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The Hungry Dog









There was a great king who oppressed his people and was hated by
his subjects; yet when the Tathagata came into his kingdom, the
lung desired much to see him. So he went to the place where the
Blessed One stayed and asked: "O Sakyamuni, canst thou teach a
lesson to the Icing that will divert his mind and benefit him at
the same time?"

And the Blessed One said: "I shall tell thee the parable of the
hungry dog:

"There was a wicked tyrant; and the god Indra, assuming the shape
of a hunter, came down upon earth with the demon Matali, the
latter appearing as a dog of enormous size. Hunter and dog
entered the palace, and the dog howled so wofully that the royal
buildings shook by the sound to their very foundations. The
tyrant had the awe-inspiring hunter brought before his throne and
inquired after the cause of the terrible bark. The hunter said,
"The dog is hungry," whereupon the frightened king ordered food
for him. All the food prepared at the royal banquet disappeared
rapidly in the dog's jaws, and still he howled with portentous
significance. More food was sent for, and all the royal
store-houses were emptied, but in vain. Then the tyrant grew
desperate and asked: 'Will nothing satisfy the cravings of that
woful beast?' 'Nothing,' replied the hunter, 'nothing except
perhaps the flesh of all his enemies.' 'And who are his enemies?'
anxiously asked the tyrant. The hunter replied: 'The dog will
howl as long as there are people hungry in the kingdom, and his
enemies are those who practise injustice and oppress the poor.'
The oppressor of the people, remembering his evil deeds, was
seized with remorse, and for the first time in his life he began
to listen to the teachings of righteousness."

Having ended his story, the Blessed One addressed the king, who
had turned pale, and said to him:

"The Tathagata can quicken the spiritual ears of the powerful,
and when thou, great king, hearest the dog bark, think of the
teachings of the Buddha, and thou mayst still learn to pacify the
monster."





Next: The Despot

Previous: The Peacemaker



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Buddha's Gospels