The Bodhisatta was once a village drummer. One time he traveled with his son to play at a festival in the city and they made a lot of money. Returning home, they had to pass through a forest that was infested with thieves. The Bodhisatta told his son not to play the drum continuously; rather, just play occasionally so any thieves hearing it would assume a large group with an important lord was passing by. But the son did not listen. When the thieves heard the drum beating nonstop, 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 that his refusal to follow advice had previously led to misfortune.