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Lustful Kings

In: Historical Events

Submitted By prystanv
Words 1647
Pages 7
Kainoa Viluan
History 151

In the book, Lustful Maidens & Ascetic Kings, Buddhist and Hindu stories of life, shares important values on how a family should and should not function. According to Hindu stories, the role of a husband and father are the foundation of keeping a family intact. Their important role is to be a householder, the protector of the family, which is regarded as the superior one. Under the classical Hindu ethical code, the Laws of Manu, being the householder is where it all begins. For example, in the Hindu story, The Brahman in the Graveyard, the third priest staying at the cremation site, resembles protection and honor for his wife on a daily basis. In the Hindu story, Good King Nala’s Downfall, King Nala’s addiction with gambling led him to abandon his wife Damayante, is an improper behavior of being a man. The moral of these stories teach men to be the head of the family, as the ones responsible for the welfare, protection, and morality of the family.
A woman’s role is important in keeping a family together. Women should be faithful and devoted to their husband in any situation. In the Hindu story, Savatri and the God of Death, Savatri, a wife with courage and wisdom, is an example of an obedient servant to her husband. In the Buddhist story, The Radiant Sambula, Sambula, a wife that never left her husband’s side during his hardship, is an example of a virtuous woman, who gains trust and should be treated according to dharma. On the other hand, in the Hindu story, The Carpenter’s Wife, the wife’s actions goes against the Laws of Manu and becomes an immoral creature, who resort to all kinds of activities to satisfy her natural ways. In the Buddhist story, The Queen Who Cried Rape, represents a seductive woman that one should not follow. The moral of these stories are to show that a woman should be wise, full of courage, faithful, moral, and devoted to achieve dharma.
Lastly, children duties plays a significant role in completing a family. They are the ones, who should be obedient toward their parents and should take especially good care of aging parents. For example, In the Buddhist story, How a King Learned to Care for Parents, the virtuous boy taking care of his blind parents, shows his dharma and is rewarded in the heavenly world of Brahma. In the Buddhist story, The Only –Child Who Left Home, Ratthapala leaving the duties of becoming a householder, left him homeless. Children run into problems with their parents, while growing up because they want to live life their own way and are blind to see the values in family. The moral of these stories is to teach children to always be there for their parents, especially when their sick. This is only right because the parents have supported the child since born and without the parent’s nourishment, life for a child would not exist. Also, a child should not expect the full support of their parents if they choose to leave home. Even when a child goes on to start their own journey, they should still uphold the responsibilities of a child. Bottom line, a child should never neglect their parents, but instead always be their backbone and cherish the values of family.
These next stories defines the importance of social roles of a king, teacher/priest, and ascetic. In both the Buddhist and Hindu traditions the stories emphasize the great responsibility the king has for the protection of the people, animals, and land under his reign. In the Hindu story, The Serpent with One Hundred Heads, Krishna over powers the serpent Kaliya is an example of a king/warrior protecting the lives of his people. In the Hindu story, A wise Old Crow, shows how the deceit of king Cloudcolor’s father, Longlived, is an improper way of ruling. In the Hindu story, A King and a Dove and in the Buddhist story, A Deer King Offers His Life, are examples of beloved kings, who are loyal to their people. The moral of these stories, teaches a king to be compassionate and their responsibility to protect the whole world. Also, to punish those who disobey laws and war against those who threatens their people.
A teacher/priest is the next social role shared in these Hindu and Buddhist stories. The teacher or priest is a person of great spiritual knowledge that has been gained by long hours of meditation and study. In the Hindu story, The Brahman and the Demons, Vishvamitra, a Brahman, signifies a priest who is a preserver and conveyer of the sacred traditions, which he transmits in his role as a storyteller. In the Buddhist story, Buddha Sets the Wheel in Motion, Buddha deciding to teach Dharma, resembles enlightenment. The moral of these stories shows that teachers or priests are the source and the ones who should spread knowledge to the people.
