Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Taming an Elephant with loving kindness - Nalagiri was the Royal Elephant

Nalagiri getting up to walk with the Buddha after being calmed down

Nalagiri was the name of the royal tusker belonging to King Suppabuddha. This king was the father of Devadatta. Devadattha, who was jealous of the Buddha, plotted to kill Him while He was in Rajgir..... They brought this huge tusker, and gave it alcohol, then hurt and wounded it with spears and irritated it so much that it was enraged beyond compare. Then they let it out loose from a special gate at Rajgir into the narrow streets of Rajgir, where the Buddha was coming down on alms round. The intoxicated elephant started running down this street furiously tearing down everything on its sight. Everybody ran helter-skelter, when they saw this huge enraged elephant come charging down the street. The Buddha and his faithful attendant Venerable Ananda alone, stayed-on , without running away. Bhikkhu Ananda stood in front of the Buddha, so that the elephant would get him instead of the Buddha. (So you see Ananda Thero was quite different to St. Peter). However, the Buddha, came forward and with his immense mettha, relieved him off his pain and calmed the animal, who bowed down at his feet with tears running down his elephantine face. For..., the Buddha did not think about Himself, He only felt the urgency of ending the pain from which this huge animal was suffering, ....  and that’s just what He did. With His immense metttha, He ended the suffering of that animal, and the poor animal felt His loving kindness in his entire gigantic body thus, curing him off his pain and intoxication. He bowed down at the Blessed One's feet crying in gratitude.