The Wise Merchant



The Wise Merchant :



What Buddha said… : Just as a wealthy merchant with few attendants avoids a dangerous road, or just as one who desires to go on living avoids poison, even so should one shun evil.

ONCE THERE WAS A PROSPEROUS MERCHANT who did not mind travelling long distances in order to deliver his merchandise to faithful buyers. Robbers got a wind of this and soon were trying to capture his carts loaded with fine and expensive goods. The merchant, however, was a clever man and each time succeeded in thwarting their plans.

On one of his journeys, the merchant learned that some monks were going to be travelling in the same direction, so he invited them to accompany him and promised to look after their every need along the way. No one was aware at the time, however, that some robbers had already heard of the merchant’s trip and planned to ambush his caravan as it passed through a certain forest.

The wise prosperous merchant, in the meantime, made wary by past experiences, suspected something was amiss as they approached the forest. So instead of entering it, he decided to set up camp just outside its edge and stay there for a few days. Later, when he learned what the robbers were up to, he decided that for the safety of his travelling companions and his goods, it would be best to abort the trip and return home.

When news of this reached the ears of the robbers, they went and lay in wait for the merchant on the road back to the city. But the wise prosperous merchant also had his own scouts who came back and warned him of the robbers’ strategy. The merchant then decided to stay in a village where he had good friends and not budge for a few more days.

Upon hearing about the merchant’s new plan, the monks decided to cut short their trip and return to their monastery. When they arrived there, they told the Buddha how their trip was complicated by robbers who aimed at looting the merchant’s caravan and how the wise merchant outsmarted them each time.

The Buddha replied by telling them that the merchant was a wise man, for he evaded a journey beset with robbers like someone who did not want to die evaded poison. In the same way, the Buddha taught, a wise person who realizes that existence is like a journey beset with dangers, does his best to keep away from doing evil.

What Buddha said… : Just as a wealthy merchant with few attendants avoids a dangerous road, or just as one who desires to go on living avoids poison, even so should one shun evil.


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