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Buddhist Stories: The King Who Offered His Eyes to the Blind Brahmin, Part 3 of 4, Aug. 27, 2015

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“I only want to become Buddha so that I can help everyone escape birth and death, and suffering in the three evil paths so that they will attain Nirvana and enjoy eternal bliss.”

“‘So we consider the eyes offering, the eyes charity, is absolutely nonsense. No necessity and nonsensical. Because you are the king, you are the saintly king, you need the eyes in order to take care of the country's affairs and take care of all these people, all your citizens, and the smaller countries’ citizens under you. You need the eyes so that you continue to even do charitable and merit work for everybody, so people will be happy, happy for a long time. If you lose these two eyes, it’s as if our country, all the citizens, lose one bright light or lose their own eyes. Please stop this. Please abolish, abandon this idea, this request.’ And then everybody else, like his own officials, and the queens, and the concubines, and all the princes, everybody felt very, very unhappy about this. Because they also tried to stop him, and he didn’t listen, so all of them were very sad. They forgot to eat, they couldn’t sleep. All the whole country was feeling in turmoil and sorrowful. And the crown prince said to his father, ‘Your Majesty, Father, please, if this blind Brahmin needs the eyes, I’ll take my own eyes to give them to him. But you don’t do that, because you are the father of all nations, of many nations. You need them, because even if I die …’” They considered that if he took out the eyes, then the king would die also, or at least sick and wounded for a long, long time. So the prince thought that if he took his own eyes, he would probably die too. “But he said, ‘Even if I die, our country will not be in danger, and the other countries also will still be safe under your rule, so let him take my eyes instead.’” The crown prince was also so noble.

“The king saw that everybody came and tried to hinder him like that, so he stood up and talked very loud in such a determined and authoritative loud voice, saying that, ‘Please, all the kings and all the people, even today I offer my eyes, but with a motive.’” With a motive. Yeah, eyes. Motive. Translation is very difficult, I know that, so I just help you when you’re stuck. But nobody can help me when I’m stuck. Oh, they do, they do. “‘Because I observe that life after life, in the cycle of life and death, I have many, many bodies that even if we collect all the bones from my former bodies and put them together, it will be higher than the Sumeru Mountain.’” The highest Indian mountain. “‘And all my blood, if gathered together since time immemorial, since my existence until now, probably it will be comparable, will be more than all the water in the four seas, four oceans. And then since reunion and depart, many people cry because of me. If we gather all the tears together during all these farewell times, during the time I exist until now, the water would cover the whole ocean as well. Or maybe I was even in hell, had been burned or been tortured, then all those eyes in those times have been wasted and thrown away. You cannot even count how many eyes I have lost and wasted, useless. If when I was a hungry ghost, the fire came from my own body and burning the body as well, from this body to another body, how many eyes have been ruined and damaged and made useless anyway. Or when I was an animal, domestic animal, and the humans were punching me and cutting me and killing me and then they fried and ate and all that, so how many eyes have been wasted for no reason, for useless reason. And then one life after another like that. How many lives have been damaged? How many double of that number the eyes have been ruined, destroyed for nothing? You cannot even count that. So even if this body was a human, and then sometimes can live long, sometimes die early, and then fighting with each other for fame and fortune, killing each other. All the bodies that have been born and died, born and died, cannot even be counted. So all these eyes also have been wasted with these deceased bodies, destroyed bodies anyway, there’s no use. Countless eyes have been wasted, destroyed, and disappeared without any use. So, even if I was in Heaven, enjoying heavenly bliss and staying in the heavenly palaces, but after merits run out, also have to be born according to the next karma circle. And even then, those heavenly bodies have also been countless, countless. Since time immemorial, transmigrating in the three worlds and being born as animal or human, because of sensual pleasures or because of greed, violence, or bad deeds. So many bodies in this situation have been even crushed like dust, become dust. Nobody even uses that body to do something good, to sow the good deeds for the Buddhahood in the future. All these useless bodies ever since ever. So now I am giving these eyes only, even just so that to pray for all the Buddhas to give me the Wisdom Eye instead. And then after, if I become a Buddha, I will use this Wisdom Eye to give all of you the same Eye to everybody. Why do you try to stop me? So my motive is like that. Don’t try to stop me.’ So everybody heard that; they didn’t dare to say anything to interfere with his decision anymore.

