Friday, August 19, 2011

Short Stories of Jataka Tales 2

This Buddhist Jataka story, The Bandit Who Threatened the Buddha, about the uselessness of might, is part of an eBook 51 Short Motivational Stories from Zen, Buddha and Ancient Tales.

The Bandit Who Threatened the Buddha

It is said that once when Buddha was walking through a forest he was threatened by a bandit, Angulimal.

“Give me all you have or I’ll slit your throat,” threatened the bandit.

“I don’t have anything with me,” replied Buddha.

“Then be prepared to face my sword,” said Angulimal.

“Can you fulfill my dying wish?” asked Buddha.

“Tell me, what it is?” asked the bandit.

“Can you cut off a branch of that tree?” asked Buddha, pointing to a tree close by.

In a swift action of the bandit’s sword, the branch was cut.

“Done, what next?” asked Angulimal.

“Now, fix it back,” said Buddha.

“Don’t be an idiot, no one can put it back together,” said the bandit.

“You are the idiot, its child’s play to cut the tree, but only the mighty and wise know how to create things and heal,” said Buddha.

Angulimal fell silent.

Notes: Humans are always in awe of power and might; and falsely believe that it makes them powerful. It’s very easy by an act of foolishness to destroy something. But it’s very difficult to create something. Creation is powerful and positive. Those who seek to destroy don’t realize that it’s themselves that they actually destruct.

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