14. THE WIND-DEER AND THE HONEY-GRASS [THE CRAVING FOR TASTE]

14. THE WIND-DEER AND THE HONEY-GRAS [THE CRAVING FOR TASTE]

Buddhist Tales for Young and Old, volume 1, Prince Goodspeaker, Stories 1-50

Once upon a time, the King of Benares had a gardener who looked after his pleasure garden. Animals sometimes came into the garden from the nearby forest. The gardener complained about this to the king, who said, “If you see any strange animal, tell me at once.”

One day, he saw a strange kind of deer at the far end of the garden. When he saw the man, he ran like the wind. That is why they are called ‘wind-deer’. They are a rare breed, that are extremely timid. They are very easily frightened by human beings.

The gardener told the king about the wind-deer. He asked the gardener if he could catch the rare animal. He replied, “My lord, if you give me some bee’s honey, I could even bring him into the palace!” So the king ordered that he be given as much bee’s honey as he wanted.

This particular wind-deer loved to eat the flowers and fruits in the king’s pleasure garden. The gardener let himself be seen by him little by little, so he would be less frightened. Then he began to smear honey on the grass where the wind-deer usually came to eat. Sure enough, the deer began eating the honey-smeared grass. Soon he developed a craving for the taste of this ‘honey-grass’. The craving made him come to the garden every day. Before long, he would eat nothing else!

Little by little, the gardener came closer and closer to the wind-deer. At first, he would run away. But later, he lost his fear and came to think the man was harmless. As the gardener became more and more friendly, eventually he got the deer to eat the honey-grass right out of his hand. He continued doing this for some time, in order to build up his confidence and trust.

Meanwhile, the gardener had rows of curtains set up, making a wide pathway from the far end of the pleasure garden to the king’s palace. From inside this pathway, the curtains would keep the wind-deer from seeing any people that might scare him.

When all was prepared, the gardener took a bag of grass and a container of honey with him. Again he began hand-feeding the wind-deer when he appeared. Gradually, he led the wind-deer into the curtained-off pathway. Slowly, he continued to lead him with the honey-grass, until finally the deer followed him right into the palace. Once inside, the palace guards closed the doors, and the wind-deer was trapped. Seeing the people of the court, he suddenly became very frightened and began running around, madly trying to escape.

The king came down to the hall and saw the panic-stricken wind-deer. He said, “What a wind-deer! How could he have gotten into such a state? A wind-deer is an animal who will not return to a place where he has so much as seen a human, for seven full days. Ordinarily, if a wind-deer is at all frightened in a particular place, he will not return for the whole rest of his life! But look! Even such a shy wild creature can be enslaved by his craving for the taste of something sweet. Then he can be lured into the center of the city and even inside the palace itself.

“My friends, the teachers warn us not to be too attached to the place we live, for all things pass away. They say that being too attached to a small circle of friends is confining and restricts a broad outlook. But see how much more dangerous is the simple craving for a sweet flavour, or any other taste sensation. See how this beautiful shy animal was trapped by my gardener, by taking advantage of his craving for taste.”

Not wishing to harm the gentle wind-deer, the king had him released into the forest. He never returned to the royal pleasure garden, and he never missed the taste of honey-grass.

The moral is: “It is better to eat to live, than to live to eat.”

14. The Wind-deer and the Honey-gras [The Craving for Taste]

Link: https://hhdorjechangbuddhaiiiinfo.com/2022/01/17/14-the-wind-deer-and-the-honey-grass-the-craving-for-taste/

INTERPRETER’S INTRODUCTION – BUDDHIST TALES FOR YOUNG AND OLD, VOLUME 1, STORIES 1-50

#Buddhisttalesforyoungandold #Buddhiststories #storiesforkids #moralstories #Buddha #Jatakastories #PansiyaPanasJataka

13. MOUNTAIN BUCK AND VILLAGE DOE [INFATUATION]

13. MOUNTAIN BUCK AND VILLAGE DOE [INFATUATION]

Buddhist Tales for Young and Old, volume 1, Prince Goodspeaker, Stories 1-50

Once upon a time, in northern India, there was a herd of village deer. They were used to being near villages; they were born there and grew up there. They knew they had to be very careful around people. This was especially true at harvest time, when the crops were tall, and the farmers trapped and killed any deer who came near.

At harvest time, the village deer stayed in the forest all day long. They only came near the village during the dark of the night. One of these was a beautiful young doe. She had soft reddish-brown fur, a fluffy white tail and big wide bright eyes.

