The Three Questions

The Three Questions

It once occurred to a certain king, that if he always knew the right time to begin everything; if he knew who were the right people to listen to, and whom to avoid; and, above all, if he always knew what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake.

And this thought having occurred to him, he had it proclaimed throughout his kingdom that he would give a great reward to any one who would teach him what was the right time for every action, and who were the most important people, and how he might know what was the most important thing to do.

And learned men came to the King, but they all answered his questions differently.

In reply to the first question, some said that to know the right time for every action, one must draw up in advance, a table of days, months and years, and must live strictly according to it. Only thus, said they, could everything be done at its proper time. Others declared that it was impossible to decide beforehand the right time for every action; but that, not letting oneself be absorbed in idle pastimes, one should always attend to all that was going on, and then do what was most needful. Others, again, said that however attentive the King might be to what was going on, it was impossible for one man to decide correctly the right time for every action, but that he should have a Council of wise men, who would help him to fix the proper time for everything.

But then again others said there were some things which could not wait to be laid before a Council, but about which one had at once to decide whether to undertake them or not. But in order to decide that, one must know beforehand what was going to happen. It is only magicians who know that; and, therefore, in order to know the right time for every action, one must consult magicians.

Equally various were the answers to the second question. Some said, the people the King most needed were his councillors; others, the priests; others, the doctors; while some said the warriors were the most necessary.

To the third question, as to what was the most important occupation: some replied that the most important thing in the world was science. Others said it was skill in warfare; and others, again, that it was religious worship.

All the answers being different, the King agreed with none of them, and gave the reward to none. But still wishing to find the right answers to his questions, he decided to consult a hermit, widely renowned for his wisdom.

The hermit lived in a wood which he never quitted, and he received none but common folk. So the King put on simple clothes, and before reaching the hermit’s cell dismounted from his horse, and, leaving his body-guard behind, went on alone.

When the King approached, the hermit was digging the ground in front of his hut. Seeing the King, he greeted him and went on digging. The hermit was frail and weak, and each time he stuck his spade into the ground and turned a little earth, he breathed heavily.

The King went up to him and said: “I have come to you, wise hermit, to ask you to answer three questions: How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Who are the people I most need, and to whom should I, therefore, pay more attention than to the rest? And, what affairs are the most important, and need my first attention?”

The hermit listened to the King, but answered nothing. He just spat on his hand and recommenced digging.
“You are tired,” said the King, “let me take the spade and work awhile for you.”
“Thanks!” said the hermit, and, giving the spade to the King, he sat down on the ground.
When he had dug two beds, the King stopped and repeated his questions. The hermit again gave no answer, but rose, stretched out his hand for the spade, and said:
“Now rest awhile-and let me work a bit.”
“But the King did not give him the spade, and continued to dig. One hour passed, and another. The sun began to sink behind the trees, and the King at last stuck the spade into the ground, and said:
“I came to you, wise man, for an answer to my questions. If you can give me none, tell me so, and I will return home.”
“Here comes some one running,” said the hermit, “let us see who it is.”

The King turned round, and saw a bearded man come running out of the wood. The man held his hands pressed against his stomach, and blood was flowing from under them. When he reached the King, he fell fainting on the ground moaning feebly. The King and the hermit unfastened the man’s clothing. There was a large wound in his stomach. The King washed it as best he could, and bandaged it with his handkerchief and with a towel the hermit had. But the blood would not stop flowing, and the King again and again removed the bandage soaked with warm blood, and washed and re-bandaged the wound. When at last the blood ceased flowing, the man revived and asked “for something to drink. The King brought fresh water and gave it to him. Meanwhile the sun had set, and it had become cool. So the King, with the hermit’s help, carried the wounded man into the hut and laid him on the bed. Lying on the bed the man closed his eyes and was quiet; but the King was so tired with his walk and with the work he had done, that he crouched down on the threshold, and also fell asleep—so soundly that he slept all through the short summer night. When he awoke in the morning, it was long before he could remember where he was, or who was the strange bearded man lying on the bed and gazing intently at him with shining eyes.
“Forgive me!” said the bearded man in a weak voice, when he saw that the King was awake and was looking at him.
“I do not know you, and have nothing to forgive you for,” said the King.”
“You do not know me, but I know you. I am that enemy of yours who swore to revenge himself on you, because you executed his brother and seized his property. I knew you had gone alone to see the hermit, and I resolved to kill you on your way back. But the day passed and you did not return. So I came out from my ambush to find you, and I came upon your bodyguard, and they recognised me, and wounded me. I escaped from them, but should have bled to death had you not dressed my wound. I wished to kill you, and you have saved my life. Now, if I live, and if you wish it, I will serve you as your most faithful slave, and will bid my sons do the same. Forgive me!”

