Kids’ Corner: Way of the world-A Jatak Tale- Shail Agrawal

Dear chldren ,
Today I am going to tell you a story from Buddha’s Jatak tales, which emphasises how difficult it is to change and give up once own nature, good or bad even birth after births. It needs a determined nerve of steel and lot of determination to do so.
Buddha was once a fairy living on a tree in the forest. Loads of birds and animals also lived there. Fairy just watched and enjoyed them all.
A lion and a tiger also lived together in a cave nearby and they let a jackal eat their leftover meat. But the jackal never ate lion or tiger’s leftover meat, even though he wanted to. He was always so frightened of them.
He thought one day, if he got the two friends fighting, they will kill each other and he would get his sumptuous feast. So he went and told the lion that tiger spoke poorly of him. Further he said that the tiger told him that the lion was not even one sixteenth as beautiful or strong as he himself was. But the lion sent the jackal away, saying the tiger would never say such things. Then the jackal went to the tiger and narrated same lie about the lion. The tiger went and asked his friend if it was true, and the lion denied it. The tiger apologized for doubting him and the lion forgave him. The two remained close friends and the jackal fled for his life. Tree Fairy smiled and saw it all happening.

In reality, the lion and tiger were the previous births of ‘Sariputta’ and ‘Moggallana’, Buddha’s two top disciples. They spent a rainy season living in the wilderness and another beggar (the jackal himself in his earlier birth) also lived nearby, assisting them in chores in exchange for leftover food. Because the two elderly lived so harmoniously, the beggar decided to try and make them quarrel. He told Sariputta that Moggallana spoke poorly of him, saying he’s lower in both lineage and spiritual attainments. Sariputta knew it was a lie. Then the beggar told Moggallana the same story, and he also rejected it. The two elders sent the beggar away.
When they returned to the Buddha’s monastery, Sariputta that Moggallana told him about their experience with the beggar and the Buddha told them this story of their past life , so they knew he had done the same thing to them in the past also.

Narration by Shail Agrawal
e.mail: shailagrawal@hotmail.com