Lastly, the next stories share the role of asceticism. People who choose this lifestyle have to detach themselves from all enticements. The beauty and love of a woman is the ultimate test they’re faced with and the most common distraction in achieving asceticism. In the Hindu story, The Monkey – Faced Suitor, Narada passes the first test as he ignored Kama, the god of love, but ends up being distracted by the beauty of Shrimati, represents the power of woman beauty. In the Hindu story, The Destruction of Love, the enticements of Kama had failed against Shiva, the lord of all ascetics, demonstrates supreme asceticism. In the Buddhist story, Buddha Finds a Middle Path, is an example of living with moderation and to take just enough to survive, which still leads Buddha to his enlightenment. In the Buddhist story, The Man Who Wouldn’t Be King, is another example of asceticism, which involves withdrawing from worldly responsibilities in order to concentrate upon spiritual development. The moral of these stories is to teach the difficultness in achieving asceticism, but if one must follow, they are guaranteed to gain spiritual advantages, which is said to offset the loss in bodily gratification.
The next stories explore the lay values of courage, purity, generosity, self-sacrifice, and truthfulness. In the Hindu stories, The Warrior’s Death, and The Goddess Who Drank Blood, both Abhimanyu and Devi resemble the value of courage because even though killings occurred, they had a purpose for what they did and so, they end up being glorified. In the Buddhist story, The Brahman and the Sacred River, Brahman resembles inner purification, which one should practice in order to gain spiritual advantages. In the Hindu story, The Gift of Cows, king Shivi gives away his best gift, resembles the generous act of giving, which acquires merit. In the Buddhist story, The King Who Gave Away His Kingdom, the god Sakka promised king Vessantara eight boons, as a reward for his generosity is an example of expressing goodwill in order to acquire merit. In the Hindu stories, Death’s Substitute, and A Handful of Rice, both king Shudraka, who sacrifices himself and Shridama, who gives away the last of his family’s food, represents self-sacrifice. Their actions led them to a better way of life. In the Buddhist stories, The Hare in the Moon, and The Eye Transplant, both stories represent the willingness of sacrifice in order to better the lives of others. In the Buddhist story, The Eye Restored, king Sivi’s is granted a boon from Sakka for his act of truth. His truthfulness led him to gain both his eyes back and no longer was he blind. The moral of all these stories teaches the importance of self- values to live by in order to achieve happiness.
The last stories of this book, share monastic values of self-control, asceticism, detachment, and compassion. In the Buddhist story, The Servant Who Tested Her Mistress, Vedehika fails a self-control test given by her servant and ends up losing her good reputation. This story teaches us to always have self-control and individual morals in order to uphold our image. In the Hindu story, The Foolish Jackal, the jackal’s abundance of food, which got him killed, teaches us to never be so greedy. In the Hindu story, A Boon of Immortality, Hiranyakashipu demands immortality and wants to rule the whole world, teaches us to not be selfish. In the Buddhist, The Ascetic Who Visited Home, Ratthapala lives up to his promise and returns to his parents, teaches us the importance of having a purpose in life. In the Buddhist story, The Man Who Didn’t Notice Women, the practice of basic moral principles is highly emphasized and teaches us to not be disturbed by the general appearance of people or things. In the Buddhist story, Tend the Sick, Buddha and Ananda resembles the act of kindness and shows true compassion, which is described to be the main source of the ability to operate within cultural norms and practices.
In conclusion, these Hindu and Buddhist stories of life, both entertain and instruct the listeners on how life should be lived. Both Hindu and Buddhist stories teaches proper morals and expresses an ideal model to live by, but both cultures had a different way of gaining spiritual advantages. For example, the role of asceticism, the Hindu believed in severe austerities, whereas the Buddhist believed in moderation is the key for gaining a boon. As for their similarities, their role of family provided models for the proper fulfillment and duties, as wife, husband, king, and monk. Other stories in both cultures have offered images of improper behavior, implying that one should behave in the opposite manner in order to live happily ever after.

Work Cited
Amore, Roy C., and Larry D. Shinn. Lustful Maidens and Ascetic Kings: Buddhist and Hindu Stories of Life. New York: Oxford UP, 1981. Print.…...

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