Curse of Mittavinda [Chapter 2. Greed]
did poor Mittavinda know that his lives of constant hunger were
about to come to an end. After wandering about, he eventually ended
up in Benares.
that time the Enlightenment Being was living the life of a world
famous teacher in Benares. He had 500 students. As an act of charity,
the people of the city supported these poor students with food.
They also paid the teacher's fees for teaching them.
was permitted to join them. He began studying under the great teacher.
And at last, he began eating regularly.
he paid no attention to the teachings of the wise master. He was
disobedient and violent. During 500 lives as a hungry dog, quarrelling
had become a habit. So he constantly got into fist fights with the
became so bad that many of the students quit. The income of the
world famous teacher dwindled down to almost nothing. Because of
all his fighting, Mittavinda was finally forced to run away from
found his way to a small remote village. He lived there as a hard
working labourer, married a very poor woman, and had two children.
It became known that he had studied under the world famous teacher
of Benares. So the poor villagers selected him to give advice when
questions arose. They provided a place for him to live near the
entrance to the village. And they began following his advice.
things did not go well. The village was fined seven times by the
king. Seven times their houses were burned. And seven times the
town pond dried up.
realized that all their troubles began when they started taking
Mittavinda's advice. So they chased him and his family out of the
village. They shouted, "Be gone forever! You are nothing but
they were fleeing, they went through a haunted forest. Demons came
out of the shadows and killed and ate his wife and children. But
made his way to a seaport city. He was lonely, miserable and penniless.
It just so happened that there was a kind generous rich merchant
living in the city. He heard the story of Mittavinda's misfortunes.
Since they had no children of their own, he and his wife adopted
Mittavinda. For better or worse they treated him exactly as their
His new mother and father were very religious. They always tried
to do wholesome things. But Mittavinda still had not learned his
lesson. He did not accept any religion, so he often did unwholesome
time after his father's death, his mother decided to try and help
him enter the religious life. She said, "There is this world
and there is the one to come. If you do bad things, you will suffer
painful results in both worlds."
foolish Mittavinda replied, "I will do whatever I enjoy doing
and become happier and happier. There is no point considering whether
what I do is wholesome or unwholesome. I don't care about such things!"
the next full moon holy day, Mittavinda's mother advised him to
go to the temple and listen all night long to the wise words of
the monks. He said, "I wouldn't waste my time!" So she
said, "When you return I will give you a thousand gold coins."
thought that with enough money he could enjoy himself constantly
and be happy all the time. So he went to the temple. But he sat
in a corner, paid no attention, and fell asleep for the night. Early
the next morning he went home to collect his reward.
his mother thought he would appreciate wise teachings. Then he would
bring the oldest monk home with him. So she prepared delicious food
for the expected guest. When she saw him returning alone, she said,
"Oh my son, why didn't you ask the senior monk to come home
with you for breakfast?"
said, "I did not go to the temple to listen to a monk or to
bring him home with me. I went only to get your thousand gold coins!"
His disappointed mother said, "Never mind the money. Since
there is so much delicious food prepared - only eat and sleep!"
He replied, "Until you give me the money, I refuse to eat!"
So she gave him the thousand gold coins. Only then did he gobble
up the food until all he could do was fall asleep.
did not think a thousand gold coins were enough for him to constantly
enjoy himself. So he used the money to start a business, and before
long he became very rich. One day he came home and said, "Mother,
I now have 120,000 gold coins. But I am not yet satisfied. Therefore
I will go abroad on the next ship and make even more money!"
replied, "Oh my son, why do you want to go abroad? The ocean
is dangerous and it is very risky doing business in a strange land.
I have 80,000 gold coins right here in the house. That is enough
for you. Please don't go, my only son!"
she held him to keep him from leaving. But Mittavinda was crazy
with greed. So he pushed his mother's hand away and slapped her
face. She fell to the floor. She was so hurt and shocked that she
yelled at him, "Be gone forever! You are nothing but a curse!"
looking back, Mittavinda rushed to the harbour and set sail on the
first departing ship.