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Dandavagga - Punishment Or the Rod : Like a thorough-bred horse, touched by the whip, even so be strenuous and zealous. By confidence, by virtue, by effort, by concentration, by the investigation of the Truth, by being endowed with knowledge and conduct, and by being mindful, get rid of this great suffering. Dhammapada Verse 144.

Jatakas - The Buddha's Previous Life Stories

An Act of True Love

An Act of True Love

At that time the Boddhisatva was a pearl hunter named Ram, living on the coast of South India. He was poor, so was determined to find a great treasure. His wife in this life-time was Lukshmi, who would later be queen Yasodara in the Boddhisatva's final life. One day despite his wife's desperate pleading he set out on his boat determined to find a great treasure.

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.An Act of True Love

Self Sacrifice

Self Sacrifice

The Boddhisattva at that time was a recluse, living in the Indian jungle hoping to find enlightenment. He was living on top of a rock ledge.

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.Self Sacrifice

The Bodhisattva Saves His Mother

The Bodhisattva Saves His Mother

In this life time, the Boddhisatva was traveling in a ship with his mother. The ship sinks, and the Boddhisatva saves his mother's life by carrying her while swimming to the shore.

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 some day.The Bodhisattva Saves His Mother

Use Wisdom, Don't Rush

Use Wisdom, Don't Rush

Long ago the Boddhisattva was a monkey king. All the monkeys in his group respected and consulted him for he had much wisdom. One day the monkey king and his group were travelling through the jungle and they came upon a pond. Because they had travelled far that day they were very thirsty. All the monkeys in the group were very happy at the advent of finding water to drink, except the Boddhisattva who saw cause for caution. So he advised his retinue to not drink from the pond.

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. Use Wisdom, Don't Rush

Use Wisdom, Don't Rush

The Buffalo and the Monkey - Mahisa Jataka

(Text for this story by Sue Smith)

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:

Why do you patiently endure this pest?
Why don't you crush him, and allow yourself rest?

"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:

If he treats others as he treats me
They will destroy him and from giving harm I am free.

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.The Buffalo and the Monkey - Mahisa Jataka




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