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Between Master and Disciples / Buddhist Stories

Buddhist Stories: “A Man Named Coppertooth” (Part 2 of 3) Sept. 20, 2015

Lecture Language:English,Mandarin Chinese(中文)
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Oh, this is a story about a person named “Coppertooth.” This story was given instructions, like, “Though a thousand speeches are made of meaningless lines,” meaning sometimes we talk a lot. Just now I was talking about that. Just now we said talking is easy and cheap, doing it is good. So, now Buddha is saying something like, “Though a thousand speeches are made of meaningless lines.” We are told that 500 thieves, less one, meaning probably 499 and half, something like that. Less one, made a living by plundering villages and other acts of violence. Now, a certain man with copper-colored teeth and tawny skin, his body covered with scars, came to them and said, “Let me also live with you. I want to join you.” Okay, they took him to the ringleader of the thieves, saying “This man also wishes to live with us.” The ringleader of the thieves looked at the man and thought to himself, “This man’s nature is inordinately cruel. He is capable of cutting off the breast of his mother and eating it, or of drawing the blood from the throat of his father and drinking it.” Okay, so this leader was thinking very, very negatively of the new member who wanted to join them. Therefore, he refused his request, saying, “It will not do for this man to live with us, to stay with us.” Although, he had thus been refused admission to the band of thieves, he went and won the favor of a certain pupil of the ringleader by his courteous attention to him. One day, the citizens joined forces with the king’s men, captured those thieves, took them to court, and arraigned them before the lords of justice. Supreme court, I guess, like nowadays. The justice ordered their heads to be chopped off with an axe. Finally, they said to the ringleader of the thieves, “You put these men to death and we will spare your life and give you a rich reward besides.” You kill them. Tell the leader of the thieves, say, “You kill your members.” But because they lived with him, he also was unwilling to put them to death. At least he had some morals, very good. In like manner, also all of the 500 less one, meaning 499, saying 500 less one, so I say 499, okay? Oh, probably including the ringleader then it’s 500, okay, 500 less one, okay, refused when asked. Last of all, they asked that scared Tawny Copper Tooth. “Yes, indeed” he said, consenting. He said he would kill them. So he put to death all the thieves, and in return received his life and rich gifts besides. That’s terrible, but he was very scared. Even the thieves did not want to accept this man! Incredible, huh? Even the thieves can see faces and predict their personality, either they’re peaceful or violent. And even thieves they have morals. They did not want to kill their own members just to survive and have richness. So thieves are not always as bad as we think.
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