The story of the elephant and the monk.

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The story of the elephant and the monk.

Post by polarbear101 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:06 am

I was just reading through the active topics on dhammawheel when I came up with this story all of a sudden in my boredom. I was thinking it would make a good indie movie or something like that. Anyway, I wrote down the idea briefly. I figured this could be a topic where dhammawheel members can elaborate on the basic outline of the story, such as giving the characters names, describing scenes in detail and filling in the blanks. The only rule would be that each member has to read all the posts before they post and follow the storyline that unfolds, being able to write in a new scene once they get to the last post and know the characters' names, what has already been written, etc.. Basically, it just has to open with an elephant walking through the street led by its handler(s), it can be a circus elephant or the kind of elephant that people ride around on, it just has to be a captive elephant. The monk would have to be walking down the same street on alms round when the elephant goes berserk (for whatever reason). Anyway the story is below.

"A trained elephant goes berserk in public and tramples a person to death but a monk intervenes and uses metta to calm the elephant down. He then leads the elephant into the forest and teaches the elephant to forage for food. After a while, the monk tries to leave the forest but the elephant keeps following him around. Out of compassion for the elephant, knowing it will be killed if it ventures back into human society with him (and the elephant won’t stop following him) the monk ventures deep into the forest with the elephant and they become best friends. The monk lives by getting alms from remote villages deep in the jungle and lives with the elephant for 10 years. However, the son of the woman/man who was trampled by the elephant is bent on vengeance and has been seeking to find the elephant all these years. One day, while the monk and the elephant are walking through the forest, gunfire rings out and the elephant collapses. It is going to die. The elephant is confused and scared; the monk looks at his best friend of ten years understanding what is going through the mind of the elephant. In one final act of compassion, the monk puts his hand on the elephant’s trunk and sends that same metta that he used when he first led the elephant into the forest. The elephant becomes calm and at peace and has a sense of recognition that he is dying. The elephant passes away in peace and the monk says something like, “travel well” or something like that. The son comes crashing through the foliage to see the monk sitting calmly next to the elephant. The monk gazes at the man with compassion and the same metta he sent to the elephant, stands up, and calmly walks away, The son who killed the elephant is left standing there perplexed, confused, and then realizes the wrongness of his deed (or something to that effect). End of story"

I know it sounds kind of like a peaceful version of Tony Jaa's The Protector, but anyway, it could be a fun story to collectively write. Sorry that the way I wrote the vague storyline isn't particularly moving, I could've put more effort into it but I just jotted it down in a minute or two. However, perhaps we can collectively write this moving tale. Who knows, maybe it'll turn out really good and become a movie someday (albeit with a rewritten/edited script), or somebody else will make a movie just like this.

Hopefully, lots of dhammawheel members enjoy a little creative writing. If not, then may this post drown well.

Feel free to write the opening scene.

"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: The story of the elephant and the monk.

Post by gavesako » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:38 pm

Have you read the biographies of Ajahn Lee and Ajahn Khao? They mention similar incidents with an elephant. Biographies of monks with magic powers have been popular bestsellers for ages. :geek:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts - Sutta translations

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Re: The story of the elephant and the monk.

Post by m0rl0ck » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:09 pm

Good story :)
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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