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 Jataka tales 
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     The Tale of the Lion and the Jackal


In ancient India, a huge lion lived in the forests of the Himalayan mountain range. Although he was strong, he never troubled other animals without reason. One day, after hunting down a buffalo and having a hearty meal, the lion was returning to his cave. He met a jackal on the way, who came to him and said, O' King, you are the mightiest of all animals. Please accept me as your humble servant.” The lion was kind and said, “As you wish, O' jackal.” The jackal was smart because he knew he would not have to hunt anymore, and will live on the leftover of the lion's meals.

From that day on, the jackal served the lion and in return always had a full meal from the leftovers. The jackal was indeed happy, as he never had to go in search of food in the dense forest. Soon, the starving jackal became fat and strong. The other animals in the forest started to fear him because he was close to the lion. The jackal would even go to the forest and bully the small and big animals alike. As there was nothing they could do, the animals started respecting the jackal. Seeing the animals feeling scared of him, the jackal thought, “I am getting powerful. All animals are scared of me. Only the king is stronger than I in the entire forest.”

The next day, the jackal saw a lonely elephant in the forest. He pointed to the distant elephant and said, “O' King, I will hunt down the elephant for you. So far, I have been feeding on your leftovers, but today you will feed on mine.” The lion was shocked at what he heard, but he warned the jackal to leave the elephant alone. The jackal filled with false pride ran down the hill and pounced upon the elephant from above. The angry elephant lifted the jackal in his trunk and banged him against a tree. The jackal died at once. The wise lion was none other than the Buddha himself.

Moral: The path of false pride always leads to trouble.

 

 

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