During this particular season, there was a young mountain buck who had strayed into the same low forest. One day, he saw the beautiful young doe, and immediately became infatuated with her. He didn’t know anything about her. But he imagined himself to be deeply in love with her, just because of her reddish-brown fur and her fluffy white tail and her big wide bright eyes. He even dreamed about her, although she did not know he existed!

After a few days, the young mountain buck decided to introduce himself. As he was walking out into the clearing where she was grazing, he was entranced by her appearance and could not take his eyes off her. He began speaking: “Oh my sweet beauty, as lovely as the stars and as bright as the moon, I confess to you that I am deeply” — Just then the young buck’s hoof got caught in a root, he tripped and fell, and his face splashed in a mud puddle! The pretty village doe was flattered, so she smiled. But inside, she thought this mountain buck was really rather silly!

Meanwhile, unknown to the deer, there was a clan of tree fairies living in that part of the forest. They had been watching the mountain buck, while he secretly watched the village doe. When he walked out into the clearing, began his speech, and fell in the mud puddle – the fairies laughed and laughed. “What fools these dumb animals are!” they cried. But one fairy did not laugh. He said,”I fear this is a warning of danger to this young fool!”

The young buck was a little embarrassed, but he did not see it as any kind of warning. From then on, he followed the doe wherever she went. He kept telling her how beautiful she was and how much he loved her. She didn’t pay much attention.

Then night came, and it was time for the doe to go down to the village. The people who lived along the way knew the deer passed by at night. So they set traps to catch them. That night a hunter waited, hiding behind a bush.

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Carefully, the village doe set out. The mountain buck, who was still singing her praises, went right along with her. She stopped and said to him, “My dear buck, you are not experienced with being around villages. You don’t know how dangerous human beings are. The village, and the way to it, can bring death to a deer even at night. Since you are so young and inexperienced (and she thought to herself, ‘and foolish’), you should not come down to the village with me. You should remain in the safety of the forest.”

At this, the tree fairies applauded. But of course, the deer could not hear them.

The young buck paid no attention to the doe’s warning. He just said, “Your eyes look so lovely in the moonlight!” and kept walking with her. She said, “If you won’t listen to me, at least be quiet!” He was so infatuated with her, that he could not control his mind. But he did finally shut his mouth!

After a while, they approached the place where the hunter was hiding behind a bush. The fairies saw him, and became agitated and frightened for the deer’s safety. They flew nervously around the tree, branches, but they could only watch.

The doe could smell the hiding man. She was afraid of a trap. So, thinking to save her own life, she let the buck go first. She followed a little way behind.

When the hunter saw the unsuspecting mountain buck, he shot his arrow and killed him instantly. Seeing this, the terrified doe turned tail and ran back to the forest clearing as fast as she could.

The hunter claimed his kill. He started a fire, skinned the deer, cooked some of the venison and ate his fill. Then he threw the carcass over his shoulder and carried it back home to feed his family.

When the fairies saw what happened, some of them cried. As they watched the hunter cut up the once noble looking buck, some of them felt sick. Others blamed the careful doe for leading him to the slaughter.

But the wise fairy, who had given the first warning, said, “It was the excitement of infatuation that killed this foolish deer. Such blind desire brings false happiness at first, but ends in pain and suffering.”

The moral is: Infatuation leads to destruction.

13. Mountain Buck and Village Doe [Infatuation]

Link: https://hhdorjechangbuddhaiiiinfo.com/2022/01/11/13-mountain-buck-and-village-doe-infatuation/

INTERPRETER’S INTRODUCTION – BUDDHIST TALES FOR YOUNG AND OLD, VOLUME 1, STORIES 1-50

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12. KING BANYAN DEER [CHAPTER 1. COMPASSION]

12. KING BANYAN DEER [CHAPTER 1. COMPASSION]

Buddhist Tales for Young and Old, volume 1, Prince Goodspeaker, Stories 1-50

Once upon a time, an unusual and beautiful deer was born in the forests near Benares, in northern India. Although he was as big as a young colt, it was easy for his mother to give birth to him. When he opened his eyes, they were as bright as sparkling jewels. His mouth was as red as the reddest forest berries. His hoofs were as black as polished coal. His little horns glistened like silver. And his color was golden, like a perfect summer’s dawn. As he grew up, a herd of 500 deer gathered around him, and he became known as King Banyan Deer.

Meanwhile, not far away, another beautiful buck deer was born, just as splendidly golden in color. In time, a separate herd of 500 deer came to follow him, and he was known as Branch Deer.

