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The King Who Realizes that Virtue and Malevolence both Arise from Our Thought

Kind thoughts and evil thoughts both arise within a split-second. When evil thought rises, troubles come with it and send people into deprivation. When kind thought rises, people are directed towards a bright path filled with beauty and kindness, and thus, happiness is certain.

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(Photo credit to PEXELS) 

Kind deeds lead one towards a promising and harmonious life. On the contrary, bad deeds lead to restlessness and ceaseless troubles. Different thoughts lead to different lives. An ill thought in a split second may lead to one mistake after another. Conversely, a kind thought provides a path for spiritual development and advancement. 

When Buddha was still around, he used to travel on both sides of the riverbanks of Ganges in India with his disciples. Aspired to help people realise the truth and gain wisdom, the sangha group tirelessly spread wisdom from small countries to huge nations and from small villages to big cities. 

At that time, there was a king who felt that his country wasn't strong and big enough. He believed that his power would be expanded if he had more people and land under his jurisdiction. Therefore, he ceaselessly occupied other nations to take over more people and lands. 

One day, Buddha travelled to this country. The Minister reported to the King, "Your majesty, the Buddha who has cultivated and achieved liberation, spent a long time spreading his wisdom on both sides of Ganges banks. Wherever Buddha goes, he is treated with respect and provided for by the local community. Now he and a few hundreds of his disciples are near our city's gate, would your majesty agree to receive him and his entourage?

The King, however, thought that the Buddha and his disciples were not productive yet going around begging for food in masses. He thought that the sangha group would only add on to the country 's burden. Therefore, he refused to allow them into his city.

In order to stop them from entering, the King brought along his ministers and went outside the city. Suddenly, gusts of wind started blowing and dust was flying everywhere, everyone had to close their eyes. After the sudden windstorm, the sun reappeared.  The sand and dust rested on the ground and the sky cleared up. The King and his entourage waited until the sun almost set, however there was no sight of Buddha and his disciples.

While the King was taking his entourage outside the city and the wild wind gusted, Buddha and his followers had already entered the city. The story of an enlightened man called Buddha and his holy disciples has been spreading around for some time. Therefore, every household in the city was very happy to see the arrival of Buddha and his disciples. 

When the King returned to the city, he saw his people filling up the bowls for Buddha and his disciples with abundant food, some people were placing their offerings on top of their heads.  Everyone was at peace and full of respect for the sangha entourage. The King was in awe of what he witnessed and felt the joy and calm which he had never felt before.

The King realised that his country folks are rich, and everyone is kind, harmonious and happy. He stared at Buddha and his disciples while they were leaving with their food bowls full.

Ever since the King came into power, he was troubled and restlessly thinking of expanding his country lands every day. When he saw Buddha who was calm and in harmony, and his people were kind and living in abundance, the King realized that he should be satisfied and content with his country.  

Therefore, he felt ashamed and regretted. After he returned to the palace, he told the ministers, "Please find out where the Buddha is staying, I would like to invite him to the palace for my offerings." 

The Minister went to pay tribute to Buddha who was resting in the forest and conveyed the King 's message. Buddha gladly accepted the invitation. The next day Buddha travelled to the palace and received offerings from the King. At the request of the King, Buddha accepted the King to seek refuge in dharma and the King became a Buddhist.

From this story, we learned that kindness is all in the mind.  When ill thought arises, troubles follow. When kind thought arises, beauty and happiness follow. We must look after our kind heart, be satisfied and happy with what we have. With that, we will live a harmonious and happy life.