The Cloth Baby



The Cloth Baby :



What Buddha said… : For one who transgresses the truth and is given to lying, and who is unconcerned with the next life, there is no evil that he cannot do.

AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE became attracted to the Buddha and his teachings, the ascetics of other religions became very jealous and schemed to ruin his reputation. They asked a not uncomely young female follower of theirs to help them carry out their plan.

One day, as evening fell, the young woman started to walk in the direction of the monastery where the Buddha was staying, but in fact went and stayed at the jealous ascetics’ place for the night. Early the next morning as she returned home, her curious neighbors asked her where she had been. She misled them to think that she had spent the night with the Buddha.

After a few months had passed, she began to wrap some cloth around her stomach to look pregnant, and as the months went by, she kept adding more cloth until she really looked like she was about ready to give birth. She also beat up her hands and feet until they became swollen and pretended to be feeling tired as real pregnant women do. Looking like that she went to accuse the Buddha.

The Buddha was in the middle of giving a discourse when she arrived, holding her stomach to accentuate her condition. Seeing him preaching, she confronted him and said, “Instead of shooting your mouth off like that, you should be taking care of me and your baby! Now that you have had your fun, you are no longer interested!" The Buddha let her finish speaking and then said calmly, “Only you and I know if your words are true or not." “You’re right!" she scoffed. “No one else could see what we were doing in the…"

Before she could finish her sentence, the strings holding the bundle of cloth around her stomach loosened and the “baby" fell down to her feet. Those in the congregation then realized that the woman had been lying. They scolded her severely and called her a wicked woman, a liar, and a cheat. Afraid that they would do her harm, she ran away as fast as her legs could carry her. She did not get very far, however, when she met with an unhappy mishap and died miserably.

The next day when the bhikkhus sat talking about the unfortunate woman, the Buddha told them, “Bhikkhus, he who is not afraid to tell lies and does not care what happens in his future lifetimes, won’t hesitate to do any evil."

What Buddha said… : For one who transgresses the truth and is given to lying, and who is unconcerned with the next life, there is no evil that he cannot do.


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