The King of Benares, at that time, was very fond of eating venison. So he regularly hunted and killed deer. Each time he hunted, he went to a different village and ordered the people to serve him. They had to stop what they were doing, whether plowing or harvesting or whatever, and work in the king’s hunting party.

The people’s lives were upset by these interruptions. They grew fewer crops, and other businesses also had less income. So they came together and decided to build a large deer park for the king, at Benares. There he could hunt by himself, with no need to command the services of the villagers.

So the people built a deer park. They made ponds where the deer could drink, and added trees and grasses for them to eat from. When it was ready, they opened the gate and went out into the nearby forests. They surrounded the entire herds of Banyan and Branch deer. Then, with sticks and weapons and noise makers, they drove them all into the deer park trap, and locked the gate behind them.

After the deer had settled down, the people went to the king and said, “Our crops and income have suffered because of your hunting requirements. Now we have made you a pleasant safe deer park, where you can hunt by yourself as you like. With no need of our aid, you can enjoy both the hunting and the eating of deer.”

The king went to the new deer park. There he was pleased to see the vast herds. While watching them, his eye was caught by the two magnificent golden deer, with large fully grown antlers. Because he admired their unusual beauty, the king granted immunity to these two alone. He ordered that they should be completely safe. No one could harm or kill them.

Once a day the king would come and kill a deer for his dinner table. Sometimes, when he was too busy, the royal cook would do this. The body would then be brought to the chopping block to be butchered for the oven.

Whenever the deer saw the bow and arrows, they went into a panic, trembling for their lives. They ran around wildly, some being injured and some wounded, many suffering great pain.

One day, King Banyan Deer’s herd gathered around him. He called Branch Deer, and the two herds joined for a meeting. King Banyan Deer addressed them. “Although in the end, there is no escape from death, this needless suffering due to injuries and wounds can be prevented. Since the king only wishes the meat of one deer per day, let one be chosen by us each day to submit himself to the chopping block. One day from my herd, and the next day from Branch Deer’s herd, the victim’s lot will fall to one deer at a time.”

Branch Deer agreed. From then on, the one whose turn it was, meekly surrendered himself and laid his neck on the block. The cook came each day, simply killed the waiting victim, and prepared the king’s venison.

Photo by Elina Sazonova on Pexels.com

One day, the turn fell by chance to a pregnant doe in Branch Deer’s herd. Caring for the others as well as herself and the unborn one, she went to Branch Deer and said, “My lord, I am pregnant. Grant that I may live until I have delivered my fawn. Then we will fill two turns rather than just one. This will save a turn, and thereby a single life for one long day.”

Branch Deer replied, “No, no, I cannot change the rules in midstream and put your turn upon another. The pregnancy is yours, the babe is your responsibility. Now leave me.”

Having failed with Branch Deer, the poor mother doe went to King Banyan Deer and explained her plight. He replied gently, “Go in peace. I will change the rules in midstream and put your turn upon another.”

And the deer king went to the executioner’s block, and laid down his own golden neck upon it.

A silence fell in the deer park. And some who tell this story even say that silence also fell in other worlds not seen from here.

Soon the royal cook came to kill the willing victim on the block. But when he saw it was one of the two golden deer the king had ordered spared, he was afraid to kill him. So he went and told the King of Benares.

The king was surprised, so he went to the park. He said to the golden deer, still lying on the block, “Oh king of deer, did I not promise to spare your life? What is the reason you come here like the others?”

King Banyan Deer replied, “Oh king of men, this time a pregnant doe was unlucky enough to be the one to die. She pleaded for me to spare her, for the sake of others as well as her unborn baby and herself. I could not help but feel myself in her place, and feel her suffering. I could not help but weep, to think the little one would never see the dawn, would never taste the dew. And yet, I could not force the pain of death on another, relieved to think it was not his turn today. So, mighty king, I offer my life for the sake of the doe and her unborn fawn. Be assured there is no other reason.”

The King of Benares was overwhelmed. Powerful as he was, a tear rolled down his cheek. Then he said, “Oh great lord, the golden king of deer, even among human beings, I have not seen any such as you! Such great compassion, to share in the suffering of others! Such great generosity, to give your life for others! Such great kindness and tender love for all your fellow deer! Arise.”

“I decree that you will never be killed by me or anyone else in my kingdom. And, so too, the doe and her babe.”

Without yet raising his head, the golden one said, “Are only we to be saved? What of the other deer in the park, our friends and kin?” The king said, “My lord, I cannot refuse you, I grant safety and freedom to all the deer in the park.” “And what of the deer outside the park, will they be killed?” asked Banyan. “No my lord, I spare all the deer in my whole kingdom.”

