans, and concealed his body under a dunghill.               3

When the chief of the artisans had disappeared,  his relatives  and

friends searched for him and found his  body.   Vasavadatta,  however,

was  tried by a judge,  and condemned to have her ears and  nose,  her

hands and feet cut off, and flung into a graveyard.                  4

Vasavadatta had been a passionate girl,  but kind to her  servants,

and  one  of her maids followed her,  and out of love for  her  former

mistress  ministered  unto her in her agonies,  and  chased  away  the

crows.                                                               5

   Now  the  time  had  arrived  when  Upagutta  decided  to   visit

Vasavadatta.                                                         6

When he came,  the poor woman ordered her maid to collect and  hide

under a cloth her severed limbs;  and he greeted her kindly,  but  she

said with petulance: “Once this body was fragrant like the lotus and I

offered  thee my love.   In those days I was covered with  pearls  and

fine  muslin.   Now I am mangled by the executioner and  covered  with

filth and blood.”                                                    7

“Sister,” said the young man,  “it is not for my pleasure  that  I

approach  thee.   It  is to restore to thee a nobler beauty  than  the

charms which thou hast lost.                                         8

“I have seen with mine eyes the Tathagata walking upon  earth  and

teaching  men  his  wonderful doctrine.   But thou  wouldst  not  have

listened   to  the  words  of  righteousness  while  surrounded   with

temptations, while under the spell of passion and yearning for worldly

pleasures.   Thou  wouldst not have listened to the teachings  of  the

Tathagata,  for thy heart was wayward, and thou didst see thy trust on

the sham of thy transient charms.                                    9

“The charms of a lovely form are trecherous,  and quickly lead into

temptations,  which have proved too strong for thee.   But there is  a

beauty  which  will  not fade,  and if thou wilt  but  listen  to  the

doctrine of our Lord, the Buddha. thou wilt find that peace which thou

wouldst have found in the restless world of sinful pleasures.”      10

Vasavadatta  became  calm and a spiritual  happiness  soothed  the

tortures of her bodily pain;  for where there is much suffering  there

is also great bliss.                                                11

Having taken refuge in the Buddha,  the Dharma, and the Sangha, she

died in pious submission to the punishment of her crime.            12


There was a man in Jambunada who was to be arried the next day, and

he thought,  “Would that the Buddha, the Blessed One, might be present

at the wedding.”                                                     1

And the Blessed One passed by his house and met him,  and when  he

read the silent wish in the heart of the bridegroom,  he consented  to

enter.                                                               2

When the Holy One appeared with the retinue of his many  bhikkhus,

the  host  whose means were limited received them as  best  he  could,

saying:  “Eat,  my Lord,  and all thy congregation,  according to your

desire.”                                                             3

While the holy men ate, the meats and drinks remained undiminished,

and the host, thought to himself: “How wondrous is this! I should have

had plenty for all my relatives and friends.  Would that I had invited

them all.”                                                           4

When this thought was in the host’s mind,  all his  relatives  and

friends  entered  the house;  and although the hall in the  house  was

small  there  was room in it for all of them.   They sat down  at  the

table and ate, and there was more than enouhgh for all of them.      5

The  Blessed One was pleased to see so many guests  full  of  good

cheer  and he quickened them and gladdened them with words  of  truth,

proclaiming the bliss of righteousness:                              6

“The greatest happiness which a mortal man can imagine is the  bond

of  marriage  that ties together two loving hearts.   But there  is  a

greater  happiness  still:  it is the embrace of  truth.   Death  will

separate  husband and wife,  but death will never affect him  who  has

espoused the truth.                                                  7

“Therefore  be married unto the truth and live with the  truth  in holy wedlock.   The husband who loves his wife and desires for a union that  shall  be everlasting must be faithful to her so as to  be  like truth itself,  and she will rely upon him and revere him and  minister unto him.  And the wife who loves her husband and desires a union that shall  be everlasting must be faithful to him so as to be  like  truth itself;  and he will place his trust in her,  he will provide for her.

