During the time of the Buddha, there was a young monk who sang very well. When he was in the same place with other bhikkhus, he was often arrogant, conceited, his voice was pure and clear, and found himself extraordinary and outstanding.
Buddhist Fairy Tales: One Word of Evil, One Hundred Years of Suffering
There was an elderly bhikkhu, whose voice was hoarse and not good at chanting, was also with the assembly. When the young monk heard the old monk’s voice of praise, the teacher laughed arrogantly that the voice was no different from the sound of a dog howling. The old monk, who was a saint who had attained Arahantship, asked the young monk that:
– Do you know me?
– I have known you for a long time, you are the top bhikkhu of Tathagata Kashyapa.
The old monk said:
– Although I do not know how to sing, I have been freed from the bondage of samsara and no longer suffer any sufferings of the world.
When the young bhikkhu heard this, he was greatly frightened, felt extremely ashamed, and asked to repent to the old bhikkhu. But the guilt has already been established, so for the next 500 lives he has to suffer the retribution of being born as a mute. However, thanks to the good cause that had been ordained, later when Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in the world, he was liberated.
The predestined master is transformed as follows:
There were 500 merchants who wanted to travel far, so they made friends to go together. Among them was a man with a dog to keep watch at night. Halfway there, the merchants slept in the inn, the dog saw the owner fast asleep, and stole a piece of meat to eat. But the merchant woke up to see, got angry, so he kicked and punched. The yard fire raged, he beat the dog, broke all four legs, threw it in a wasteland and then left.
Then, Mr. Sariputra Using his divine vision, he saw that the dog was in endless pain and was about to die from hunger and thirst, so he brought the rice that he had begged for alms and gave it to him to eat. The dog kept a little bit of breath and was extremely happy. Venerable Sariputra again preached the wonderful Dharma to the dog, and after hearing the Dharma, the dog died, and was reborn in a brahmin house in Savatthi.
One day, when Sāriputta was alone, the brahmin saw him and asked:
– False religious go alone, why not have Sa-di to follow?
Venerable Sāriputta replied:
– I don’t have a Sa-di, I heard you just had a son, can it be made a Sa-di to follow me?
The brahmin replied:
– My son’s name is Quan De, he is still very young and can’t work yet. Wait for it to grow up a bit, I will let it follow the Venerable.
Venerable Sariputta agreed.
When Jun De was seven years old, Sariputra went to the Brahmin’s house to bring him back. Brahmin then ordered Quan De to follow Sariputta to become a novice.
Buddhist fairy tale: A baby offering flowers
Venerable Sariputra brought Quan De to Ky Vien monastery, lectured him, and Quan De understood everything. Although Jun De was only a seven-year-old child, he was able to receive the Holy Dharma quickly.
Uncle Sadi Quan De was the dog in his previous life, he was given rice and preached by Mr. Sariputra. Thanks to that good root, he made a vow to be a novice attendant of Sariputra to repay him.
It is said that children enter the religion because they already have great roots of goodwill. On the spiritual path, age is not an issue. Sa-di or Bhikkhu-stilts is not a problem, even ordained or at home does not matter anymore. Accepting the Holy Teaching, enlightenment and fruition, at any age, old age or childhood, novice or bhikkhu can do it.
The story of the novice monk Quan De being enlightened at a young age is a specific example.
Excerpt from Buddhist Fairy Tales (Dieu Hanh Giao Trinh)