God in the Banyan Tree [A Bad Promise]
In the past,
and even in some places today, people have had superstitions.
One such is that a large or unusual tree is inhabited by a tree
god, or some kind of spirit. People think that they can make a
promise to this tree god, so he will help them in some way. When
they think the god has helped them, then they must keep their
a time, in the city of Kasi in northern India, a man came upon
a large banyan tree. He immediately thought there must be a god
living there. So he made a promise to this tree god that he would
perform an animal sacrifice, in return for a wish being granted.
It just so
happened that his wish was fulfilled, but whether by a god or
a demon or by some other means no one knows. The man was
sure the tree god had answered his prayer, so he wanted to keep
Since it was
a big wish, it called for a big sacrifice. He brought many goats,
mules, chickens and sheep. He collected firewood and prepared
to burn the helpless animals as a sacrifice.
living in the banyan tree appeared and said, "Oh friend,
you made a promise. You are now bound by that promise. You think
you must keep the promise in order to be released from the bondage
to it. But if you commit such terrible unwholesome acts, even
though promised, the unpleasant results will put you in much greater
bondage. For you will be forced to suffer those results in this
life, and even by rebirths in hell worlds! The way to release
yourself into future deliverance is to give up unwholesome actions,
no matter what!
furthermore, since you think I'm a true god, what makes you think
I eat meat? Haven't you heard that we gods eat better things,
like 'ambrosia' or stardust or sunbeams? I have no need of meat
or any other food offerings." Then he disappeared.
man understood the mistake he had made. Instead of doing unwholesome
deeds that would force unhappy results on him in the future, he
began to do only wholesome deeds that would benefit himself and
moral is: Keeping a bad promise is worse
than making it.