Free Talking Class. 

When: Wednesdays 19:00-21:00

Where: IDIA conference room

Last week we began our first class with everyone quite eager in participating in the dialogue. 

Each week we will have a different theme within the Jataka and

two person will take turns to prepare and lead the class. 

Next week’s second class theme will be : A tale of diligent resolve

and the session leaders will be Jo jin hwa and Chung Hyung eun. 

Chung Hyung eun palms together 

#4 The Merchant

A Tale of Diligent Resolve.

Born into a noble family and possessing great fortune, the young bodhisattva grew to be 

a successful merchant. Eventually becoming the head of his guild, he acquired a large estate, 

earned deep respect from all who knew him, and even was honored by the king. 

Devoted to the precept of giving, he constantly shared his wealth with the less fortunate. 

It was impossible for him to witness any sort of suffering and refuse to offer aid.

One day, while the bodhisattva was sitting down to partake of a magnificent feast, 

a seemingly poor and hungry man appeared at the front gate of his home. 

Although appearing as a beggar, this old man was actually a Pratyekabuddha 

whose only motive to receive alms was to increase the merit of the bodhisattva.

Witnessing this, Mara, the Wicked One, became intent on dissuading the Bodhisttva 

from all charitable actions. He created a deep hell several fathoms wide separating 

the bodhisattva’s front gate and the mendicant. As the bodhisattva stood pondering the meaning 

of such a phenomenon, Mara appeared before him disguised as a powerful god. 

Mara attempted to convince the bodhisattva that what he saw before him was the hell of those 

lured by the praise of beggars. A hell realm solely for those who indulge in the vicious passion of charity, and who give away their hard earned wealth. The Bodhisattva however, knowing that 

anybody saying such things must be evil, boldly stepped into the fire. Lotuses suddenly appeared 

at his feet as he passed through. Upon reaching the other side he gave the food to the old man who, 

to show satisfaction, revealed his true form as a Pratyekabuddha and magically flew up into the air. 

Mara, disheartened and vanquished, disappeared along with his hell.

Key Events in the Story

1. A generous merchant

2. Mara plays tricks.

3. The merchant is unperturbed

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