The Innocent Monk



The Innocent Monk :



What Buddha said… : Some are reborn as human beings, the wicked are reborn in hell, the righteous are reborn in heaven, and those free from defilements pass away into Nibbana.

ONCE THERE WAS A GEM POLISHER whose family offered almsfood to a certain monk every day. One morning as the monk was entering their house to accept his almsfood, a messenger from the king’s palace arrived with a giant ruby for the gem polisher to work on. As the gem polisher had been in the kitchen handling some raw meat when the messenger arrived, the stone was wet with blood when he put it on a table before going into the kitchen to get some food for the monk. Their pet bird, in the meantime, thinking that the blood-stained ruby was something to eat, picked it up and swallowed it before the monk could prevent it from doing so.

When the gem polisher came back into the room, he immediately noticed that the ruby was gone. He asked his wife and son, and then the monk, if they had taken it, but they all said no. The gem polisher assumed it must have been the monk since he was the last one seen in the room with the ruby. He decided to beat the truth out of the monk, but his wife, would not let him do it. She warned him that the consequences of causing harm to a noble one would be worse than the punishment he could possibly receive from the king.

The gem polisher, however, was too furious to listen to his wife. He tied up the monk and beat him severely until blood started flowing from his head. Attracted by the sight of the blood, the curious bird flew toward the monk, where it received a stray blow and fell dead. Only then, did the monk tell the gem polisher that it was the bird that had swallowed the ruby.

The gem polisher quickly cut open the bird and found that the monk was indeed telling him the truth. Realizing his mistake, he trembled with fear and pleaded for the monk’s forgiveness. The monk replied that he felt no illwill toward him for it was a debt that had to be repaid due to mistakes in his past lives. The monk then succumbed to his wounds and died, passing away into Parinibbana since he was already an arahat. When the gem polisher himself died, he was reborn in hell. As for his wife, she was reborn in one of the deva worlds.

What Buddha said… : Some are reborn as human beings, the wicked are reborn in hell, the righteous are reborn in heaven, and those free from defilements pass away into Nibbana.


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