Still the golden deer did not raise up his head. He pleaded, “So the deer will be safe, but what will the other four-footed animals do?” “My lord, from now on they too are safe in my land.” “And what of the birds? They too want to live.” “Yes, my lord, the birds too will be safe from death at the hands of men.” “And what of the fish, who live in the water?” “Even the fish will be free to live, my lord.” So saying, the King of Benares granted immunity from hunting and killing to all the animals in his land.

Having pleaded for the lives of all creatures, the Great Being arose.

12. King Banyan Deer [Chapter 1. Compassion]

Link: https://hhdorjechangbuddhaiiiinfo.com/2022/01/03/12-king-banyan-deer-chapter-1-compassion/

INTERPRETER’S INTRODUCTION – BUDDHIST TALES FOR YOUNG AND OLD, VOLUME 1, STORIES 1-50

#Buddhisttalesforyoungandold #Buddhiststories #storiesforkids #moralstories #Buddha #Jatakastories #PansiyaPanasJatak

The Noble Ibex

The Noble Ibex

From Kindness <A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom For Children and Parents>

By Sarah Conover

Once upon a time, the Buddha was born as a magnificent ibex. The forest in which he lived was far from civilization and therefore tranquil, inhabited by many creatures both small and large. Along the banks of clear, babbling brooks were found rare flowers, which blossomed nowhere else on earth. Trees towered above the lush undergrowth and kept the forest cool and mild.

The noble ibex that lived in this forest, the Former Buddha, was as beautiful as he was sleek and swift. He had the body of an animal but the intelligence and empathy of a human being. So deep was his kindness for all living creatures that he often trod delicately so as not to crush anything. He ate nothing but the tips of grasses already gone to seed.

Photo by Timo Niedermann on Pexels.com

As this region was renowned for its great beauty, hunting parties would at times make long journeys to reach it. On one such occasion, a king and his friends camped on the edge of the forest, hoping to bag large amounts of game before the end of their stay. One morning, the king set out on horseback with his small group following him. Not long after, the king caught a glimpse of the splendid ibex and wanted to hunt him down. Snapping his reins across his horse’s neck, the king dashed away in chase, leaving the group far behind.

When the ibex heard the quick pounding of hooves, he turned and saw the king swiftly bearing down upon him. The king’s bow was drawn taut and an arrow ready in the sites. Although the ibex could have fought the king’s attack, he chose to avoid violence, even in self-defense. So the ibex spun around and took off with great speed towards the dense center of the forest, confident the king could not catch him. Through the thick forest he sprang, still pursued by the king, but the distance between them was increasing. The ibex came to a familiar, small, deep chasm and leapt over it effortlessly. But the king’s horse, coming to that same rocky cliff, abruptly pressed his weight backwards and refused to jump. The king had been watching the ibex, not the forest floor. So when the horse stopped with a jolt, the surprised king fell forward, headlong, into the chasm.

After a time, the ibex heard no hoof beats in pursuit. He slowed and twisted his head around to examine the situation behind him. There in the distance he spotted the rider-less horse at the chasm’s edge and correctly guessed what had happened to the king. A sudden welling of kindness overcame him. He anticipated that the king must be in severe pain, surely having broken a number of bones in the fall. He knew also that the king would never survive long in this forest because there were many tigers and other beasts.

The ibex walked up to the chasm edge and saw the king far below, moaning and writhing in pain. He no longer looked upon the king as his enemy, but felt his suffering keenly. The Former Buddha gently inquired, “I hope your majesty has no serious wounds? Might the pain of your injuries be diminishing by now?”

The king looked up at the ibex in utter astonishment. He felt a dreadful pang of remorse for his behavior towards this noble animal. Oh, how the king felt his shame!

“You see, your Excellency,” comforted the Ibex, “I am no wild devil to be hunted for sport. I am just a peaceful creature living within the bounds of this beautiful forest.”

“Oh!” blurted the king. “It is I who acted as a beast, not you! Can you ever forgive me?” he asked. “My physical pain right now,” continued the king, “is far less than the pain I feel for having threatened a noble creature as yourself.”

“Sire,” responded the ibex, “let me help you out of your predicament. I can rescue you if you’ll trust me.” The ibex took the king’s silence as a sign of goodwill and knew that the king would accept his help. He then searched for a boulder as heavy as a man and practiced lifting it. When he felt he could do it safely, without slipping, he made his way down the rocks beside the king. “If you mount me as you would your horse, your Excellency, I believe I can leap out of the chasm with you on my back,” offered the ibex.

