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Buddhist Stories: The King Who Offered His Eyes to the Blind Brahmin, Part 2 of 4, Aug. 27, 2015

2020-09-27
Language:English

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“‘But I know the King Pleasant Eyes has a vow that whatever anybody asks, he will give, except his parents. So if you go there and ask the Pleasant Eyes King for his eyes, physical eyes, he will give them to you.’”

 

“‘These five unfavorable situations are the signs of losing our country. Please change all these and follow the ancestral policy; it’s better, the better one before. Nowadays, the Pleasant Eyes King is giving charity to all the countries. Every country, every small country obeys his order. Only our country does not, so all the citizens are hating us. Please, Your Majesty should open all the stores and donate it to people, so that even your children will derive this benefit from this great merit and then your children will have merits for a long time.’ After the king heard thus, his face became black. He was very angry. ‘You know all this? How do you know all this? You can see the future? I will see if the people really hate me or it is from your own mouth. I don't believe this! I will not change anything! I am the king! I say so, and it is so!’ So this official, Lao Đà Đạt, was thinking to himself, ‘I saw that the king doesn't have a good policy, doesn't know how to govern the country, so I was really trying to introduce some better advisers and helpers into the court, but not only he doesn't listen to my advice, and he is even angry with me. It surely will be dangerous for me. Now I have to think of the way to help our country’s people.’ But then whatever his strategy has been exposed, and then the king asked his soldiers to come and catch him. But he knew it in advance, so he ran. He rode on the horse and ran away, escaped. The soldiers followed him on his heels and he had to turn back and shoot, kill 18 people and the rest were scared and ran away, the rest of the soldiers.

This official, the good, virtuous official, went to the Pleasant Eyes’ country and came in to have an audience with the king. The king was very happy to receive him and then he sees that this court official is very eloquent, very good, very clear and every answer, everything, he knows a lot. He was very happy, so he used him as one of his ministers, advisers. And then after a while they became more close. He became more close with the King Pleasant Eyes, then he slowly told the King Pleasant Eyes about his former king, about how bad he was and all that. And then the Pleasant Eyes King asked all his ministers, ‘This country, does it belong under my rule or not?’ And they said, ‘Yes, yes, Your Majesty, but they mostly ignore us. They never visit or have diplomatic ties too much or they don't even care what you say. They don't obey your orders.’ So Lao Đà Đạt, the official that escaped, the new official said, ‘Your Majesty, this king is very, very stubborn and very ignorant. He's also indulging in sensual, sexual pleasure. Every citizen hates him, thinking of him like an enemy. So please, if you give me enough soldiers, I will go there and destroy him.’ And the Pleasant Eyes King, ‘OK,’” said in American, “OK.”

“Gave him a lot of soldiers and weapons, and ordered many other countries, smaller countries to come to help him also. And one of the neighboring countries to this bad king came and secretly told him about that, so he was very scared. The bad king was very scared. He came, wearing very tattered clothes, tried to escape. He was kind of hiding. He didn't wear the king's clothes anymore, he just wore some tattered clothes and hid in a very, very secret place.”

 

Do you still have this ginger tea like yesterday? Today, did you make ginger tea? Same? Can I have some, later? I’ve been coughing. How come I don't have ginger tea? I want it. I want ginger tea like everybody else. It's OK. Maybe later.

 

So the prime minister found out his hide-out, his secret hide-out, and asked him, ‘Your Majesty, what worries you so much?’ So he said, ‘Oh, you don't know? Lao Đà Đạt, the minister escaped to the country Puskarāvatī and then he connected with the Pleasant Eyes King, and then the other 84,000 countries are coming with a lot of soldiers and want to destroy our country. And he wants to capture me.’ So the prime minister told him, ‘Oh, Your Majesty, don't worry so much, don't worry so much. We have to gather all the court officials and talk about this. Also, I have a good way. I have a plan.’ So he was happy a little bit, came back to the palace and summoned all of his officials. And then he said, ‘All of you should know our country is in danger. The Pleasant Eyes King’s soldiers are coming. How are we going to...’” How, what? (Face it.) To face it.

“‘How are we going to fight them?’” Everybody talked one way or another, nothing, useless. It's usual. It's normal with a king who doesn't know how to use good people, and who just likes to listen to sweet talk and keeps all these sweet tongues around. Tongues cannot do anything much when the country’s in danger, no. So, not surprised. Nobody has any good idea.

So the prime minister came up and said, ‘I heard that the King Pleasant Eyes has a vow like this: Except his parents, he will not give away; everything else he will give. He will give even his country, his throne, his kingdom, his royalty, even his wives, his children. Anybody asks for anything, he will give, except asking for his parents; then he won't give. Anything else he gives. In our country, there is a blind Brahmin. You order him to come here. And then you tell him to go to the Pleasant Eyes King to ask for his eyes. Then even then we don't have to fight him. They will return to their countries because their king is blind and maybe dead.’” So, wow, OK!

