Ja 202 The Story about Mocking

In the present some monks mock Ven. Lakuṇḍaka, a dwarf Arahat they think is a novice. The Buddha tells how in a past life the monk had been a king and had mocked old people and made life difficult for them until Sakka came down to teach him a lesson in impermanence.

1. Haṁsā koñcā mayūrā ca, hatthayo pasadā migā,
Sabbe sīhassa bhāyanti, natthi kāyasmi’ tulyatā.

There are geese, herons, and peacocks, elephants and the spotted deer, all fear the lion, although they are not equal in their bodies.

2. Evam-eva manussesu daharo ce pi paññavā,
So hi tattha mahā hoti, neva bālo sarīravā ti.

Even so amongst men a boy is respected if he be wise, but though he is big, a fool’s body is never respected.

In this connection, the spotted deer means what is reckoned as the spotted deer, the spotted deer and the rest of the deer, this is also the meaning.

They are not equal in their bodies means they are not normally the same size in their body. If they were, the lion would kill the large bodied elephant as well as the spotted deer, or the lion would kill only those small in body, like the goose and so on, and the lion would inspire fear in the small, not the large. But because this is not so, therefore all of them fear the lion.

Body, though the fool has a big body, he is not known as big, therefore though Lakuṇḍaka Bhaddiya was small of body, do not imagine: ‘He is small of knowledge’, this is the meaning.