Frightening Sound of 'Munch, Munch, Munch'. [Chap.
said King Brahmadatta to the humble forest monk, "you have
set my mind to rest concerning my first eight dreams. But my last
eight dreams are even more frightening. I must do something to prevent
the doom they predict." Again the king began shaking uncontrollably
with fear and panic.
down," said the holy man, "and tell me these dreams also,
that I may relieve your distress."
king replied, 'These were my last eight dreams, the ninth to the
16th: a pond that's muddy in the middle and clear by the shore,
rice cooking unevenly in a pot, fine sandalwood traded for spoiled
buttermilk, empty pumpkins sinking in water, solid rocks floating
on water. giant snakes gobbled up by tiny she-frogs, royal golden
swans waiting on a bad village crow, the frightening sound of 'munch,
tell me the details of your ninth dream," said the monk.
reverence, I dreamed I saw a pond which was deep in the middle and
shallow by the shore. It was filled with all five kinds of lotuses,
and there were all kinds of animals two-footed and four-footed
drinking near the shore. And yet the water remained clear
by the shore, and got muddy only in the middle. How could this be?
What does this mean?"
king," said the forest monk, "in the distant future there
will be only unwholesome kings. They will rule based on their will
power, along with their anger and fear. They will not care at all
about wholesomeness and justice. They will be much more interested
in becoming rich from all kinds of bribes, than in the well-being
of the citizens. No longer will rulers have patience, loving-kindness
and compassion towards the people they rule. Instead they will be
rough and cruel, crushing the people to squeeze the last penny from
them in taxes just as the sweet juice is squeezed from sugar
the citizens, unable to pay the taxes and bribes, will flee to the
borderlands. Soon there will be less people living in the corrupt
central capitals, and the borderlands will be heavily populated
by the humble just like the pond that is muddy in the middle
and clear by the shore.
obviously there is nothing in this for you to fear, oh good and
wholesome king. What was your tenth dream?"
reverence, I dreamed I saw rice cooking unevenly in a pot. Some
was overcooked, some well-cooked and some still raw."
worry about this either," said the holy man. "This dream
foretells a time when all will be unwholesome, not like today! Kings
will be unwholesome, and so will officials and ministers, priests
and homemakers, city and country folks. Amazing as it may seem,
this dream indicates a time when holy men will be unwholesome too!
In addition. even the gods, tree spirits and fairies will be unwholesome
winds will change quickly, sometimes blowing too hard and sometimes
not at all. These winds will shake the heavenly homes of the sky
gods. Therefore, in some places rains will cause floods, it will
rain just right in some areas, and there will be terrible droughts
in other places. It will be like rice in the cooking pot
some overcooked, some well-cooked, and some raw.
tell me your 11th dream, oh king."
reverence, I dreamed I saw the finest sandalwood, worth 100,000
pieces of gold, being traded for spoiled buttermilk. What is the
meaning of this?"
too indicates a far-off future time, when knowledge of Truth is
disappearing. There will be many greedy shameless preachers who
distort the Four Necessities: food, clothing, shelter and medicine.
They will make these into luxuries, far richer than they really
will teach the worthlessness of luxuries and the unwholesomeness
of greed, by preaching the Truth of nonattachment. But in return
for preaching, they will require money and luxuries. So they will
cause an increase in craving, rather than showing the way towards
Liberation from craving. They will preach Truth only so they can
obtain worthless things - just like priceless sandalwood traded
for spoiled buttermilk.
let me hear your 12th dream."
reverence, I saw, in a dream, empty pumpkins sinking to the bottom
of the water."
king, this foretells a distant future when the world will be upside
down. So once again, you have nothing to fear in this life. Unwholesome
kings will grant high positions to the low class rather than the
high class. The low class will quickly become rich and the high
class poor. In all departments and functions, the ignorant words
of the uneducated low class officials will be greatly respected
just like empty pumpkins sinking to the depths of the water.
among the religious, humble wholesome monks will lose respect, while
the unwholesome teachings of shameless monks will be followed and
adored just like empty pumpkins sinking to the bottom.
was your 13th dream?"
reverence, I dreamed I saw solid rocks floating on top of the water,
how strange this seems. What does it mean, wise one?"
too indicates the future era when the world will be upside down.
In all departments and functions, the wise words of the well-educated
nobles will be ignored, due to their birth alone.
among the religious, the words of Truth spoken by humble wholesome
monks will be ignored
like solid rocks floating away on the surface of the water.
was your 14th dream?"
reverence, it was a frightening dream in which I saw tiny female
frogs chasing big long black snakes. When they caught up to them
they cut them and broke them in pieces like water lily stumps, and
then gobbled them up!"
is nothing for you to fear in this dream either, oh king. This represents
a future time when the world will be declining. The wholesomeness
in people's natures will decrease. Desires will increase in their
minds until they are enslaved by their cravings. Because of this,
men will be under the orders of their youngest prettiest wives.
The servants, bulls, buffaloes and all other household wealth will
be managed by the youngest wives due to the uncontrolled
desires of their husbands.
wives will treat their husbands like slaves. keeping them under
their thumbs. If the men ask about family affairs, their wives will
say, 'There's no need for you to ask. Everything in my home belongs
to me, not you!' It will be like big long snakes gobbled up by tiny
tell me your 15th dream."
reverence, I saw a crow, the kind that lives near villages. I knew
he was filled with the 'Ten Bad Qualities'. He was being followed
and served by golden swans, the kind seen as kings by other birds."
too indicates a distant time when all kings will be weaklings. They
will be no good at riding elephants or horses, or fighting battles.
So you can easily see there is nothing for you to fear, mighty king.
weakling kings will be so afraid of being overthrown that they will
be afraid to give powerful positions to worthy well-educated nobles.
Instead they will appoint foot servants, bath attendants, barbers
and so forth. And the nobles will have to become the lowest servants
of the untrained new officials just like royal golden swans
waiting on a bad village crow.
last we have reached your 16th dream, oh king. Describe it to me.?'
reverence, I will tell you my last dream, the only one that still
frightens me. Ordinarily, leopards chase and eat goats. But in my
16th dream, I saw goats chasing leopards! And when they caught them
they ate them up, making the sound, 'munch, munch, munch!' All the
other animals who heard this frightening sound and saw the meat-eating
goats approaching, ran and hid in the forest. The memory of this
dream still frightens me, holy one."
even this dream applies only to the far-off time when the world
will be ruled by unwholesome kings. The
lowly, who are unaccustomed to power, will become closest to the
kings. They will gain power while the nobles become poor and unknown."
the law courts, the newcomers will confiscate the inherited wealth
from the nobles all their lands, homes and possessions. And
when the nobles go to the courts to protest, they will be told,
'How dare you argue with us! You do not understand the situation
you are in. We will tell the king and have your hands and feet cut
off!' The nobles will run away and hide in fear. Likewise, bad monks
will injure good monks as much as they please. With no one to support
and defend them, the good monks will leave the cities and villages.
They will live in the jungle in fear of the bad monks. It will be
like all those who hear the sound of 'munch. munch, munch', and
live in fear of meat-eating goats."
king, now you know the meanings of all 16 dreams. The last eight
have foretold: overtaxed
people fleeing to the borderlands, an unwholesome world with uneven
rains, Truth being taught by preachers greedy for money, ignorant
and unwholesome words gaining respect, wise words and Truth losing
respect, husbands enslaved by desires for their youngest wives,
educated nobles in the service of untrained newcomers, noble and
good living in fear of powerful and bad."