Monday, June 7, 2010

Tuladhara And Jajali

Now I will tell you a story about Harmlessness.

There was once a Brahmana whose name was Jajali. This Brahmana lived in a

forest and took very little food, and wore nothing but rages and skins. He

passed many years like this and made great tapas. But at last he began to feel

proud of what he did, and thought himself better and greater than others.

One day he said to himself: "I have won great merit. In this world of moving

creatures there is none equal to me," and he felt very proud.

Just then he heard a voice in the sky, and the voice spoke to him and said:

"Say not such words. There is a man named Tuladhara who is busy buying and

selling all the day. He is far greater than you, both in wisdom and goodness,

and yet even he is not fit to speak such words".

Then the Brahmana began to wonder who this Tuladhara might be, and he became

very angry, for he was proud and did not like to be told that a mere trader

was better than he, a Brahmana. He therefore determined to go and find

Tuladhara and see what sort of a man he was.

After a long time he found him in a city called Baranasi. Tuladhara was

engaged selling in the market; he at once rose up and saluted the Brahmana in a

proper manner, and told him why he had come. He told him about the voice, and

the words that had been spoken, for, on account of his great wisdom. Tuladhara

knew all about the Brahmana and what his life had been. Jajali was much

surprised at this and asked Tuladhara to explain how it was that he, the son

of a trader, and busy buying and selling, should have been able to gain so

much wisdom.

Then Tuladhara told him that all his know ledge came to him because he had

because he led a life of harmlessness. He tried to do good to all, and as

much as possible never to do harm to any creature; he never quarrelled with

any one, he never hated any one. "This," said Tuladhara, "is what is called

good conduct by the wise of old, and it is thus we should live, if we would

attain unto wisdom".

"Better than gifts, better than tapas is harmlessness; there is no duty more

holy than this."

Tuladhara them told Jajali many things. He told him that animals should not be

killed either for sacrifice or food, that they should not be beaten, hurt or

injured. "See," said Tuladhara, "the mother sheep, how she loves her young;

how the mother cow loves her calf; yet men will take the young away, and give

sorrow to the mother. They make horses and bullocks drag heavy burdens, they

beat them and oppress them. This is not what is taught in the sacred

Scriptures. We are told by the teachers of old to be kind and harmless to all

living creatures".

The Jajali was glad to hear about this way of life from Tuladhara, and he asked

many questions and listened attentively; and thus Tuladhara, who was the son of

a trader, taught the Brahmana the wisdom to be won by harmlessness.

Soon after they both ascended to the happy regions of eternal peace.

"Little drops of water,

Little grains of sand;

Make the mighty ocean

And the beauteous land.

And our little actions,

Humble though they be,

Make the mighty ages

Of Eternity."

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