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 Jataka tales 
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     The Tale of Monkey Brothers


A long time back, in one of his earlier births Buddha was born a monkey named Nandaka. The forests of the Himalayas were his abode where he lived with his younger brother, Chullanandaka . Both brothers together had a band of eighty four thousand monkeys, besides their old blind mother. Since they were kind leaders, the entire band lived in peace and harmony.

Once, while looking for more food, both brothers traveled far away from their abode. But, they sent back food for their blind mother regularly through other monkeys. The monkeys were careless and insensitive to the needs of the blind monkey. They did not feed her, and soon the old monkey became weak and sick. When Nandaka and Chullanandaka returned home, they were shaken to see their mother in such neglected state. Sad, as they were upon learning that their followers did not feed her at all, the two brothers decided to leave the band and live a reclusive life. A banyan tree, deep in the forest, became their new home.

One day, a Brahmin from the Takshila school, abandoning all moral teachings, entered the forest to hunt animals. He aimed his arrow at the mother monkey, and just as he was about to shoot her, Nandaka appeared before the Brahmin and requested to kill him and let his mother go. The Brahmin killed Nandaka , but again aimed the next arrow at the mother monkey. Chullanandaka jumped before the Brahmin and begged to let his mother go, offering his life instead. The Brahmin killed him, and finally, the mother monkey too.

Pleased as punch with his prize, he imagined that his wife and kids would appreciate his smartness and brave deed. Upon reaching his village, people informed him that his house was struck with lightning from the sky. His wife and children were killed in the fire. The Brahmin went mad with grief, as he had lost his entire family.

Moral : When you are cruel to others, fate punishes you with cruelty.


 

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