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."





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