The king followed these directions and held on as best he could. In an instant the ibex leapt in a great arc onto the cliff rim. There the king found his waiting horse but was so overtaken by the goodness of the ibex he could not leave. “What can I do to repay you?” begged the king. “If you would come to my palace, we would see that your every need was met. I can’t bear to think of you left in this forest with hunters in pursuit. Please, please come back with me,” insisted the king.

“Sire, do you think I, who am so contented in the forest, could really adjust to that? I love nothing better than to live here, in peace. But there is one great favor I would ask of you.”

“Anything,” said the king.

“I ask that you give up hunting for sport. You now realize that all creatures want happiness and security. Can it be right to do to them what you yourself would despise? A true king,” proclaimed the ibex, “will gain his people’s love by showing great goodness, not by showing power.”

The grateful king agreed to the request. “Now, let me show you the way back to safety,” suggested the ibex. “Mount your horse and I will guide you home to your camp.”

The king soon returned to his palace, and the ibex disappeared into the shelter of the forest. But forevermore, the king lived by the wise words of the noble ibex, the Former Buddha. He forbade hunting for sport throughout his kingdom’s domain. He protected his people, but no longer waged costly wars against nearby countries. His kingdom flourished. And thus, the good king was greatly loved and respected by his people as the gentlest and wisest of all kings.

Title: The Noble Ibex

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/01/07/the-noble-ibex/

#Buddhiststories#Buddhism#Monastery#Ibex#Buddha#Kindness#BuddhaWisdom#Moralstories#Kindness

12. KING BANYAN DEER [CHAPTER 2. TEACHING]

12. KING BANYAN DEER [CHAPTER 2. TEACHING]

Buddhist Tales for Young and Old, volume 1, Prince Goodspeaker, Stories 1-50

Out of compassion and gratitude, King Banyan Deer the Enlightenment Being, taught the King of Benares. He advised him to climb the five steps of training, in order to purify his mind. He described them by saying, “It will benefit you, if you give up the five unwholesome actions. These are:

  • Destroying life, for this is not compassion;
  • Taking what is not given, for this is not generosity;
  • Doing wrong in sexual ways, for this is not loving-kindness;
  • Speaking falsely, for this is not Truth;
  • Losing your mind from alcohol, for this leads to falling down the first four steps.”

He further advised him to do wholesome actions, that would bring happiness in this life and beyond. Then King Banyan Deer, and both herds, returned to the forest.

In the fullness of time, the pregnant doe, who had stayed with Banyan’s herd, gave birth to a fawn. He was as beautiful as a lotus blossom given as an offering to the gods.

When the fawn had grown into a young buck deer, he began playing with Branch Deer’s herd. Seeing this, his mother said to him, “Better to die after a short life with the great compassionate one, than to live a long life with an ordinary one.” Afterwards, her son lived happily in the herd of King Banyan Deer.

The only ones left unhappy were the farmers and villagers of the kingdom. For, given total immunity by the king, the deer began to fearlessly eat the people’s crops. They even grazed in the vegetable gardens inside the villages and the city of Benares itself!

So the people complained to the king, and asked permission to kill at least some of the deer as a warning. But the king said, “I myself promised complete immunity to King Banyan Deer. I would give up the kingship before I would break my word to him. No one may harm a deer!”

When King Banyan Deer heard of this, he said to all the deer, “You should not eat the crops that belong to others.” And he sent a message to the people. Instead of making fences, he asked them to tie up bunches of leaves as boundaries around their fields. This began the Indian custom of marking fields with tied up leaves, which have protected them from deer to this very day.

Both King Banyan Deer and the King of Benares lived out their lives in peace, died, and were reborn as they deserved.

The moral is: Wherever it is found, compassion is a sign of greatness.

12. King Banyan Deer [Chapter 2. Teaching]

Link: https://hhdorjechangbuddhaiiiinfo.com/2022/01/03/12-king-banyan-deer-chapter-2-teaching/

INTERPRETER’S INTRODUCTION – BUDDHIST TALES FOR YOUNG AND OLD, VOLUME 1, STORIES 1-50

#Buddhisttalesforyoungandold #Buddhiststories #storiesforkids #moralstories #Buddha #Jatakastories #PansiyaPanasJataka

The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed

From Kindness <A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom For Children and Parents>

