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Showing posts from December, 2011

The caravan leader

Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Kāsi, the Bodhisatta was born in a merchant's family; and when he grew up, he went about trafficking with five hundred carts.

One day he arrived at a sandy desert many leagues across. The sand in that desert was so fine that when taken in the closed fist it could not be kept in the hand. After the sun had risen it became as hot as a mass of burning embers, so that no man could walk on it. Those, therefore, who had to travel over it took wood, and water, and oil, and rice in their carts, and traveled during the night. And at daybreak they formed an encampment and spread an awning over it, and, taking their meals early, they passed the day lying in the shade. At sunset they supped, and when the ground had become cool they yoked their oxen and went on. The traveling was like a voyage over the sea: a desert-pilot had to be chosen, and he brought the caravan safe to the other side by his knowledge of the stars.

Thus the merchant of our…

The Cruel Crane and the Lobster

There was a crane who lived near a pond, and when the dry season set in he said to the fishes with a bland voice: 'Are you not anxious for your future welfare? There is at present very little water and still less food in this pond. What will you do should the whole pond become dry, in this drought?'

'Yes, indeed' said the fishes, 'what should we do?'

"Replied the crane: 'I know a fine, large lake, which never becomes dry. Would you not like me to carry you there in my beak?' When the fishes began to distrust the honesty of the crane, he proposed to have one of them sent over to the lake to see it; and a big carp at last decided to take the risk for the sake of the others, and the crane carried him to a beautiful lake and brought him back in safety. Then all doubt vanished, and the fishes gained confidence in the crane, and now the crane took them one by one out of the pond and devoured them on a big varana-tree.

"There was also a lobster in th…

How a Chinese General fight back the invasion of Tibetan

A story of Guo ziyi [郭子仪, pronounce 'Go tsey', 697-781 AD].

In 963, As soon as the Tibetan heard of the death of the Tang Emperor Su Zong, they began their march with a formidable army, and advanced with incredible expedition; the irruption was not perceived, till they arrived on the frontiers of the empire. The governors of the Great Pass Da Zhen, of Lan zhou, and of all the countries in the District to the west of Yellow River were surprised, and forced to surrender; and the news arrived at court only by some fugitives. At first the minister could hardly believe the report, yet as it was prudent to take some precautions, he ordered the most skillful General Officer Guo Ziyi who was then at court, to set out at the head of 3000 horse to learn the truth. General Guo was scarcely arrived at Xian yang, a Town near the Court, when he received information that the enemy's army, consisting of 300,000 men, was expected there that day; he immediately dispatched a courier to the …