Verily,  I  say unto you,  their children will become like unto  their

parents and will bear witness to their happiness.                    8

“Let no man be single,  let every one be wedded in holy love to the

truth.   And when Mara,  the destroyer,  comes to separate the visible

forms of you being,  you will continue to live in the truth,  and  you

will partake of the life everlasting, for the truth is immortal.”    9

There  was  no one among the guests but was  strengthened  in  his

spiritual   life,   and  recognized  the  sweetness  of  a   life   of

righteousness; and they took refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the

Sangha.                                                             10


Having sent out his disciples,  the Blessed One  himself  wandered

from place to place until he reached Uruvela.                        1

On his way he sat down in a grove to rest,  and it happened that in

that same grove there was a party of thirty friends who were  enjoying

themselves  with their wives;  and while they were sporting,  some  of

their goods were stolen.                                             2

Then the whole party went in search of the thief and,  meeting  the

Blessed One sitting under a tree,  saluted him and said:  “Pray, Lord,

didst thou see the thief pass by with our goods?”                    3

And the Blessed One said:  “Which is better for you, that you go in

search  for the thief or for yourselves?”  And the youths  cried:  “In

search for ourselves!”                                               4

“Well,  themn,” said the Blessed One,  “sit down and I will  preach

the truth to you.”                                                   5

And the whole party sat down and they listened eagerly to the words

of  the  Blessed One.   Having grasped the  truth,  they  praised  the

doctrine and took refuge in the Buddha.                              6


There was a Brahman, a religious man and fond in his affections but

without deep wisdom.   He had a son of great promise,  who, when seven

years old,  was struck with a fatal disease and died.  The unfortunate

father was unable to control himself; he threw himself upon the corpse

and lay there as one dead.                                           1

The relatives came and buried the dead child and when  the  father

came  to himself,  he was so immoderate in his grief that  he  behaved

like  an insane person.   He no longer gave way to tears but  wandered

about asking for the residence of Yamaraja,  the king of death, humbly

to beg of him that his child might be allowed to turn to life.       2

Having  arrived  at a great Brahman temple  the  sad  father  went

through certain religious rites and fell asleep.   While wandering  on

in his dream he came to a deep mountain pass where he met a number  of

samanas who had acquired supreme wisdom.   “Kind sirs,” he said,  “can

you  not tell me where the residence of Yamaraja is?”  And they  asked

him, “Good friend, why wouldst thou know?”  Whereupon he told them his

sad  story and explained his intentions.   Pitying his  self-delusion,

the  samanas  said:  “No  mortal man can reach the  place  where  Yama

reigns,  but  some  four hundred miles westward lies a great  city  in

which  many  good spirits live;  every eighth day of  the  month  Yama

visits  the place,  and there mayest thou see him who is the  King  of

Death and ask him for a boon.”                                       3

The Brahman rejoicing at the news went to the city and found it  as

the  samanas had told him.   He was admitted to the dread presence  of

Yama,  the King of Death,  who, on hearing his request, said: “Thy son

now  lives in the eastern garden where he is  disporting  himself;  go

there and ask him to follow thee.”                                   4

Said the happy father:  “How does it happen that my  son,  without

having performed one good work,  is now living in paradise?”  Yamaraja

replied:  “He has obtained celestial happiness not for performing good

works,  but  because  he  died in faith and in love to  the  Lord  and

Master, the most glorious Buddha.  The Buddha says: ‘The heart of love

and faith spreads as it were a beneficent shade from the world of  men

to the world of gods.’  This glorious utterance is like the stamp of a

king’s seal upon a royal edict.”                                     5

The happy father hastened to the place and saw his  beloved  child playing  with  other children,  all transfigured by the peace  of  the blissful existence of a heavenly life.  He ran up to his boy and cried with tears running down his cheeks:  “My son,  my son,  dost thou  not remember  me,  thy father who watched over thee with loving  care  and tended thee in thy sickness?   Return home with me to the land of  the living.”  But the boy,  while struggling to go back to his  playmates, upbraided  him for using such strange expressions as father  and  son.

