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home, bowed respectfully and said,  Holy one, do you need red rice? I will
summon my relatives and we will bring you the best rice in all the
Himalayas. The holy man replied,  Very well, when I am in need I will
come again.
Finally he set out to see the king. He walked to the royal pleasure garden
and slept there overnight. In the morning, in a very humble and dignified
manner, he went to collect alms food in the city of Benares.
On that same morning the ungrateful king, seated on a magnificently
adorned royal elephant, was leading a vast procession around the city. When
he saw the Enlightenment Being coming from a distance he thought,  Aha!
This lazy homeless bum is coming to sponge off me. Before he can brag to
everyone how much he did for me, I must have him beheaded!
Then he said to his servants,  This worthless beggar must be coming to ask
for something. Don t let the good-for-nothing get near me. Arrest him
immediately, tie his hands behind his back, and whip him at every street
corner. Take him out of the city to the execution block and cut off his head.
Then raise up his body on a sharpened stake and leave it for all to see. So
much for lazy beggars!
The king s men followed his cruel orders. They tied up the blameless Great
Being like a common criminal. They whipped him mercilessly at every
street corner on the way to the execution block. But no matter how hard
they whipped him, cutting into his flesh, he remained dignified. After each
whipping he simply announced, for all to hear:  This proves the old saying
is still true   There s more reward in pulling deadwood from a river, than
in helping an ungrateful man! 
Some of the bystanders began to wonder why he said only this at each street
corner. They said to each other,  This poor man s pain must. be caused by
an ungrateful man. So they asked him,  Oh holy man, have you done some
service to an ungrateful man?
Then he told them the whole story. And in conclusion he said,  I rescued
this king from a terrible flood, and in so doing I brought this pain upon
myself I did not follow the saying of the wise of old, that s why I said what I
Hearing this story, the people of Benares became enraged and said to each
other,  This good man saved the king s life. But he is so cruel that he has no
gratitude in him at all. How could such a king possibly benefit us? He can
only be dangerous to us. Let s get him!
Their rage turned the citizens of Benares into a mob. They pelted the king
with arrows, knives, clubs and stones. He died while still sitting on the royal
elephant. Then they threw the dead body of the one-time Evil Prince into a
ditch by the side of the road.
Afterwards they made the holy man their new king. He ruled Benares well.
Then one day he decided to go see his old friends. So he rode in a large
procession down to the riverbank.
He called out,  Snake! Snake! The snake came out, offered his respect and
said,  My lord, if you wish it. You are welcome to my treasure. The king
ordered his servants to dig up the 40 million gold coins.
He went to the water rat s home and called out,  Rat! Rat! He too
appeared, offered his respect and said,  My lord, if you wish it, you are
welcome to my treasure. This time the king s servants dug up 30 million
gold coins.
Then the king called out  Parrot! Parrot! The parrot flew to the king,
bowed respectfully and said,  If you wish, my lord, I will collect the most
excellent red rice for you. But the holy man king said,  Not now my friend.
When rice is needed I will request it of you. Now let us all return to the
After they arrived at the royal palace in Benares, the king had the 70 million
gold coins put under guard in a safe place. He had a golden bowl made for
the grateful snake s new home. He had a maze made of the finest crystals
for the generous rat to live in. And the kind parrot moved into a golden
cage, with a gate he could latch and unlatch from the inside.
Every day the king gave rice puffs and the sweetest bee s honey on golden
plates to the snake and the parrot. And on another golden plate he gave the
most aromatic scented rice to the water rat.
The king became famous for his generosity to the poor. He and his three
animal friends lived together in perfect harmony for many years. When they
died, they were all reborn as they deserved.
The moral is: Gratitude is a reward, which is itself rewarded.
Tale 74  New Homes for the Tree Spirits
[Wise Advice]
Once upon a time, as happens to all beings, the King of the Tree Spirits
died. King Sakka, ruler of the Heaven of 33, appointed a new King of the
Tree Spirits. As his first official act, the new king sent out a proclamation [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]