Bherivada Jataka (#59)

painting of Bherivada Jataka

The Bodhisatta was once a village drummer. One time he traveled with his son to play at a festival in the city and he made a lot of money. Returning home, they had to travel through a forest that was infested with robbers. The Bodhisatta told his son not to play the drum continuously, rather just play it occasionally so the robbers would hear it and assume a large group with an important lord was passing by. But the son did not listen. When the robbers heard the drum beating continuously, they knew it was not a grand procession, so they went to look. They saw it was just two people walking and they robbed them. Because of the son’s excess, they lost all their money.

In the Lifetime of the Buddha

The Bodhisatta’s son was an earlier birth of an obstinate disciple of the Buddha. The Buddha told him this story of his past life so he knew his refusal to follow advice had previously led to misfortune.

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