“In my present state,” he said,  “I know no such words,  for I am free

from delusion.”                                                      6

On this,  the Brahman departed,  and when he woke from his dream he

bethought himself of the Blessed Master of mankind,  the great Buddha,

and resolved to go to him, lay bare his grief, and seek consolation. 7

Having arrived at the Jetavana,  the Brahman told his story and how

his boy had refused to recognize him and to go home with him.        8

And the World-honoured One said: “Truly thou art deluded.  When man

dies  the body is dissolved into its elements,  but the spirit is  not

entombed.   It  leads a higher mode of life in which all the  relative

terms of father, son, wife, mother, are at an end, just as a guest who

leaves his lodging has done with it,  as though it were a thing of the

past.   Men concern themselves most about that which passes away;  but

the  end of life quickly comes as a burning torrent sweeping away  the

transient in a moment.   They are like a blind man set to look after a

burning  lamp.   A wise man,  understanding the transiency of  worldly

relations,  destroys the cause of grief, and escapes from the seething

wirlpool of sorrow.   Religious wisdom lifts a man above the pleasures

and pains of the world and gives him peace everlasting.”             9

The Brahman asked the permission of the Blessed One to  enter  the

communitiy  of  his bhikkhus,  so as to acquire that  heavenly  wisdom

which alone can give comfort to an afflicted heart.                 10


There was a rich man who found his gold suddenly transformed  into ashes; and he took to his bed and refused all food.  A friend, hearing of  his sickness,  visited the rich man and learned the cause  of  his grief.   And  the friend said:  “Thou didst not make good use  of  thy wealth.   When  thou didst hoard it up it was not better  than  ashes.

