Jataka Tales – The Foolish Disciple
There is a fine line between bravery and foolishness. Read this story where an intelligent yet foolish person proves this saying!
Once upon a time there was a great sage who lived in a hermitage in a forest. He had 5 disciples to whom he had taught various things over the course of time. One fine day, he felt that it was time for them to learn the last lesson but he felt that only one disciple was ready to learn that lesson. And that lesson had a mantra which was about bringing the dead back to life. So, he called that one disciple alone and taught him the lesson. After this, he sent his disciples to the forest to live for 40 days as a final test. The disciples then left the hermitage.
In the forest, after roaming for a few days, they came upon a dead tiger which looked ferocious even after its death. Now, the intelligent disciple wanted to test the mantra on the tiger and bring it back to life. The other disciples wanted him against this, but he did not listen. The intelligent disciple had crossed the line of sense into becoming a foolish person. As he recited the mantra, the other disciples climbed up a tall tree quickly. The next set of events was nothing surprising. The tiger came alive and upon seeing the disciple, killed him and went away. The disciples then got down from the tree and carried his body back to the hermitage.
At the hermitage, the sage was informed by the disciples as to what had happened and he used the same mantra to bring him back to life. The disciple then apologised for his mistake and the sage used this as a lesson in itself to teach the same mantra to the other disciples. He told them to be wise and use their learnings only for the good of others.
Moral – Whatever strength or power one may have, one should always use it for the good of others.