Posted on: November 17, 2021 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

“The story of food offerings to the dead (Predecessor Matakabhatta)”, Quality Precepts, Sub-section IV, the content is as follows:

One day, the disciples came to the Buddha and said:

World-Honored One, we see many people killing the lives of sentient beings to make food offerings for the dead, so is there any happiness or benefit?

Buddha replied:

There is no benefit in such an offering of food to the dead, because the act of killing cannot bring any benefit.

Having said that, the Buddha told a story of the past:

There was a brahmin who was about to kill a goat as an offering to the dead. Before killing, he sent his disciples to bring the goat to the riverbank, wash it clean, give it enough food and drink, and put a wreath around its neck. The disciples did as the teacher said. But when they had just finished putting on the wreath and was about to bring the goat home, it suddenly laughed loudly. After laughing for a while, he cried again.


Why should not kill?

Seeing this, they were very surprised, so they asked:

Why do you laugh and then cry? Goat says:

I will answer this question in front of your teacher.

They brought the goat back and explained everything to the Brahmin teacher. After listening, he asked the goat:

Why are you smiling?

The goat replied:

Once upon a time, I was also a Brahmin well-versed in the Vedas like you. For killing a goat, I was retribution as a goat, beheaded for four hundred and ninety-nine times. This is the five hundredth life and death and also the last. Today, I will be free from that suffering. Thinking that, I feel happy. Because of this fate, I laugh.

The brahmin continued to ask:

So why are you crying?

The goat replied:

I only cut off the head of a goat for an offering, but had to suffer beheading five hundred times. When he killed me, he, like me, had to suffer beheading for five hundred lives. Out of pity for him that will be retribution, so I cry.

When he heard this, the brahmin was so frightened that the hairs on the back of his neck were shivering. He said:

Forgive you, I will not kill you again.

Thank you, but it’s time to pay for my karma. Whether you kill me or not, I must die today.

Then the brahmin said:

It’s okay, I’ll go and protect you.

But the goat replied,

O Brahmin, small for your protection, great for my evil deeds!

Then the brahmin and his disciples immediately followed the guard so that no one could catch him and cut off his head. Released, the goat went to the bush growing behind a rock to eat. When it was reaching out to graze, suddenly lightning struck the rock, a piece of rock was broken right into the goat’s neck, cut off its head, causing it to die on the spot. Many people came to see and witness this extremely scary truth with their own eyes. From then on, they did not dare to kill living creatures for sacrifice.

Any cause, any result. We plant melons will produce melons, but we can’t grow melons that produce tomatoes. We see that there are many cases where the result is exactly the same as the cause. As the “Tale of the Goat” told, in the past life, the Brahmin cut off the head of the goat, five hundred generations later he had to be a goat and every life died because of beheading. But there are times when the retribution is not exactly the same as the karma caused. Cause and effect are fair, if you have a loan, you have to pay it. Just like when we borrow a motorbike and unfortunately lose it and cannot return it, we have to pay with the same amount of money. Thus, cause and effect are not necessarily the same, but the loan repayment value will certainly be equivalent.


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