The King was very glad to have made peace with his enemy so easily, and to have gained him for a friend, and he not only forgave him, but said he would send his servants and his own physician to attend him, and promised to restore his property.”
“Having taken leave of the wounded man, the King went out into the porch and looked around for the hermit. Before going away he wished once more to beg an answer to the questions he had put. The hermit was outside, on his knees, sowing seeds in the beds that had been dug the day before.

The King approached him, and said:
“For the last time, I pray you to answer my questions, wise man.”
“You have already been answered!” said the hermit, still crouching on his thin legs, and looking up at the King, who stood before him.
“How answered? What do you mean?” asked the King.”
“Do you not see,” replied the hermit. “If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday, and had not dug those beds for me, but had gone your way, that man would have attacked you, and you would have repented of not having stayed with me. So the most important time was when you were digging the beds; and I was the most important man; and to do me good was your most important business. Afterwards when that man ran to us, the most important time was when you were attending to him, for if you had not bound up his wounds he would have died without having made peace with you. So he was the most important man, and what you did for him was your most important business.

Remember then: there is only one time that is important—Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!”

Author: Leo Tolstoy

The Monk and The Cricket

All-Original Inspirational Moral Story

The Monk & The Cricket

One day while out and about doing his thing, a tiny cricket came across a monk meditating

He sat there for some time watching as the motionless monk meditated, he was struck at how calm and peaceful the monk seemed but didn’t understand what it was the monk was actually doing.

After a while the cricket become brave enough to approach the monk and ask, but just as the cricket hopped a little closer the monk open his eyes.

“Hello little cricket” the monk said in a warm and friendly manner. “How May I help you”

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Surprised that the monk knew he was there the little cricket asked his question

“I have been watching you for some time and would like to know what it is you are doing?”

“Meditation little cricket” said the monk “we meditate to calm our wandering minds”

“How do you mean” the cricket inquired

“Our minds can be like that of a little cricket that hops from place to place, always moving never still and calm”

“Oh I like that” said the little cricket, “that makes sense to me. Do you think I could learn?”

“Of course little cricket, we start by getting comfortable, then sitting with crossed legs and our backs straight we close our eyes”

Immediately the little cricket, makes himself comfortable, crosses all his little legs and closes his eyes

“But what now” asked the little cricket

The monk chuckles “steady little cricket not so fast. when we close our eyes we watch our breath, Breathing In we are truly aware we are Breathing In, Breathing Out we are truly aware we are Breathing Out”

The little cricket does as the monk says making himself comfortable and crosses all his little legs, he slowly closes his eyes and takes a deep in breath

“Wait!” Shouts the cricket “I think it would be better to meditate over there on that lovely grass stalk” and off he hops

“Ok I’m ready now”

The monk and the cricket get themselves comfortable again, the monk crosses his legs and the little cricket does the same, they both slowly close their eyes and take a deep in breath

“Wait!” Shouts the cricket “I think it would be better to meditate over there on that lovely rock” and off he hops

“Ok I’m ready now”

The monk and the cricket once again make themselves comfortable the monk crosses his legs and the little cricket does the same, they both slowly close their eyes and take a deep in breath

“Wait!” Shouts the cricket

Author: Dhamma Tāpasā*

Moral of the Story:-

Our minds can be like that of the little cricket, always hopping off to hear and there following the next big distraction. We meditate to calm our minds, stilling and quietening ourselves to live more in the present moment. When we become present in the moment we start to learn and experience the fundamental truths to that which causes us to suffer.

*Dhamma Tāpasā is a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. A Buddhist Life Coach, Mindfulness Trainer, Motivational Speaker and Published Author.

Creator of the highly acclaimed “The Four Trees” a story of learning how we can all live a more fulfilled and content lifestyle.

