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Between Master and Disciples / Buddhist Stories

Buddhist Stories: The King Who Offered His Eyes to the Blind Brahmin, Part 1 of 4, Aug. 27, 2015

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“This king had special eyes, that he could see the whole five continents, and four oceans, etc.,” something like that. “He could even see through the walls. Therefore, his name was Pleasant Eyes.”

Sometimes some of the assistants are too naughty or too bad, so I say, “You kneel there; in a while you come back.” Not long after, immediately attained the different level of God. He knelt in front of the bed or something, after a while... At first I feel very guilty and feel bad because I make them kneel. But later I know their tricks, so I don’t care. Meaning, I say what I want, they do what they want. So it’s useless anyway. All right.

“Obeisance to the World Honored One.” Ananda. “World Honored One appears in the world, to benefit all beings. Even the blind persons gain their sight again. This grace is immeasurable.” Like this person, the Brahmin, just in a few moments his eyes regained the sight, his sight. And also his Wisdom Eye was even opened. In the former life, what did he do? What kind of good seeds did he sow in his merit field with you so that today he has such a fortune to meet the World Honored One, and even be accepted into the Buddha’s Sangha and attain Arhat?” So the Buddha said, “Ananda, it is not in this lifetime only that I have given him the eyesight. In the past life, I even offered him my own eyes. One time, one time.”

“Obeisance to Buddha, please tell us, how did it happen?” So the Buddha said, “Ananda, a long, long time ago, in a past life, too long, too long ago; you cannot count how many asamkhyeya eons past,” means countless, countless. “Also on this planet, there was a city named Phú Ca La Bạt (Puskarāvatī.) There was a king of that country, named Pleasant Eyes,” something like that, OK, whatever. “This king had special eyes, that he could see the whole five continents, and four oceans, etc.,” something like that. “He could even see through the walls. Therefore, his name was Pleasant Eyes. This person, Pleasant Eyes, ruled over 84,000 smaller countries, 60 mountains and rivers, eight million tribes. He had hai muôn (20,000)...” (in Aulacese [Vietnamese]) My God! Could be billion? No, never mind. We slim down a little bit. Just say 20,000. Because otherwise, where does he put them? What is muôn, honey? Vạn, muôn. Is it one hundred thousand? (Maybe ten thousand or a hundred thousand.) Hundred thousand. (Muôn, vạn.) Vạn is ten thousand. Muôn is one hundred thousand. Oh, “he had 200,000 wives and concubines, etc. And he had 10,000 ministers, 500 princes.” It’s similar all the time. If he’s a great king, then he rules over 84,000 countries, and he has 200,000 wives, concubines, and he has 500 princes, just more or less. It's just a number, so that knowing that this king is very, very powerful, has a lot of stuff, a lot of people. “The first prince’s name is Gentle Precept,” something like that, Gentle Principle. That is his first prince. The crown prince is named Gentle Principle or Gentle Precept, similar like that, Gentle Discipline, whatever.

This king is very, very merciful. He treats his citizens as if a father treats his own children. He’s very diligent in teaching them to do good deeds, keep the precepts. Therefore in the whole country, there’s never any trouble, always peaceful. And the climate, everything, is very great, very, very peaceful and very harmonious with humans and nature. So, every harvest is full and good. All the citizens are happy.” Wow, wouldn’t we like to live there? (Yes.) Golden time.

One time, one day he was sitting on his golden throne. He was thinking to himself, ‘I am a king, merits as full as four oceans, whatever I say, all the beings under the sun obey, because it is some merit that I have sown in former lives. But this lifetime, if I don’t continue to sow good seeds, then in the future, what will I rely upon? Of course, I will be suffering then. It’s like the farmer in the springtime; he is diligently sowing the seeds so that in the summer he will harvest very well. If in the springtime he’s lazy and doesn’t sow the seeds, then in the summer, of course he will have nothing to harvest, and then he will suffer hunger.’ After thinking thus, the king ordered all of his court officials to open the store, royal storage, and take out gold, silver, clothing, cloth, rice, cereals, and all kinds of necessities, take them outside of the city wall and give them to all the poor people. And he also ordered these 84,000 smaller countries to do charity work, just the same. Open all the stores and give it to the people. And from then on the citizens are even happier and no one lacks anything, and everybody sings the praises for the king everywhere. Everywhere you go, you hear them praise the king sky-high.”

There was one smaller country king, his name was Balabalabada (Ba La Bà Bạt Đi), whatever. Balababadi. He didn’t obey the order of the Pleasant Eye King. And in his own country, he ruled with highhandedness, with an iron hand. He was a kind of very restless person, and he decided things quickly without considering anything else. He’s indulgent in sensual pleasures, women, wine, and such like. He doesn’t care about national affairs. He doesn’t…” How do we say “trọng dụng?” “He doesn’t know how to respectfully use the talented persons in his country, talented and virtuous people. He doesn’t care to use them. And he asks his citizens to do many things that's illogical, wasteful, and unnecessary. And many of the foreigners who came to his country to do business, he taxed them very heavily. So all the citizens in that country hated him.”

In his royal court at that time, there was a court official. His name was Lao Đà Đạt very intelligent, knowing a lot of worldly knowledge, and also knowing a lot of moral discipline. So he tried to stop the king, tried to advise the king thus: ‘Your Majesty, you have five unfavorable characteristics,’” something like that. “‘If you do not change it, one day troubles will come to you.’ So the king says, ‘What is it? What do I have? Tell me. What kind of unfavorable, that I, the king, can have? Tell me anyway.’ So the good official told him, ‘Your Majesty has a very impulsive tendency. Everything you decide is very fast and you do not consider pros and cons. In the future, national great interests will be harmed if you don’t change.’” All right, that’s the first one.

“‘The second unfavorable characteristic is that you, you indulge yourself in womanizing, sexual pleasure too much, and do not care about national affairs. So many of the bad officials had the chance to do all kinds of misdeeds, and make the citizens suffer a lot. Whenever they want to complain, they have nowhere to turn to. Nobody protects the citizens, because all these powerful but bad officials are making their own rules, and make the citizens suffer. Bribery and unfair judgment and all kinds of oppressive behavior, causing a lot of pain for the country’s people. Number three, in our country there are many people who are loyal, knowledgeable, talented, and virtuous, but you do not know how to respectfully use them by your side. Therefore, in the future you will not know how to deal with some difficult situations. If you need them, there’s no one there to help. Number four, you make our citizens work so hard, doing many useless, wasteful things, so people are lamenting, and hating the royal policy.’” Hating you, meaning.

“‘Number five, many of other business people from other countries who come to our country to do business, you tax them too heavily. Therefore, all the goods are extremely expensive. 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.’”

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