Now heed my advice.  Spread mats in the bazaar;  pile up these  ashes,

and pretend to trade with them.”                                     1

The  rich  man  did as his friend  had  told  him,  and  when  his

neighbours asked him,  “Why sellest thou ashes?” he said:  “I offer my

goods for sale.”                                                     2

After some time a young girl, named Kisa Gotama, an orphan and very

poor,  passed by,  and seeing the rich man in the  bazaar,  said:  “My

lord, why pilest thou thus up gold and silver for sale.”             3

And  the rich man said:  “Wilt thou please hand me that  gold  and

silver?”   And Kisa Gotami took up a handful of ashes,  and  lo!  they

changed back into gold.                                              4

Considering  that  Kisa Gotami had the  mental  eye  of  spiritual

knowledge and saw the real worth of things,  the rich man gave her  in

marriage to his son,  and he said:  “With many, gold is no better than

ashes, but with Kisa Gotami ashes become pure gold.”                 5

And Kisa Gotami had an only son,  and he died.   In her grief  she

carried  the  dead  child  to all  her  neighbours,  asking  them  for

medicine,  and the people said:  “She has lost her senses.  The boy is

dead.”                                                               6

At  length Kisa Gotami met a man who replied to  her  request:  “I

cannot  give thee medicine for thy child,  but I know a physician  who

can.”                                                                7

And the girl said:  “Pray tell me,  sir;  who is it?”  And the  man

replied: “Go to Sakyamuni, the Buddha.”                              8

Kisa Gotami repaired to the Buddha and cried:  “Lord  and  Master,

give me medicine that will cure my boy.”                             9

The Buddha answered:  “I want a handful of mustard seed.”  And when

the  girl in her joy promised to procure it,  the Buddha  added:  “The

mustard seed must be taken from a house where no one has lost a child,

husband, parent, or friend.”                                        10

Poor  Kisa Gotami now went from house to  house,  and  the  people

pitied her and said:  “Here is mustard seed;  take it!”  But when  she

asked,  “Did  a  son or daughter,  a father or  mother,  die  in  your

family?”  They answered her:  “Alas!  the living are few, but the dead

are many.   Do not remind us of our deepest grief.”  And there was  no

house but some beloved one had died in it.                          11

Kisa Gotami became weary and hopeless, and sat down at the wayside,

watching  the  lights  of the city,  as they  flickered  up  and  were

extinguished  again.   At  last  the darkness  of  the  night  reigned

everywhere.   And  she considered the fate of men,  that  their  lives

flicker  up and are extinguished.   And she thought to  herself:  “How

selfish am I in my grief!  Death is common to all;  yet in this valley

of  desolation there is a path that leads him to immortality  who  has

surrendered all selfishness.”                                       12

Putting away the selfishness of her affection for her  child,  Kisa

Gotami  had  the  dead boy buried in the  forest.   Returning  to  the

Buddha,  she took refuge in him and found comfort in the Dharma, which

is a balm that will soothe all the pains of our troubled hearts.    13

   The Buddha said:                                                 14

“The  life  of mortals in this world is  troubled  and  brief  and

combined  with pain.   For there is not any means by which those  that

have been born can avoid dying; after reaching old age there is death;

of such a nature are living beings.                                 15

“As ripe fruits are early in danger of falling.  so  mortals  when

born are always in danger of death.                                 16

“As all earthen vessels made by the potter and in being broken,  so

is the life of mortals.                                             17

“Both young and adult,  both those who are fools and those who  are

wise, all fall into the power of death; all are subject to death.   18

“Of those who, overcome by death, depart from life, a father cannot

save his son, nor kinsmen their relations.                          19

“Mark!  while relatives are looking on and lamenting deeply, one by

one  mortals  are  carried  off,  like  an  ox  that  is  led  to  the

slaughter.                                                          20

“So the world is afflicted with death and decay, therefore the wise

do not grieve, knowing the terms of the world.                      21

“In whatever manner people think a thing will come to pass,  it  is

often different when it happens, and great is the disappointment; see,

such are the terms of the world.                                    22

“Not from weeping nor from grieving will any one obtain  peace  of

mind;  on the contrary, his pain will be the greater and his body will

suffer.   He  will make himself sick and pale,  yet the dead  are  not

saved by his lamentation.                                           23

“People pass away,  and their fate after death will be according to

their deeds.                                                        24

“If a man live a hundred years,  or even more,  he will at last  be

separated  from the company of his relatives,  and leave the  life  of

this world.                                                         25

“He who seeks peace should draw out the arrow of  lamentation,  and

complaint, and grief.                                               26

“He who has drawn out the arrow and has become composed will obtain

peace  of mind;  he who has overcome all sorrow will become free  from

sorrow, and be blessed.”                                            27


South of Savatthi is a great river,  on the banks of which  lay  a

hamlet  of  five hundred houses.   Thinking of the  salvation  of  the

people,  the  World-honoured  One resolved to go to  the  village  and

preach the doctrine.  Having come to the riverside he sat down beneath

a  tree,  and  the  villagers  seeing  the  glory  of  his  appearance

approached  him  with reverence;  but when he began  to  preach,  they

believed him not.                                                    1

When the world-honoured Buddha had left Savatthi Sariputta felt  a desire  to see the Lord and to hear him preach.   Coming to the  river where the water was deep and the current strong,  he said to  himself:

“This  stream shall not prevent me.   I shall go and see  the  Blessed

One,”  and he stepped upon the water which was as firm under his  feet

as a slab of granite.                                                2

When he arrived at a place in the middle of the stream  where  the waves  were high,  Sariputta’s heart gave way,  and he began to  sink.