By using his unique approach of storytelling, mixed with ancient Buddhist Monk Secrets, all combined with 21st century scientifically proven techniques, Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture your imaginations whilst teaching you valuable The works of Buddha comes to life Life Skills and True Wisdom.

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Weekly Moral Story Horishmo The Samurai Warrior

And The Question Of Heaven or Hell

A soldier named Horishmo came to a famous meditation master of old, and asked him a serious question,

“Is there really a heaven and a hell?”

“Who are you?” Demanded the famous meditation Master.

“I am a samurai warrior” replied the soldier

“You, a soldier!” Laughed the meditation master.

“What kind of king would have you as his guard? Your not strong enough to be a soldier and you look like a beggar.”

Horishmo became so angry that he began to draw his sword,

but the Meditation Master continued: “So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too blunt to cut off my head, and you don’t look to have the strength”

The Soldier, so incensed, drew the full length of his sword ready to strike,

The Meditation Master remarked

“Here you open the gates of hell!”

At these words the worrier instantly understood, sheathed his sword and bowing.

“And hear you open the gates of heaven” said The Master

Author Unknown

Moral of Story

Inside each and everyone of us is a personal battle, we and only ourselves have the power to create our own heaven or hell. Never let someone else control your state of mind, this is yours to give away not someone’s to take from you.

Weekly Moral Story, The Travelling Monk

In ancient times it was customary for a traveling monk seeking lodging at a Zen monastery to engage in dharma combat with the abbot or head monk. If the wayfarer won the debate, he could stay; if not, he had to seek quarters elsewhere.

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Once a master assigned his attendant to engage in such an encounter with a traveling monk, who challenged him to a silent debate. It so happened that this attendant had but one eye.

Soon the wayfarer returned to the master, saying, “Your man is too good for me. I must journey on. I held up one finger to symbolize the Buddha. But he held up two fingers for the Buddha and the Dharma. So I held up three fingers for the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. But then he held up a clenched fist to indicate they were all one – so I ran to indicate I am no match for him.”

When the traveler who spoke these words left, the attendant arrived – angry and out of breath. “Where is that rascal?” he demanded. “First, he insulted me by holding up one finger to indicate I had only one eye. Determined to be polite in spite of that, I held up two fingers to indicate that, on the other hand, he was blessed with two eyes. But he just kept rubbing it in, for next he held up three fingers to indicate that all together there were only three eyes among us. So I went to hit him and he ran off! Where is he hiding?”

Author Unknown

Moral of Story

Remember that each and everyone of us has our own story going on within our hearts, no one else can ever walk in your shoes or know the pain and suffering you have experienced, a simple smile may change someone’s day completely, as does an insult, let’s choose our words and actions carefully and create compassion and loving kindness within the world.

The Fairy Gathering

Short Motivational Moral Story

The Fairy Gathering

Our story begins a long, long time ago, a time when the earth was covered in great forest and wild oceans. All the earth was filled with bountiful fruits and succulent berries, all except for the frozen land of the North and South Poles.

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It was a time when Fairies were the masters of all the creatures, for they were the law that kept everything so harmoniously balanced.

It was a day very much like today, all those years ago, when a decision had to be made over the fate of the Brown Bear.

A Fairy gathering was called and all the creatures and animals of the forest started to appear. The birds were first flying in to gather on the beaches above, all ever for their view. The great land animals were next to arrive, the Elephants, Foxes, Cats and Deer, all jostling and squeezing excited by what they were to hear.

For it was on this day the Fairies were to decide, on the mischievous behaviour of the Brown Bears

First called to tell their tale, are the Bee’s, who honey is under threat.

The Bears, it seems, have been stealing this precious of gifts and the Bees aren’t best pleased.

A hush and a Silence fall amongst the crowd, for no one steals from the Bees, this is a serious crime, something must be a miss.

But our second little chap called to tell their story is a harvest mouse,

Who’s berries have been stolen right from within his house.

The Mouse is upset and starts to jump up and down,

“What is to be done, those berries were for my winter to come”

The crowd gets animated by the stories of the Mouse and the Bee,

The Bears have been naughty that’s clear to see.

But what comes next from a golden locked girl, beats that of the Mouse and the Bee,

She says that three Bears came round and stole her tea.