By Sarah Conover

Unlike the Buddha, Kisa Gotami grew up very poor. Her family had little food to spare. She often felt weary, hungry, and weak and so was called Kisa-meaning”frail”-Gotami. When Kisa Gotami married, she moved into the house of her husband’s family: the custom in India at the time. But because she came from a humble background, her new family treated her harshly until the day she gave birth to a child. She was respected now, with her new baby boy. Kisa felt proud and happy. Her new son was the light of her life. She cherished everything about him-his delightful laughter, his eager brown eyes, his toothless smiles. But one terrible, tragic day, the boy was taken by a sudden illness. His death overwhelmed poor Kisa. She bundled him in warm blankets and held him tightly to her chest. Crazed with grief, she stumbled from house to house, begging for medicine that would bring him back to life. But instead of helping, people mocked her madness. “Crazy woman!” they jeered. “How can a person be brought back to life!” Hours later, Kisa Gotami stood in the street, wretched and disheartened.As she wept over her child,a kind man passing by studied her.To himself he said,  ”This poor woman has lost her mind from sorrow. I think I know how to get her the medicine she seeks.” He placed his hands firmly on her shoulders.”Dear woman, please let me help you.The wisest of men, a man named the Buddha, resides at a monastery nearby. I will take you to him and you can ask his advice. If anyone has medicine for your child, it is he.”

He led her to the monastery where she found the Buddha teaching, at the front of a large group of monks and nuns. From the edge of the crowd she shouted,”Teacher, teacher! My name is Kisa Gotami. I am desperate! Please, my son needs your medicine!”

The crowd made way for Kisa to reach the Buddha. As she stood before him, he observed the child’s lifeless face.”You did well in coming here for medicine, Gotamit the Buddha comforted her.”Here you will find the help you need. But first, before l can save your child, you must do something for me.You·must return to the city from which you just came. There, find me a single mustard seed and bring it back.”

Kisa Gotami’s face lit up, for she thought this a simple task in exchange for her son’s life.”Most important of all,”said the Buddha,”the mustard seed must be from a family in which no one has died. Go now, make the rounds of the city and·ask at every home. Bring me back just one mustard seed from such a family.”

“Thank you good sir!”said Kisa happily. She turned and hurried back to the city.At the very first house she stopped and knocked at the door.An old woman answered. She easily gave Kisa Gotami a mustard seed-all India used them in cooking. But just as the seed was placed -in Kisa’s palm, she remembered the Buddha’s further instructions. ”Oh, pardon me. Before I take this, I must ask you, has anyone died in this family recently?” The old woman’s head lowered. She fell silent. When she raised her face, there were pooled tears in her eyes.I’m sorry to say the answer is yes,” replied the old woman. “ My dear husband died six months ago.”

“I am so sorry; said Kisa Gotami.”Thank you for your kindness, but I cannot take this seed.”

A few minutes later she knocked at the door of a house with children running in and out of the entrance,chasing each other in play.A young woman saw Kisa standing in the doorway, and came to greet her. Some of the children stood behind the young woman’s skirt to hear what the stranger wanted. “Can I help you?” she asked Kisa Gotami.

“I have been sent here to find special medicine for my son. I am looking for a single mustard seed from a household in which no one has died;’ said Kisa.

“We cannot help you. l am sorry. We lost our mother two years ago;’ stated the young woman quietly. “For many months I was so unhappy I didn’t know how to go on” One of the boys reached up to hold her hand. She clasped his little fingers and continued,”But I knew I had to help my father take care of my brothers and sisters. That’s what my mother would have wanted. I’m sorry we have no such special mustard seed for you:’

And so Kisa Gotami continued to the next house, and then to another, asking for the single mustard seed. But always, someone had lost a beloved-a brother or a sister, a grandparent, an aunt or cousin, a mother or father. The list grew longer and longer. After a time, nightfall came. People snuffed out their oil lamps for the evening. Kisa Gotami sat down, resting against a tree. She gazed down at her son in her arms.

Studying him closely, she felt a gradual change in herself. Not a single household she had visited today lived untouched by death’s sad hand. Many suffered just as she did now. She was not alone. And somehow, with these thoughts, her grief lightened just a bit, and she returned home. The next day, at first light, Kisa Gotami readied her son for his funeral. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she wrapped him in clean cloth and said farewell. After the funeral, Kisa Gotami went back to the monastery to speak with the Buddha.The Buddha dearly saw in her face that she had come back to her senses. He asked,”Gotami, did you bring me a tiny grain of mustard?” 

“ No, teacher. I am done looking for the mustard seed. I know that in the whole city, in the whole world, there is not one family, not one person, free from the certainty of death. It is the way of all living things-we must at some time leave one another.” 

”And where is your child, dear woman?” 

”At last I have said good-bye to him. I felt terribly alone in my grief, but now I know there are many others who have lost what they most cherished. We must help each other, as you have helped me.”

