The Bodhisatta was once a teacher. His pupils rose before dawn, summoned by the rooster’s crow. When their rooster died they took a new one from the cemetery, but it had no knowledge of time and crowed at inappropriate times. It roused the students at midnight and by dawn they were too tired to focus, and it crowed during the day so they could not hear their lessons. The exasperated students wrung the rooster’s neck and told the Bodhisatta they had killed it. He explained to his students that its behavior was a result of a bad upbringing; no parents or teachers had trained it.
In the Lifetime of the Buddha
One of the Buddha’s disciples was disobedient and inconsiderate. He neglected his duties and made loud noises throughout the night, keeping other disciples awake.
The noisy rooster was an earlier birth of this disciple and the students were earlier births of the Buddha’s other disciples. The Buddha told this story so they knew that their companion had also been inappropriately noisy around them in the past.