Three Bowls Of porridge were laid out ready to eat,

When round came the Bears in off the street.

The evidence is clear, they stole that porridge ready to eat,

But that’s not all, because they were still upstairs fast asleep.

The noise is of talking, all wanting to see,

What the fate of the Bears will come to be.

The Fairies are in discussion for a very long time,

What do they do with those Bears who stepped out of line.

If you steal from a friend, they will no longer be,

And that goes without a question if you steal from me.

If something is stolen that feels precious to you,

The pain and sad feeling can stick with you like glue.

The Fairy Master stands ready to speak,

A hush and a quiet falls, not even a squeak.

For all the Bears a warning is given,

That lying and stealing are forbidden.

“Stealing is a serious crime, that’s clear for all us too see”,

“With our minds made up the punishment will hurt you more than me”

“All the Brown Bears who making stealing their goal”,

“I will banish you instantly to the North Pole”.

The Bears begin to protest, making a noise like a gun

But there’s no use moaning or groaning as the crimes have already been done.

“Our decision is final, and for all those who stole”,

“Your punishment shall be to the North Pole”.

With a woosh and a flash of great light

All the Brown Bears were instantly turned white.

With another Woosh and flash of light,

Those Beats that stole, vanished out of sight.

This concludes our story from a very long time ago,

On how the Brown Bears turned white and are now found at the North Pole.

So if your thinking of stealing, please think of this little tale,

Because in real life you will end up going to jail.

This is cute tale or short moral story that is only written to entertain and demonstrate the severity of stealing. We hope you enjoyed. No Brown Bears were actually hurt or turned white in the making of this story.

Author:Dhamma Tāpasā*

With Just 3 Questions I Can Unlock The Limiting Beliefs that are Holding You Back from Achieving Your Desires

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Moral of the story:

Stealing causes damage not only to the victims of stealing but also to the troubled and unsettled consciousness of the mind that stole.

We meditate to see that every thought and action we have creates karma, and all karma is the results of our inner dialogue and the actions that then take place. If we Steal we cause confusion within, leading to a troubled mind in the future.

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*Dhamma Tāpasā a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. An inspirational teacher of mindfulness and meditation techniques through the art of storytelling. Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture our imaginations whilst teaching us valuable moral principles and deepening our understanding of the human consciousness and the everyday problems we face.


More Original Moral Stories

Weekly Moral Short Story

The Zen Master and his Dog

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The Zen teacher’s dog loved his evening romp with his master. The dog would bound ahead to fetch a stick, then run back, wag his tail, and wait for the next game.

On this particular evening, the teacher invited one of his brightest students to join him – a boy so intelligent that he became troubled by the contradictions in Buddhist doctrine.

“You must understand,” said the teacher, “that words are only guideposts. Never let the words or symbols get in the way of truth. Here, I’ll show you.”

With that the teacher called his happy dog. “Fetch me the moon,” he said to his dog and pointed to the full moon. “Where is my dog looking?” asked the teacher of the bright pupil.

“He’s looking at your finger.”

“Exactly. Don’t be like my dog. Don’t confuse the pointing finger with the thing that is being pointed at. “All our Buddhist words are only guideposts. Everyman fights his way through other men’s words to find his own truth

Author: Unknown

Moral of the story

Don’t believe everything you read or told. This includes all the Buddhist text and meditations, never take someone’s word for anything, always question what people tell you, explore within your own mind and heart what is right.

The Four Monks

Four Monks

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Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out. The first monk said, “Oh, no! The candle is out.” The second monk said, “Aren’t we not suppose to talk?” The third monk said, “Why must you two break the silence?” The fourth monk laughed and said, “Ha! I’m the only one who didn’t speak

Author: Unknown

Moral of the story

We all have a mind similar to that of a monkey jumping from branch to branch, always moving hear and there. This is known in Buddhism as the Monkey Mind, most of us never really noticing what we are thinking and act in a similar way to the Four monks practicing their meditation, each thought having actions and every action is the karmic reaction of that thought.

Training our minds in meditation not only calms our minds making us less stressed, anxious or depressed but helps us see clearly first hand our own monkey minds in action.

For more information on meditation and mindfulness including where, how and what way you should be practicing CLICK HEAR