Author Topic: Prince Kunala's beautiful eyes  (Read 6501 times)


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Prince Kunala's beautiful eyes
« on: July 01, 2012, 06:54:02 PM »
After Buddha passed away, there was a king named Usika. He was very kind and his government was very compassionate. He had a son with eyes as beautiful as the kunala, an Indian bird famous for its beautiful eyes. Because the king liked this kind of bird, he named his son Kunala. When Prince Kunala grew up, he was very handsome. His conduct was proper and he was very kind.

King Usika was a devoted Buddhist. One day, the king brought his son to a temple, and he asked a monk named Yasa about the Buddhist teachings. Yasa looked at the young prince. "Human life is impermanent," he said. "A body goes through the stages of birth, aging, illness and death, and human life is filled with impurity. Who can have the beauty of youth forever? All these are illusions. In the same way, although the prince's eyes seem beautiful, they are actually full of filth and the source of trouble."

The prince was quite puzzled. Everyone always praised him for his beautiful eyes, but why would the monk say that they were dirty and the source of trouble? These words kept whirling around in his head.

There were many concubines in the king's palace. One young lady was deeply attracted by Kunala's good looks. When she saw him sitting alone in the garden one day, she started to fondle him, trying to seduce him. But the prince was a righteous person and could not agree to such behavior. He pulled himself together and freed himself from her unwanted attentions.

Later, when the young prince was old enough to marry, King Usika found a wife for him. When the concubine saw the lover of her dreams married to someone else, she became intensely jealous and her love turned to hatred.

Not long after the marriage, the king became sick and the young concubine looked after him carefully until he recovered. He was grateful for her care and said to her, "Because you took care of me for such a long time, I will give you anything you desire."

She said, "I just want to rule the country for seven days."

The king thought to himself that since he had promised, he couldn't go back on his word. Besides, it was only for seven days. So he agreed.

When she was on the throne, the young lady wrote a letter filled with both love and hate and sent it to Prince Kunala. She wrote that her fury would only be placated if she never saw his eyes again. Now the prince finally realized what that monk had meant, but it was too late. The lady's word was like the king's command, and it couldn't be disobeyed.

Kunala reluctantly gouged out one eye and held it in his hand. "It's so disgusting," he suddenly realized. "Why would such a filthy little thing be praised by so many people and bring so much trouble? Since she wants both eyes, I'll take out the other one too." When both eyes were gone, everything before him was in total darkness, but his mind was suddenly filled with light. He felt the peace that comes from spiritual exaltation.

When his wife heard the news, she ran to the blind prince and started to wail with grief. But the prince was calm and consoled her with the Buddhist teachings. "Human life is impermanent, so don't harbor hatred or worry, because hatred and worry are your greatest enemies."

At that time, a bodyguard warned the prince, "Your Highness, if you stay in the palace, I'm afraid that your life will be in danger." The prince, of course, was already aware of this, and since he didn't want the court lady to continue making bad karma for herself by doing something even worse, he and his wife fled the palace. They learned to play the lute and to sing, and they wandered from town to town, making music in the streets. People would throw them a few coins, and in this way, the prince and his wife were able to feed themselves.

A few years later, they happened to come back to the capital. One day, they wandered into the streets alongside the palace and started to sing. When King Usika heard the beautiful but mournful songs, he thought of his son, who had suddenly disappeared years before. He told his attendant to invite the musicians to enter the palace.

When the king saw the lute player, he realized that it was indeed the son that he had been thinking of day and night. When he saw how Prince Kunala had fallen from his royal life and was now only a blind lute-player singing on the streets for a living, the king was very distressed. He asked the prince, "Who did this to you? Who made you lose your sight?" But Kunala refused to talk about it. He just told his father about the truths that he had learned, hoping his father would calm down.

At last, the ministers and the guards couldn't endure it any more and reported the truth to the king. He was furious and wanted to execute that concubine, but the prince begged his father to forgive her.

The king was touched by Prince Kunala's compassion and released the young concubine. However, in her own conscience, she was ashamed of herself and finally committed suicide. Because of her impure love, she had created trouble and hatred, hurt other people and destroyed herself.

Was it all worth it?


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Re: Prince Kunala's beautiful eyes
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 09:20:57 PM »
Because of our 5 senses, we had created so much negative karma from it, through our 5 senses, we developed attachment, desire, enjoyment, etc. we wanted everything to fulfill our such attachment, and when thing doesn’t go our way, we developed jealousy and hatred, and the hatred can go to the extent of destroying it when we can’t have it, so that no one else can have it as well, this is very selfish and the negative karma that we are committing are very huge, so huge that it blinded our eyes to see the truth that lies in front of us.

It is very sad indeed, most of us, when we get angry or hatred, we will make a decision to end everything, that is a moment of decision, but once we calm down, we regretted of what we done, that’s why it is very important to keep our mind calm, when our mind are calm, then we can see the truth much easier.

DS Star

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Re: Prince Kunala's beautiful eyes
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 09:55:34 PM »
Well Bambi, another interesting story, competing with negra orkida?  ;)

I reckon, this should be one of Buddha's previous lives as being told as Jataka tales.

Anyway, the lesson here is that we should view everything in this samsaric world as Impermanent; when we are in the good fortune, we should not become too attach to it as everything can change in a slit moment. When we are at the bad fortune, we should not lose heart and give up. The truth is, everything changes constantly...

The story tell the 3 Seals of Buddhism or what is also known as the 3 Universal Characteristics that everything existed in this world is due to conditions and are all having the following characteristics:

1. Impermanent;
2. Suffering; and;
3. Non-self

Jessie Fong

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Re: Prince Kunala's beautiful eyes
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 01:57:11 AM »
Apart from the 5 senses and impermanance, I would say that the prince was forgiving the concubine for what wrath she had shown.  Had he agreed to take revenge, the cycle would not have ended and more hurt and sadness would have prevailed.  On the concubine's part, she realised her wrong-doing and decided to take her own life.

This story also touches on karma.


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Re: Prince Kunala's beautiful eyes
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 04:41:32 AM »
There were so many damaging happened because of anger/hatred from only one person and it even caused a life. Like Lord Buddha said anger destroy everything and even burn out our merit.   

I admire Prince Kunala whom has gone to so many of difficulties after loosing his eyes, in this worst situation he was so calm and gained some realization, it must be the practice from his previous life that the seed can be ripen out to continue with the spiritual path.     

As for the young concubine, after she has done so much damaged to the prince, she shamed and committed suicide. She has created so much harmful to the prince from her anger and that created a very negative karma, if she has done some good deeds to has some merit she would feel regret and engage in the 4 opponent power to purify her karma but sadly she not even has a karma to do so, her karma catch up.       


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Re: Prince Kunala's beautiful eyes
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 03:49:23 PM »
How sad that because of attachment and karma of the concubine brought her so much pain and sufferings. The attachment to Prince Kunala show us how everything is impermanent. Because of the concubine's delusion, anger arise because she couldn't get what she wanted, the thought of revenge arise. Everything that the concubine feels came from her on senses and consciousness. The feelings of happiness, sadness, etc. left imprints on her negative karma. That is why she couldn't bear the humiliation of her hatred and anger, she took the easy way out for there is no way to undo what have been done. It was not worth it...  :-[