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[By the Sister Nivedita.] A Buddha legend from 'Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists,' a3 translated by the remarkable English writer Margaret E. Noßb, who adopted India as her native country. I Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was King of Benares, the future Buddha was born ae a hare and lived in a wood. He had three friends —a monkey, a jackal, and an otter. All of these animals were very wise. The hare used to preach to the others, exhorting them to give alms and keep the fast days. On one of these fast days the hare and his friends were seeking their food as usual. The otter found , some fish, the jackal some meat, the monkey some mangoes. But the hare, as he lay in his form before going out to eat hils grass, reflected that if anyone should ask him for a gift of food grass would be useless. As he had no or meat, he made up his mind to give up his own body if anyone asked him for food. Now, when any wonderful thing such as this takes place on earth ths throne of Sakra in heaven grows hot. Sakra looked down to see what was happening, and, perceivins; the hare, determined to test his virtue. He took the shape of a. Brahman, and went first to the otter and asked for food. The otter offered him fish. The jackal and the monkey in turn offered him meat and fruit. Sakra declined all these offers, and said that he would return next day. Then he went te the hare, who was overjoyed at the chance of giving himself in alma. "Brahman," said he, "to-day I will give such alms as I never gave before. Gather wood and prepare a fire, and tell me when it is ready." When Sakra heard this he made a heap of live coals, and told the hare that all was ready. Then the hare, who would some day be a Buddha, came and sprang into the fire, as happy as a royal flamingo alighting in a bed of water hlies. But the 1 fire did not burn; it seemed as cold as the air above the clouds. At once he inquired of the disguised Sakra what this might mean. Sakra replied that he was indeed no Brahman, but had come down from heaven to test the hare's generosity. The hare replied: "Sakra, your efforts are wasted; every creature alive might try in turn, and none could find in me any unwillingness to give." Then Sakra answeredi "Wise hare, let your virtue be proclaimed to the end of this world-cycle." Taking a mountain, he squeezed it, and, holding the hare under his arm, he drew an outline picture of him on the moon, using the juice of the mountain for his ink. Then ha put down the hare on some tender grass in the wood and departed to his own heaven. And that is why there is now a hare in the moon.

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Bibliographic details

THE HARE-MARK ON THE MOON., Evening Star, Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

Word Count

THE HARE-MARK ON THE MOON. Evening Star, Issue 15683, 23 December 1914