But rousing his faith and renewing his mental effort,  he preceded  as

before and reached the other bank.                                   3

The people of the village were astonished to  see  Sariputta,  and

they  asked  how he could cross the stream where there was  neither  a

bridge nor a ferry.                                                  4

And  Sariputta replied:  “I lived in ignorance until I  heard  the

voice  of  the  Buddha.   As I was anxious to  hear  the  doctrine  of

salvation,  I crossed the river and I walked over its troubled  waters

because I had faith.   Faith,  nothing else,  enabled me to do so, and

now I am here in the bliss of the Master’s presence.”                5

The World-honoured One added:  “Sariputta,  thou hast spoken  well.

Faith  like  thine alone can save the world from the yawning  gulf  of

migration and enable men to walk dryshod to the other shore.”        6

And the Blessed One urged to the villagers the necessity  of  ever

advancing in the conquest of sorrow and of casting off all shackles so

as  to  cross  the river of worldliness and  attain  deliverance  from

death.                                                               7

Hearing the words of the Tathagata,  the villagers were filled with

joy  and  believing in the doctrines of the Blessed One  embraced  the

five rules and took refuge in his name.                              8


An  old  bhikkhu  of a surly  disposition  was  afflicted  with  a

loathsome disease the sight and smell of which was so nauseating  that

no  one  would  come near him or help him in  his  distress.   And  it

happened  that the World-honoured One came to the vihara in which  the

unfortunate man lay;  hearing of the case he ordered warm water to  be

prepared and went to the sick-room to administer unto the sores of the

patient with his own hand, saying to his disciples:                  1

“The Tathagata has come into the world to befriend  the  poor,  to

succour the unprotected,  to nouish those in bodily  affliction,  both

the  followers  of the Dharma and unbelievers,  to give sight  to  the

blind  and  enlighten the minds of the deluded,  to stand up  for  the

rights  of  orphans as well as the aged,  and in so doing  to  set  an

example to others.   This is the consummation of his work, and thus he

attains  the great goal of life as the rivers that lose themselves  in

the ocean.”                                                          2

The World-honoured One administered unto the sick bhikkhu daily  so

long as he stayed in that place.  And the governor of the city came to

the Buddha to do him reverence,  and having heard of the service which

the  Lord did in the vihara asked the Blessed One about  the  previous

existence of the sick monk, and the Buddha said:                     3

“In days gone by there was a wicked king who used to  extort  from his subjects all he could get;  and he ordered one of his officers  to lay the lash on a man of eminence.  The officer little thinking of the pain  he inflicted upon others,  obeyed;  but when the victim  of  the king’s  wrath begged for mercy,  he felt compassion and laid the  whip lightly  upon  him.   Now the king was reborn as  Devadatta,  who  was abandoned by all his followers, because they were no longer willing to stand his severity and he died miserable and full of  penitence.   The officer  is the sick bhikkhu,  who having often given offence  to  his brethren  in the vihara was left without assistance in  his  distress.

