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     The Story of Sutasoma


Once, there was a Bodhisatta who was born as a prince. He was born in the royal house of the Kurus in Indraprastha. His face was like moon. That is why, he was called as Sutasoma. Good behaviour, learning, humanity, kindness, humility and knowledge and so on were his some of the virtues for which he was known as the inheritor-evident.

Once it was a stunning spring day when he visited the royal garden with his wives and maids. There the women charmed him with their charming songs, music, dances and loving and playful motions. During that time a recluse named Nanda came to the spot. The prince welcomed him with the owed respect and offered him a place to sit and provide some religious sermon. However, in the middle of the sermon a violent cannibal known as Kalmasapadasa attacked the garden and kidnapped the prince. The cannibal was under a promise to sacrifice one hundred princes to please a goblin, who was his patron. Further, before attacking Sutasoma he had already held one hundred princes as prisoner for the sacrifice.

Though arrested, Sutasoma was not frightened. He was rather apologetic for not having presented any gift to the recluse whose sermons he had enjoyed so much. Worried with those thoughts: his eyes filled with tears. When the horrible being saw tears in his eyes, he thought that the prince was scared. So, he laughed aloud and remarked, “Why do you regret, O Prince! Is it not that you are frightened of the death ?” The prince said, “No, I am not scared of the death. I am sad because I just lost an opportunity to hear the complete sermon of the honored ascetic and to offer him some gifts. Will you, therefore, allow me to visit the palace for a little-while?” Kalmasapadasa did not trust the prince’s declaration, yet he allowed him to fulfill his last wish.

The prince was true for whatever he declared. He gave handsome gifts to the ascetic and took his wise lessons and returned to the cannibal again after his work.

Upon his return the man-eater was surprised and said, “You are true to your words but you require political perception”.

“No, you are wrong. On opposing, I am better skilled in political perception because I know that resorting to such artfulness eventually leads to the fall of a man from the righteousness and constant delight; and leads to all types of suffering. I am now ready for death”, said the king in his serenity.

Deeply Impressed by the prince’s sense of the righteousness the cannibal said, “I am pleased with you. You can ask for some advantage from me.”

The prince laughed in reply and said, “what advantage you can present on others? You are yourself a slave of Passion and shackle by animal-like evil karmas. Your righteousness is destroyed every moment. So, how can you show any good deed to any one ? It is now time for you to satisfy your cannibalistic craze by killing me.”

Though born of a lioness, Kalmasapadasa was a son of a man, who was rather a presumed virtuous king known as Sudasa. So, these words of the prince made him feel ashamed; and opened his eyes. The man in him was, thus, awaken. And he finally vowed to direct a virtuous life. So, he freed all the captive princes and became a disciple of Sutasoma.

Later, Sutasoma helped Kalmasapadasa get back his kingdom, which he ruled officially before than this.

 

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