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The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:29 am
by cooran
THE WORM - Ajahn Brahmavamso

There is a wonderful little story about two monks who lived together in a monastery for many years; they were great friends.

Then they died within a few months of one another. One of them got reborn in the heaven realms, the other monk got reborn as a worm in a dung pile. The one up in the heaven realms was having a wonderful time, enjoying all the heavenly pleasures. But he started thinking about his friend, "I wonder where my old mate has gone?" So he scanned all of the heaven realms, but could not find a trace of his friend. Then he scanned the realm of human beings, but he could not see any trace of his friend there, so he looked in the realm of animals and then of insects. Finally he found him, reborn as a worm in a dung pile...

Wow! He thought: "I am going to help my friend. I am going to go down there to that dung pile and take him up to the heavenly realm so he too can enjoy the heavenly pleasures and bliss of living in these wonderful realms."

So he went down to the dung pile and called his mate. And the little worm wriggled out and said: "Who are you?", "I am your friend. We used to be monks together in a past life, and I have come up to take you to the heaven realms where life is wonderful and blissful." But the worm said: "Go away, get lost!" "But I am your friend, and I live in the heaven realms," and he described the heaven realms to him. But the worm said: "No thank you, I am quite happy here in my dung pile. Please go away." Then the heavenly being thought: "Well if I could only just grab hold of him and take him up to the heaven realms, he could see for himself." So he grabbed hold of the worm and started tugging at him; and the harder he tugged, the harder that worm clung to his pile of dung.

Do you get the moral of the story? How many of us are attached to our pile of dung?
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Re: The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:36 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings Cooran,

That was a fun little story... I could just imagine Ajahn Brahma speaking it to a captive audience.

The irony of the story though was that the person in the animal realm was seemingly far more content than the other in the heavenly realms. The one in the heavenly realms craved for his friend, whereas the worm had found contentment with his environment.

I realise that's not the point of the story, but it's an observation that came to mind. Thanks for sharing.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:41 am
by cooran
Hello Retro,

Hmmmm .... Could it have been Compassion from the one in the heavenly realm, and Delusion or Dosa from the one who was a worm?

with metta
Chris

Re: The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:46 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings Chris,
cooran wrote:Hmmmm .... Could it have been Compassion from the one in the heavenly realm, and Delusion or Dosa from the one who was a worm?
Quite possible too. Stories are always open to interpretation and mean different things to different people.

Thanks again for sharing.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:09 pm
by zavk
This coincides with a conversation I had earlier this evening. Sh*t smells but notice how quickly we get used to the stench? :smile:

Re: The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:12 am
by Bankei
non attachment?

Re: The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:48 pm
by m0rl0ck
Seems to me that the tugger and the tugged were both equally attached.

Re: The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:53 am
by Stiphan
The way I see it: the pile of dung stands for samsara, the worm stands for puthujjanas, the deva stands for the Buddha who tries to take us out of suffering and into Nibbana.

Although on second thought, not all puthujjanas like their pile of dung. So the story more likely refers to people who suffer and who don't try to overcome it but prefer to remain in their suffering.

Re: The Worm - Ajahn Brahmavamso

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:40 am
by octathlon
But the worm said he is quite happy, not suffering, so maybe he is doing better than his friend. This brings up a question: Can nibbana be reached from the animal realm, or only from human or higher realms?