So the Pleasant Eyes King saw that everybody already quieted down, so he asked his subordinate, ‘Please get the knife and take out my eyes for me now.’ So they said, the subordinates, his bodyguards left and right, said, ‘Please, Your Majesty, even if you kill us, we won’t do that. We have no heart to use a knife to take out your eyes in such a way.’” They’d rather die. They loved him so much. “So the king said, ‘OK, then go out, find somebody who will do that.’ Then they could not find it, then he said, ‘Go out and find somebody whose eyes are very shady.’ Their eyes will be able to look down only, cannot look up, like a deformed kind of eyes, so that he doesn’t see to whom is he doing and what kind of thing he is doing. And then they found one like that. And then the king gave him the knife and told him to take out his eyes, and he did that. First, he took the left eye and put it on the hand of the king, and he took another eye, the right eye and put it also on the other hand. Oh, first he did that, took the first eye from the left side and then put it into the king’s hand. And then he put the eye up and said, he vowed, he said, ‘I vow to give this eye to the blind person so that this merit will enable me nearer to Buddhahood. And then if I am really sincere, please let this Brahmin use these eyes as if they’re his, so that he can regain his sight.’ And then he put this left eye into the left eye socket of the blind Brahmin. Then immediately, the Brahmin, blind Brahmin, could see, half of the eyes, one eye already. He saw the king and everybody around him. He was so happy, happy. So he said, ‘Your Majesty, one eye is enough. I can see already. Please keep the other one. I don’t want both.’ But the king said, ‘I have promised to give you both of my eyes, then I will just give you both of my eyes. Please be happy to receive it.’ So then the person took out the right eye and put it on the hand of the king, and the king also put it up, offering to all the Buddhas, saying, ‘I only want Buddhahood through this merit.’” Means he gathers all this merit towards Buddhahood. “‘Please let the Brahmin see with both eyes.’ And then he put this in the socket of the Brahmin, blind Brahmin, and then both of his eyes became like normal and he could see everything. So strange, so precious, he could see everything. And he could see not just everybody, but now he saw everywhere, the whole country, and many other countries. He could see the whole planet.” These were very special eyes and he gave them even.

The king who sacrificed such, nobody would dare to do this kind of deed like he did. Then he must have been an extraordinary super human, who looked upon his body as if it were dirt or stones, worthless material, in order to request the eternal body. And from then on this kind of tradition began.” Oh my God, they do all that? Probably. Do they do it nowadays? Can you give your eyes to somebody else? (Yes.) They can do it now? (Yes.) Really? How you saw that? You see it where? (Because when people die, you can put …) Ah, yeah, yeah. And even the dead person’s eye can be used? (Yes.) Really? And then the real eyesight restored? (Yes.) Wow, imagine! Then that’s how it began, they say it here. This is a miracle medical phenomenon that began from here. That’s what the book said.

At that time the whole universe trembled. All the palaces in Heaven shook violently. Many of the heavenly beings and kings were very scared and surprised, looked down to see what happened. And then they saw a Bodhisattva taking out his eyes and offering them to a blind person. So everybody flew down, and spread flowers all over to make offering to the king. And they also praised him, and asked him, ‘Bodhisattva, you don’t even care about your own body and suffer so much to make such an offering. What kind of position in Heaven do you wish for doing this, through this merit?’ He said, ‘I do not to want to be a Maya King. I do not want to be Brahma. I do not want to be Śakra King or the Wheel-Steering King through this merit to enjoy the freedom and bliss in the Three Heavens. I only want to become Buddha so that I can help everyone escape birth and death, and suffering in the three evil paths so that they will attain Nirvana and enjoy eternal bliss.’ And so some of the kings, I guess it was Śakra, Śakra God again, the King God said, ‘But you suffer so much like that, you don’t complain? You don’t regret?’ He said, ‘No, no, not even one little bit.’ The king said, ‘No, I don’t regret, not even one little bit.’ So the King of Heaven said again, ‘But I saw your blood is running down in a stream like that, and your body became so pale. If you say you don’t complain, or don’t regret it’s very difficult to believe you.’” Śakra, I guess, Śakra again, the God of the Astral Heavens. “So the king said, ‘If you don’t believe me, I will vow like this.’ So he said, ‘I really am sincere in this charitable deed, just to become a Buddha. If I say the words that are not matching with my thought, meaning I tell lies, if I don’t tell lies, then please let my eyes return to normal again.’ Immediately his eyes appeared again and he could see like before. And even he could see further than before. So everybody from the Heaven to the Earth, everybody was so happy and so touched by the king’s unwavering iron will to follow his Buddha path.

But at that time he was not a Buddha yet even. He had to do much more. Imagine that, just toward Buddhahood only. “So everybody praised him, saying, ‘Definitely you will be Buddha in the future.’ So the King Pleasant Eyes said to the Brahmin, ex-blind Brahmin, like this: ‘Today, I give you just the physical eyes. In the future when I become a Buddha, I will give you the Wisdom Eye as well.’ So after that he asked his subordinates to bring this Brahmin into his store room. Whatever he wanted, he could take. Gold, money, whatever he liked, clothes, everything he wanted.

And the bad king, Ba La Bà Bạt Đi, heard about that, came out and greeted the Brahmin who came back and said, ‘Have you been able to get the eyes of the king?’ He said, ‘Yes. Now I can see everything and see very far just like him.’ ‘And is the King Pleasant Eyes dead or not?’ ‘Your Majesty, when they took the eyes from his sockets, it was very painful and he lost a lot of blood. Blood was soaking all over his body; it looked very, very terrible and frightening. But many heavenly beings came down and asked him, doubted his intention, so he vowed that if he was sincere, then his eyes would return to him. And then it was really like that, his eyes returned to him and even looked even better than before.’ After the King Ba La Bà Bạt Đi, a bad Ba La Bà Bạt bad king heard that, he was so angry. His heart was broken, his real heart broken, dropped dead.”

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