Kisa Gotami, brought back to her right mind from her search for the mustard seed, became a very wise and compassionate woman. It is said that she never left the Buddha after her return to the monastery. And that from her experience, she was able to comfort many, many others in her lifetime.

The moral is : All fear death, all hold life dear. Feel for others as you do for yourself. Remember this and cause no harm.

Title: The Mustard Seed

Link:https://peacelilysite.com/2021/12/23/the-mustard-seed/

#Buddhiststories#Buddhism#Monastery#Death#Buddha#Kindness#BuddhaWisdom

9. THE KING WITH ONE GREY HAIR [ORDINATION]

9. THE KING WITH ONE GREY HAIR [ORDINATION]

Buddhist Tales for Young and Old, volume 1, Prince Goodspeaker, Stories 1-50

A very very long time ago, there were people who lived much longer than they do today. They lived many thousand years. At that time, the Enlightenment Being was born as a baby named Makhadeva. He lived 84,000 years as a child and crown prince. At the time of our story, he had been a young king for 80,000 years.

One day, Makhadeva told the royal barber, “If you see any grey hair on my head, you must tell me immediately!” Of course, the barber promised to do so.

Another 4,000 years passed, until Makhadeva had been a young king for 84,000 years. Then one day, while he was cutting the king’s hair, the royal barber saw just one little grey hair on all the king’s head. So he said, “Oh my lord, I see one grey hair on your head.” The king said, “If this be so, pull it out and put it in my hand.” The barber got his golden tweezers, plucked out the single little grey hair, and put it in the king’s hand.

At that time, the king still had at least another 84,000 years left to live as an old king! Looking at the one grey hair in his hand, he became very afraid of dying. He felt like death was closing in on him, as if he were trapped in a burning house. He was so afraid, that the sweat rolled down his back, and he shuddered.

King Makhadeva thought, “Oh foolish king, you have wasted all this long life and now you are near death. You have made no attempt to destroy your greed and envy, to live without hating, and to get rid of your ignorance by learning the truth and becoming wise.”

As he thought this, his body burned and the sweat kept rolling down. Then he decided once and for all, “It is time to give up the kingship, be ordained as a monk, and practice meditation!” Thinking so, he granted the income of a whole town to the barber. It amounted to one-hundred-thousand gold coins per year.

Then the king called his oldest son to him and said, “My son, I have seen a grey hair. I have become old. I have enjoyed the worldly pleasures of great wealth and power. When I die, I want to be reborn in a heaven world, to enjoy the pleasures of the gods. So I will be ordained as a monk. You must now take the responsibility of ruling the country. I will live the life of a monk in the forest.”

Hearing of this, the royal ministers and the rest of the court rushed to the king and said, “Our lord, why do you suddenly want to be ordained?”

The king held up the grey hair in his hand and said, “My ministers and subjects, I have realized that this grey hair shows that the three stages of life — youth, middle age and old age — are coming to an end. This first grey hair was the messenger of death sitting on my head. Grey hairs are like angels sent by the god of death. Therefore, this very day is the time for me to be ordained.”

The people wept at the news of his departure. King Makhadeva gave up his royal life, went into the forest, and was ordained as a monk. There he practiced what holy men call the ‘Four Heavenly States of Mind’. First is loving-kindness, tender affection for all. Second is feeling sympathy and pity for all those who suffer. Third is feeling happiness for all those who are joyful. And the fourth state is balance and calm, even in the face of difficulties or troubles.

After 84,000 years of great effort meditating and practicing these states as a humble forest monk, the Bodhisatta died. He was reborn in a high heaven world, to live a life a million years long!

The moral is: Even a long life is too short to waste.

The King With One Grey Hair [Ordination]

Link:https://hhdorjechangbuddhaiiiinfo.com/2021/11/23/the-king-with-one-grey-hair-ordination/

INTERPRETER’S INTRODUCTION – BUDDHIST TALES FOR YOUNG AND OLD, VOLUME 1, STORIES 1-50

#Buddhisttalesforyoungandold #Buddhiststories #storiesforkids #moralstories #Buddha #Jatakastories #PansiyaPanasJataka

8, 462 THE ONE-HUNDREDTH PRINCE [OBEDIENCE TO A WISE TEACHER]

STORY 8, 462

THE ONE-HUNDREDTH PRINCE

 [OBEDIENCE TO A WISE TEACHER]

Buddhist Tales for Young and Old, volume 1, Prince Goodspeaker, Stories 1-50

Once upon a time, there was a king who had one-hundred sons. The youngest, the one-hundredth, was Prince Gamani. He was very energetic, patient and kind.

