Fifth Weapon

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In ancient India, the king Brahmadatta was blessed with a son, who was named Bodhisattva. At sixteen, he left home for Taxila to further his education in a renowned gurukul. In addition to the general education, he was also imparted a formal training in the use of contemporary weapons.

The prince leaves the gurukul after the completion of the studies. The story runs like .......

In ancient India, the king Brahmadatta was blessed with a son, who was named Bodhisattva. At his naming ceremony, the king’s priests prophesied that the prince would become a good and noble ruler, who would be famous for his five weapons.

At sixteen, he left home for Taxila to further his education in a renowned gurukul. (In ancient India, the gurukul was a type of education system, in which students or disciples lived near or with the guru or teacher in the same complex.)

The prince was also given a formal training in the use different weapons by experts. On completing his studies, his teacher presented him with four weapons – bow and arrows, a sword, a sharp-edged wheel, and a club.

While returning home, the prince was accosted by a fearsome, sticky-feathered ogre who assumed a variety of horrific shapes to threaten the prince. The prince battled him with the four weapons, in which he was well trained; all of them got stuck to the ogre’s feathers. But the ogre could not kill him as he was surprised by the prince’s expression of calmness. 

“Aren’t you afraid of dying?” thundered the ogre.  

“I have one weapon left – a thunderbolt in my body. Eat me and you too will be destroyed,” challenged the prince.

The ogre thought, “Should I take a chance? But this man seems to be speaking the truth.” So he sets the prince free!

The fifth weapon that the prince referred to was his wisdom! He then preached to the ogre, convincing him to abandon his murderous ways, which would only lead to more darkness and misery in his forthcoming births. The ogre took the advice of the prince. Thereupon, he pledged to give up his wrong ways and agreed to become the guardian of the forest and its nearby villages.

In this tale, the ogre is an analogy for ignorance and stupidity. In crisis-like situations, cool detachment and mindfulness will save us when all other options fail.


Submitted: June 02, 2020

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