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§ 63. THE CONVERSION OF ANIMALS.
[REFLECTION ON THE BUDDHA.]
Translated from the Visuddhi-Magga (chap. vii.).
The Blessed One, moreover, was The Teacher, because he gave instruction also to animals. These, by listening to the Doctrine of The Blessed One, became destined to conversion, and in the second or third existence would enter the Paths. The frog who became a god is an illustration.
As tradition relates, The Blessed One was teaching the Doctrine to the inhabitants of the town of Campâ, on the banks of Lake Gaggarâ; and a certain frog, at the sound of The Blessed One's voice, obtained the mental reflex. And a certain cowherd, as he stood leaning on his staff, pinned him down fast by the head. The frog straightway died, and like a person awaking from sleep, he was reborn in the Heaven of the Thirty-three, in a golden palace twelve leagues in length. And when he beheld himself surrounded by throngs of houris, he began to consider: "To think that I should be born here! I wonder what ever I did to bring me here." And he could perceive nothing else than that he had obtained the mental reflex at the sound of the voice of The Blessed One. And straightway he came with his palace, and worshiped at the feet of The Blessed One. And The Blessed One asked him:--
|"Who is it worships at my feet,|
And flames with glorious, magic power,
And in such sweet and Winning guise,
Lights up the quarters all around?"
|"A frog was I in former times,|
And wandered in the waters free,
And while I listened to thy Law,
A cowherd crushed me, and I died."
Then The Blessed One taught him the Doctrine, and the conversion of eighty four thousand living beings took place. And the frog, who had become a god, became established in the fruit of conversion, and with a pleased smile on his face departed.
Next: § 64. Love for Animals