A ferocious tiger in the farm

Update: 08/09/2021

A ferocious tiger in the farm


In the book “The funny stories in Jewish behavior”, there was a story. There was a farmer having a fortune - a farm after a long time of hard working. At the farm, he grew a lot of grains and had a stable for horses. One day, there was a ferocious tiger galloping toward his farm. Seeing the tiger, the farmer thought “That tiger had its beautiful fur. If I catch it and get its fur to sell, I will earn a lot of money. So he opened the farm gate, and then lured the tiger to enter inside. When it came inside, he shut the gate and intended a chance to capture it. Recognized to be locked and in danger, the tiger became more ferocious. He ran aggressively around the farm. Firstly, he destroyed the vegetables and grains that the farmer had grown. Then, he attacked and ate all the horses in the stable. The story came to its end. We don't know if the farmer caught the tiger or not, but the damage he suffered was greater than the value of a tiger skin. This story from the world's point of view has taught us many lessons. But if we take the perspective of Buddhism to shine in, the story also brings a lot of experiences for us on our cultivation way.

1. A look from the world's point of view:

In terms of the world, the story gives us a lesson: don't forget the consequences for the immediate benefits. Or don't do things for the sake of small benefits which will cause big consequences. Unlike the farmer in the story above, as usual, when a person sees a tiger rushing into his house, he must lock the door tightly to prevent the tiger from entering his house. Only this way can you help protect yourself and protect your property. On the contrary, the above farmer opens the door to welcome the ferocious tiger. This is an act of a people without wisdom.

There are people who are willing to do everything for their own benefit, with any tricks, even doing evil things, no matter how many people they have to be harmed, as long as they bring benefits for them. For example, drug dealers, because they see the huge profits that drugs bring, they have produced, stored and traded deadly poisons. At the present, people are blinded by money, obscuring their mind. They don’t know the consequences of being imprisoned or executed later. They even cause so much suffering to other people and families leading to family separation, making the social community become insecure. Or those who destroy forests as they only see the benefits from the exploitation of forest resources which will bring them more profits. They don't care about deforestation, or  not planting new forests causing many harm to the environment. Animals lost their homes. Without forestation, natural disasters such as storms and floods will cause more severe consequences. Excessive deforestation is also the cause of the greenhouse effect, causing global warming to melt the ice at the poles, which will cause flooding. These are examples of actions done by people who only care about immediate benefits and do not care about the future consequences. On the contrary, if a farmer has the wisdom, he must know how to lock the door to protect himself and his property. He is a person who can see the immediate benefits, but also can clearly see the consequences that will arise after. Those people would never do these harmful things. Here is the world’s view of the story.

2.     view from Buddhist point of view:

From Buddhist point of view, a person keeping a tiger in a house is like a person storing poison in his mind. The poison mentioned here is greed, anger, conceit, arrogance, and pride etc. These are poisonous drugs, more poisonous than all the poisons in the world. Poison in everyday life if not treated promptly will lead to death but only in one’s life, and if there is an antidote, it can be cured. On the contrary, the above-mentioned poisons, if we are unlucky enough to get entangled in them, there is no cure. Those who suffer from the types of poison will go through the cycle of birth and death. Like keeping a tiger in the house, property is destroyed and life is difficult to be safe. The farmer wanted to protect himself and his remaining assets; he might only dispel the tiger out of the house. Likewise, Buddhists who want to get rid of these poisons have no choice but follow the Buddha's teachings, follow the Buddha's words left in the scriptures, and practice diligently. It is the only antidote that transforms all poisons.

For those who are greedy for material possessions, the Buddha taught them the method of giving. Bring their assets to share, help others. Thanks to alms giving, people gradually open their hearts, no longer thinking about themselves, but caring for others. Thanks to that, greed, or wanting to accumulate assets, is gradually eliminated. In the current time when the COVID-19 pandemic is raging everywhere, we feel very warm seeing people with big hearts when witnessing the plight of others, people losing their jobs, having nothing to live on, have deducted part of their property to buy food to donate to those in need, helping them to overcome this difficult period. Doing that is the expression of the spirit of generosity and mutual love taught by the Buddha.

Those having anger, the Buddha teaches compassion and loving - kindness spirits devoted to people around. Love their beloved ones as well as love others around them. People who love us, we love back. Those who hate us harm us, we may not be able to love them yet, but we should never give rise to the idea of jealousy, harming them. By practicing the method of contemplating compassion, the larger our love is, the more our anger will be dissipated. The heart of anger is a fierce fire, compassion and love - kindness is the source of purity. Only water can put out fire, so only compassion can transform anger.

For those who are arrogant, self-righteous, and look down on other people, In their "inhuman view" and in their eyes, there is no one better than them, or considers themselves to the best, the center of the universe. For such people, the Buddha taught to live with humility, to regularly observe the good of others and recognize their own shortcomings, to see what others have done that they themselves are unable to do. Thanks to doing these things, they will understand that there are many people better than them; they have nothing better than anyone. If so, the conceited mind is gradually reduced. Here we see that relying on the Buddha's teachings helps us to transform poison into medicine, to help free ourselves from suffering, to reach the shore of peace and happiness.

The story "The ferocious tiger in the farm" has brought us many lessons. Although the story is not a sutra in the Buddhist canon, nor is it a teaching of the Buddha, the idea of the story is not different from that of Buddhism.



Tam Thien.           


Translated into English by Nguyen Thi Cam Nhung

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