500 HAPPY BISCUITS - A Story from Buddhist Sutra
The following interesting story was told by the Buddha in a sermon. It was recorded in the Sutra of the Hundred Parables, Chapter 65, by his senior student Ananda.
Once upon a time, a wife was unfaithful to her husband and for a long time, she had been waiting for an opportunity to get rid of him. One day, the husband got a job assignment at the neigherhood Kingdom (ancient India was a country with many Kingdoms) and had to leave home for a long business trip. The woman now got an opportunity: she mixed some poisons with flour, and together with other tasty ingredients such as honey, ginger, pepper, grapes, nuts, etc., made five hundred "happy biscuits."
"Now you are going away for a long trip," said the wife, "I had prepared five hundred 'happy biscuits' for you on the way. Once you are outside our city in a foreign land, you can eat the biscuits if you are hungry."
The husband took the biscuits with many thanks, not knowing that the food was poisonous, prepared by his wife to kill him. Soon he was out of his hometown traveling along a long country road through a huge forest. It was getting dark and there was no house anywhere to be seen. So, he decided to stay outside in the wild for the night. To avoid attacks from wild animals, he climbed up a huge tree to get some sleep. He had forgotten all about the five hundred happy biscuits and left them together with his other belongings on the foot of the tree.
In the middle of the night, a gang of rebels had attacked the Treasury of the neighbourhood Kingdom and took most of the precious stones from the Palace, together with a herd of horses. As they passed through the forest, they took a rest right under the huge tree where the merchant had stayed. Because they had been running away from the King's pursuing army, they were very tired and hungry. Thus, when they found the poisonous biscuits under the tree, they just helped themselves with the food.
By next morning, all the rebels were found dead. The merchant came down the tree, made sure everyone was really dead by putting a sword and arrow through each body. Then he took the precious stones, put them on the horses and rode toward the Capital City.
"I am from so and so Kingdom," he reported to the King. "Last night, when I was traveling on the roadway, I met a gang of rebels from your Kingdom. I fought a battle with them all by myself and killed them all. Here are all your horses and precious stones from your Treasury."
After the King sent an investigation team to verify what he said, he was so happy that he gave this foreign merchant a medal, a big prize, and a piece of land and a high office in his Government. The other officers were unhappy. "Why the King gave such a huge prize to a foreigner who may or may not be trustworthy?"
"OK" replied the merchant, "if you guys are unhappy, I am challenging you to compete with me in a contest. Who want to come forward?"
Nobody dared to accept the challenge. After all, who wanted to fight with someone who killed a whole group of rebellious gangsters just by himself alone?
One day a fierce lion was found roaming the villages of the Kingdom, killing a lot of people and animals. Nobody dared to venture outside in the rural area. The officers suggested to the King, "This foreigner describes himself as a fearless warrior. Now, you should assign him to kill the lion because nobody else has the ability to do it."
On hearing their suggestion, the King summoned the foreigner to the Imperial Court and said to him, "I assign you to a mission to get rid of the lion for my Kingdom. You can take any weapon with you from our weaponry to do the job. I am sure you can do it."
Upon hearing this, the foreigner was scared to death in his heart. However, he had no choice but to accept the assignment. He took a sword and went outside the city to look for the lion.
As the two met each other, the lion roared loudly and dashed toward the foreigner. He was so frightened that he turned around and climbed up a big tree. The lion circled around the tree underneath, looked up towards him and gave a big roar. The terrified man started to panic and dropped his sword from his hand. But as fate would have it, the sword dropped down right into the mouth of the lion, instantly killing the beast.
As news was spread around in the Kingdom, the foreigner was regarded as a big hero by everybody and was awarded even a bigger prize and a higher position in the Imperial Court.