of compassion and gratitude, King Banyan Deer the Enlightenment
Being, taught the King of Benares. He advised him to climb the five
steps of training, in order to purify his mind. He described them
by saying, "It will benefit you, if you give up the five unwholesome
actions. These are:
life, for this is not compassion;
what is not given, for this is not generosity;
- Doing wrong
in sexual ways, for this is not loving-kindness;
falsely, for this is not Truth;
your mind from alcohol, for this leads to falling down the first
further advised him to do wholesome actions, that would bring happiness
in this life and beyond. Then King Banyan Deer, and both herds,
returned to the forest.
the fullness of time, the pregnant doe, who had stayed with Banyan's
herd, gave birth to a fawn. He was as beautiful as a lotus blossom
given as an offering to the gods.
When the fawn had grown into a young buck deer, he began playing
with Branch Deer's herd. Seeing this, his mother said to him, "Better
to die after a short life with the great compassionate one, than
to live a long life with an ordinary one." Afterwards, her
son lived happily in the herd of King Banyan Deer.
only ones left unhappy were the farmers and villagers of the kingdom.
For, given total immunity by the king, the deer began to fearlessly
eat the people's crops. They even grazed in the vegetable gardens
inside the villages and the city of Benares itself!
the people complained to the king, and asked permission to kill
at least some of the deer as a warning. But the king said, "I
myself promised complete immunity to King Banyan Deer. I would give
up the kingship before I would break my word to him. No one may
harm a deer!"
When King Banyan Deer heard of this, he said to all the deer, "You
should not eat the crops that belong to others." And he sent
a message to the people. Instead of making fences, he asked them
to tie up bunches of leaves as boundaries around their fields. This
began the Indian custom of marking fields with tied up leaves, which
have protected them from deer to this very day.
King Banyan Deer and the King of Benares lived out their lives in
peace, died, and were reborn as they deserved.
moral is: Wherever it is found, compassion
is a sign of greatness.