By Rasika Wijayaratne
After many days and nights of toil; fighting storms, hunger, and the many dangers
under the sea, the Boddhisattva achieved his goal of finding a great treasure. He
found a beautiful pearl which shone like the moon.
He returned home to find the land in the grip of a terrible famine. He entered his
hut hoping to appease his great hunger, only to find Lukshami near death through the
lack of food. So he proclaimed to the entire village "A loaf of bread in exchange
for this great treasure worth a kings ransom".
One person brought forward three handfuls of millet which he had been hoarding and
handing it over took the wonderful pearl. On eating the millet Lukshmi recovered.
The Boddhisatva's sacrifice saved Lukshmi. This story highlights the power of true
love, devotion and sacrifice.
At this time this area was suffering a drought. Many animals had died. One day a tiger
mother happened to wonder by. This mother had two cubs dangling along side her, and
they were trying to drink milk. The mother was so scrawny and starved she had no milk
to give to the cubs.
The Boddhisattva saw the plight of this tiger mother. He could not bear to see the
tiger mother suffering like that. He knew that she would die by sunset if nothing
was done. He thought "If I feed her, she will live." So he jumped in front of the
tiger saying "Ho! Mother here I am." The starved tiger did not hesitate to tear into
the Boddhisattva's body.
When they reach the shore, his mother's heart overflows with happiness and gratitude
and tells the Boddhisatva "May you become a Buddha one day my wonderful son!" It is
said that to be blessed in this way by one's mother would assure one becoming a Buddha
He noticed that there were paw prints of various animals going towards the pond, but
none going back. From this he deduced that there was more to this pond that what
appeared to the eye. Realising there was a danger there, he told the monkeys in the
group to bring bamboo pipes from a nearby bamboo bush. Once they had brought the
bamboo pipes, he instructed them on how the pipes could be used to drink from the
pond without getting down from the trees.
As soon as the monkeys started drinking using the bamboo pipes, a demon
(yakâ) sprang out of the water and revealed himself, and was very angry as his plans to eat the monkeys
had failed. The Boddhisattva was happy that he had saved members of his group from a
gruesome and terrible death through wisdom. The moral of the story is that we all
should use our wisdom whenever we are faced with a problem, think on the spot without
rushing, and take appropriate action (thanata sudusu nuwana). From the Nalapana Jatakaya.
A long time ago in ancient India, the Great Being, who later became the
Buddha, was born as a buffalo. He was a fine buffalo. He was large and strong and had two long, sharp
horns. He roamed around the Himalayas as he pleased and led a very
comfortable life.That was except for when he had his lunch.
The buffalo liked to have his lunch under a very lovely mango tree on top of a
peak with a beautiful view. In the tree lived a monkey who was a real pest.
Each day when the buffalo was eating his lunch, the monkey would swing
down from the tree to annoy the buffalo. The monkey would slide down his
horns, swing from his tail and poo on his back.
Yet the buffalo would calmly proceed with his meal.
A little bird that lived in the mango tree saw the monkey carrying on day after
day and didn't know how the buffalo could stand it. She asked the buffalo:
"If I get cross with the monkey I will end up even more bothered than I am
now," explained the buffalo, "That isn't rest."
"Besides, my guess is that this monkey will carry on with other animals the
way he does with me and there is bound to be an animal who will get really
cross and sort him out," and then the buffalo continued in verse:
A few days later the buffalo chose to eat lunch under another tree and a
savage buffalo came to eat lunch under the mango tree.
Down swung the monkey from the tree and slid up and down the horns,
swung in circles from the buffalo's tail and pooed on his back.
The buffalo shook the monkey off his back and trampled him to mincemeat.