“The bad king immediately ordered the Brahmin to come. And then the prime minister told the Brahmin, the blind Brahmin, ‘Our country is going to be invaded very soon. Please, I ask you for one favor to save our nation.’ So the Brahmin said, ‘Please, Sir, tell me. But I am so blind and so lowly like this, what can I do for our country?’ So, the prime minister said, ‘Listen, the King Pleasant Eyes, soon, in a few days will bring a big army here to invade our country. We are strong and have eyes, so we can run away. But you, blind like this and weak like this, where are you going to run? How are you going to run away, escape? So they will kill you.’” Very good, good, good talk.

“‘But I know the King Pleasant Eyes has a vow that whatever anybody asks, he will give, except his parents. So if you go there and ask the Pleasant Eyes King for his eyes, physical eyes, he will give them to you. Then after that, all the soldiers will return. When the king is suffering, they will have no more heart to want to fight or anything. Therefore, our king asks you to come here to request you to do this.’ ‘So, Prime Minister, how am I going to get there?’ He said, ‘Don't worry. I’ll ask somebody to take you there.’ So, at that time, in the country of the Pleasant Eyes King appeared many bad omens, like earthquake, comet appearing, ice cubes raining, and dark clouds were all over the country the whole day. And a lot of birds were crying pitifully, and tigers and wolves, they were all howling, howling very, very fiercely. Everybody in the country said to each other, ‘It's really, really unfortunate omens; something bad is coming.’ So, at that time...” That was the day when the blind Brahmin was coming to the country. And all these bad omens appeared at the same time. So people thought, “This is really something, a sign of bad luck coming.”

“Now the blind Brahmin had already arrived. In the middle of all this, he arrived and then he went into the royal court, talking in a very loud voice: ‘Your Majesty, I am from another country. I heard of your virtues and morals, and your love, and your mercy, and your compassion for everyone, that anyone whatever is asked of you for anything, you will give. So I don’t care about the long distance. I came here from far away walking to come here to beg from you.’ So the king stepped immediately from the throne, came down to the beggar and said, ‘Where did you come from? Why did you come such a long way? Are you tired from long distance traveling? What is it that you want from me?’” How nice was the king! He walked down from his throne because the Brahmin was... He can see that maybe he’s blind, he cannot go up.

“So he said, ‘Your Majesty, the merit of donating material things is even great, but it’s very small compared to the merit of offering the things from your own body. So I have been blind for a long, long time now; I came here to beg you for your two eyes.’ So the king became very stern, his face became stern, and he said, ‘OK, fine. I would be pleased to give them to you.’ And the beggar asked, the Brahmin beggar asked, ‘How long will it take for that to happen?’ And the king said, ’Don’t worry. In seven days.’” Seven days because he had to write down many of the notices to give them to the whole country and to other smaller countries’ kings, saying, ‘All the kings should know, I, because of doing charity work, in seven days I will take out my eyes and give them to one blind Brahmin. Please come to my palace on that day, all of you.’ So after that, everybody came. All the kings came to his country and into the palace. And they said to him, ‘Your Majesty, the charity work...’”

 

Thank you. What took so long? It's not outside? (I warmed it.) Why have to warm it? It's not warm? (Very cold.) But ginger, it’s hot. Thank you, anyway. Now it's too hot. Can I drink it? It’s not too warm? Very good. Thank you. Something in the throat. It's very pleasant. No sugar? (No.) Nobody likes sugar? (Do you want sugar?) They don't like sugar? (No.) They like it like this? With sugar it tastes better. (We consider… Is it okay?) No, I mean for everybody. You put some syrup or something next to it, so if people like, they can... and a spoon. So if they like it, they can put in; if they don't, they don't. If they don't like, they don't put, right?

 

“So they all wanted to come to stop him from doing this kind of terrible thing. They said, ‘Your Majesty, your charity merit, your charity principle, is so great already, it is immeasurably great. So, concerning taking your eyes and giving them to the blind Brahmin, this is a very useless thing. No need.’”

 

Yeah, I do it myself. Thank you very much. Go back to your seat. Thank you. Go to your seat. Fasten your seat belt. Listen. Thank you, thank you. I shouldn't have bothered you, but because… for everybody. Thank you. Very kind. One second. All of you thirsty? Need a break? (No.) Need a break first, no? (No.) It's getting exciting, so I have to take some drink, otherwise my voice becomes like the condor’s voice. And then people might doubt my status. You see what I mean? Now you know what I mean. Thank you. That was nice! Warm, nice, feels nice.

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