All the princes were sent to be taught by teachers. Prince Gamani, even though he was the one-hundredth in line to the throne, was lucky enough to have the best teacher. He had the most learning and was the wisest of them of all. He was like a father to Prince Gamani, who liked, respected and obeyed him.

In those days, it was the custom to send each educated prince to a different province. There he was to develop the country and help the people. When Prince Gamani was old enough for this assignment, he went to his teacher and asked which province he should request. He said, “Do not select any province. Instead, tell your father the king that if he sends you, his one-hundredth son, out to a province, there will be no son remaining to serve him in his home city.” Prince Gamani obeyed his teacher, and pleased his father with his kindness and loyalty.

Then the prince went again to his teacher and asked, “How best can I serve my father and the people, here in the capital city?” The wise teacher replied, “Ask the king to let you be the one to collect fees and taxes, and distribute benefits to the people. If he agrees, then carry out your duties honestly and fairly, with energy and kindness.”

Again the prince followed his teacher’s advice. Trusting his one-hundredth son, the king was glad to assign these functions to him. When he went out to perform the difficult task of collecting fees and taxes, the young prince was always gentle, fair and lawful. When he distributed food to the hungry, and other necessary things to the needy, he was always generous, kind and sympathetic. Before long, the one-hundredth prince gained the respect and affection of all.

Eventually, the king came to be on his deathbed. His ministers asked him who should be the next king. He said that all his one-hundred sons had a right to succeed him. It should be left up to the citizens.

After he died, all the citizens agreed to make the one-hundredth prince their next ruler. Because of his goodness, they crowned him King Gamani the Righteous.

When the ninety-nine older brothers heard what had happened, they thought they had been insulted. Filled with envy and rage, they prepared for war. They sent a message to King Gamani, which said, “We are all your elders. Neighbour countries will laugh at us if we are ruled by the one-hundredth prince. Either you give up the kingdom or we will take it by war!”

After he received this message, King Gamani took it with him to his wise old teacher, and asked his advice.

It just so happened that this honorable gentle teacher was the reborn Enlightenment Being. He said, “Tell them you refuse to wage war against your brothers. Tell them you will not help them kill innocent people you have come to know and love. Tell them that, instead, you are dividing the king’s wealth among all one-hundred princes. Then send each one his portion.” Again the king obeyed his teacher.

Meanwhile the ninety-nine older princes had brought their ninety-nine small armies to surround the royal capital. When they received the king’s message and their small portions of the royal treasure, they held a meeting. They decided that each portion was so small it was almost meaningless. Therefore, they would not accept them.

But then they realized that, in the same way, if they fought with King Gamani and then with each other, the kingdom itself would be divided into small worthless portions. Each small piece of the once-great kingdom would be weak in the face of any unfriendly country. So they sent back their portions of the royal treasure as offerings of peace, and accepted the rule of King Gamani.

The king was pleased, and invited his brothers to the palace to celebrate the peace and unity of the kingdom. He entertained them in the most perfect ways — with generosity, pleasant conversation, providing instruction for their benefit, and treating all with even-handed courtesy.

In this way the king and the ninety-nine princes became closer as friends than they had been as brothers. They were strong in their support of each other. This was known in all the surrounding countries, so no one threatened the kingdom or its people. After a few months, the ninety-nine brothers returned to their provinces.

King Gamani the Righteous invited his wise old teacher to live in the palace. He honored him with great wealth and many gifts. He held a celebration for his respected teacher, saying to the full court, “I, who was the one-hundredth prince, among one-hundred worthy princes, owe all my success to the wise advice of my generous and understanding teacher. Likewise, all who follow their wise teachers’ advice will earn prosperity and happiness. Even the unity and strength of the kingdom, we owe to my beloved teacher.”

The kingdom prospered under the reign of the generous and just rule of King Gamani the Righteous.

The moral is: One is rewarded a hundred-fold for following the advice of a wise teacher.

The One-hundredth Prince

Link:https://hhdorjechangbuddhaiiiinfo.com/2021/11/16/8-462-the-one-hundredth-prince-obedience-to-a-wise-teacher/

INTERPRETER’S INTRODUCTION – BUDDHIST TALES FOR YOUNG AND OLD, VOLUME 1, STORIES 1-50

#KingGamani #theEnlightenmentBeing #Buddhisttalesforyoungandold #Buddhiststories #storiesforkids #moralstories #Buddha #Jatakastories #PansiyaPanasJataka