The eminent man, however, who was unjustly beaten and begged for mercy

was the Bodhisatta;  he has been reborn as the Tathagata.   It is  now

the lot of the Tathagata to help the wretched officer as he had  mercy

on him.”                                                             4

And the World-honoured One repeated these lines:  “He who  inflicts

pain on the gentle,  or falsely accuses the innocent, will inherit one

of  the ten great calamities.   But he who has learned to suffer  with

patience  will be purified and will be the chosen instrument  for  the

alleviation of suffering.”                                           5

The diseased bhikkhu on hearing these words turned to the  Buddha,

confessed  his  ill-natured  temper and repented,  and  with  a  heart

cleansed from error did reverence unto the Lord.                     6


While the Blessed One was residing in the Jetavana,  there  was  a

householder living in Savatthi known to all his neighbours as  patient

and  kind,  but his relatives were wicked and contrived a plot to  rob

him.  One day they came to the householder and often worrying him with

all kinds of threats took away a goodly portion of his  property.   He

did  not go to court,  nor did he complain,  but tolerated with  great

forbearance the wrongs he suffered.                                  1

The neighbours wondered and began to talk about it,  and rumours of

the  affair reached the ears of the brethren in Jetavana.   While  the

brethren discussed the occurence in the assembly hall, the Blessed One

entered and asked “What was the topic of your conversation?”  And they

told him.                                                            2

Said the Blessed One: “The time will come when the wicked relatives

will find their punishment.   O brethren,  this is not the first  time

that this occurrence took place;  it has happened before,” and he told

them a world-old tale.                                               3

Once  upon  a time,  when Brahmadatta was  king  of  Benares,  the

Bodhisatta was born in the Himalaya region as an elephant.  He grew up

strong  and big,  and ranged the hislls and mountains,  the peaks  and

caves of the tortuous woods in the valleys.   Once as he went he saw a

pleasant tree, and took his food, standing under it.                 4

Then  some  impertinent monkeys came down out  of  the  tree,  and

jumping  on the elephant’s back,  insulted and tormented him  greatly;

they took hold of his tusks, pulled his tail and disported themselves,

thereby  causing him much annoyance.   The Bodhisatta,  being full  of

patience,  kindliness  and  mercy,  took  no notice at  all  of  their

misconduct which the monkeys repeated again and again.               5

One day the spirit that lived in the tree,  standing upon the tree-

trunk, addressed the elephant saying, “My lord elephant, why dost thou

put  up  with the impudence of these bad monkeys?”  And he  asked  the

question in a couplet as follows:                                    6
“Why dost thou patiently endure each freak

These mischievous and selfish monkeys wreak?”            7

The Bodhisatta,  on hearing  this,  replied,  “If,  Tree-sprite,  I

cannot  endure  these  monkeys’ ill treatment  without  abusing  their

birth,  lineage,  and persons,  how can I walk in the eightfold  noble

path?   But these monkeys will do the same to others thinking them  to

be like me.   If they do it to any rogue elephant, he will punish them

indeed,  and  I shall be delivered both from their annoyance  and  the

guilt of having done harm to others.”                                8

   Saying this he repeated another stanza:                           9

“If they will treat another one like me,

He will destroy them; and I shall be free.”             10

A few days later,  the Bodhisatta went  elsewhither,  and  another

elephant,  a savage beast,  came and stood in his place.   The  wicked

monkeys thinking him to be like the old one, climbed upon his back and

did as before.   The rogue elephant siezed the monkeys with his trunk,

threw  them upon the ground,  gored them with his trunk  and  trampled

them to mincemeat under his feet.                                   11

When the Master had ended his teaching, he declared the truths, and

identified the births,  saying:  “At that time the mischievous monkeys

were the wicked relatives of the good man,  the rogue elephant was the

one  who  will punish them,  but the virtuous noble elephant  was  the

Tathagata himself in a former incarnation.”                         12

After this discourse one of the brethren rose and asked  leave  to

propose  a question and when permission was granted he said:  “I  have

heard  the doctrine that wrong should be met with wrong and  the  evil

doer should be checked by being made to suffer,  for if this were  not

done  evil  would increase and good would disappear.   What  shall  we

do?”                                                                13

Said the Blessed One:  “Nay,  I will tell you: Ye who have left the

world   and  have  adopted  this  glorious  faith  of  putting   aside

selfishness, ye shall not do evil nor return hate for hate.  Nor do ye

think that ye can destroy wrong by retaliating evil for evil and  thus

increasing wrong.  Leave the wicked to their fate and their evil deeds

will  sooner  or  later  in one way or  another  bring  on  their  own

punishment.”  And the Tathagata repeated these stanzas:             14
“Who harmeth him that doth no harm

And stiketh him that striketh not,

Shall gravest punishment incur

The which his wickedness begot, -                       15


“Some of the greatest ills in life

Either a loathsome dread disease,

Or dread old age, or loss of mind,

Or wretched pain without surcease,                      16


“Or conflagration, loss of wealth;

Or his nearest kin he shall

See some one die that’s dear to him,

And then he’ll be reborn in hell.”                      17