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Siddhaarth and Devadatt

This is one story about Buddha’s compassion towards animals. This story is of his childhood when he was only a Prince. At that time his name was Siddhaarth.

One day the Prince Siddhaarth was playing on the grounds of his palace when a wounded water-bird fell at his feet. It had been shot by an arrow sent by his cousin, Devadatt, who was a great hunter.

As the bird lay there on the ground, Siddhaarth bent down and stroked the wounded bird with compassion, gently pulling out the arrow from its wound and tending it.

Soon his cousin also came looking for the bird, and when he saw it in Siddhaarth’s arms he said – “That bird belongs to me. I have killed it, give it to me.”

The Prince refused to give it back to him saying that if he had killed that bird, he had saved it.
So they argued and argued about it, and when they could not decide whose bird it was, they decided to put the question to some wise men of the kingdom.

Some of them said – “The bird belongs to Devadatt because he saw it first and was able to bring it down.”
“No,” said some of the wisest, “It is still a living thing, and it should belong to the one who saves life – not to one who takes life. Give the bird to Siddhaarth, for he has saved its life and he is the one who cares for its life.”

Then the others realized that this was true that the “life saver” is greater than the “life taker”, and gave that water-bird to Siddhaarth, who kept it with him and looked after it with loving gentleness.
After the care of couple of days it became all right and started to fly again.
Siddhaarth was very happy to see it flying again. He let it fly.

This was only the beginning of the Buddha's long relationship to the animal world.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 05/09/04     |      Contact:      |      Modified on 01/05/13