Maker and Little Archer
say that the world comes into being, disappears, and comes into
being ... over and over, throughout time. In one of these previous
worlds, countless years ago, Truth was unknown and the Five Training
Steps were practiced by only a few. Even the Enlightenment Being
the Bodhisatta did not know Truth, and had not yet
discovered the Five Training Steps.
upon a time in that long ago world, there was a king named Brahmadatta.
Like many other kings of that name, he ruled in the place known
today as Benares.
Bodhisatta was born in a rich high class family in a market town,
also in northern India. He happened to be a dwarf, bent over and
partly hunchbacked. When he became a young man he remained short
and stooped. Many people found him unpleasant to look at.
studied under a very outstanding teacher. He learned all there was
to know at that time, about the two great branches of knowledge
religion and science. He also learned how to use a bow and
arrow better than anyone else in India. For this reason his teacher
called him 'Little Archer'.
most new graduates he was quite clever. He thought, "Many people
judge by appearance alone. If I go to a king and ask for a job,
he'll probably ask, 'Having such a short body, what can you possibly
do for me?' Therefore it would be better if I can team up with a
front man someone who is handsome in appearance, tall and
well-grown in body, and strong in personality. I will provide the
brains, but remain out of sight behind his shadow. In this way we
can earn a good living together."
day he was walking in the district where the weavers live and work.
He happened to see a big, strong looking man. He greeted him and
asked his name. The weaver said, "Because of my appearance,
people call me Fear Maker."
such an impressive name." said Little Archer, "and being
so big and strong looking, why do you have such a low paying job?"
"Because life is hard," he replied.
have an idea." Said the dwarf "In all India there is no
one as skilled with a bow and arrow as I am. But I don't look the
part! If I asked a king for work he would either laugh or get angry
at me. He would not believe that a hunchbacked little dwarf could
be the greatest archer in India!
you look perfect. And your name helps too. Therefore, let us go
together to the king. You will be the front man and do all the talking.
The king will hire you immediately. Meanwhile I will remain as if
hidden underneath your shadow. I will be the real archer and we
will prosper and be happy. You just have to do whatever I tell you."
he had nothing to lose, Fear Maker agreed, saying, "It's a
deal, my friend!"
two partners went off to Benares to see the king. When they entered
the throne room, they bowed respectfully to the king. He asked them,
"Why have you come here?"
Maker stood in front and did all the talking. He answered, "I
am the great archer known as Fear Maker. There is no one in all
India who understands the science of archery as well as I do. I
wish to be in your service, your majesty."
king was quite impressed. He asked, "What shall I pay you?"
"I will serve you for 500 pieces of money per week your majesty,"
the king noticed the silent dwarf stooping behind him, almost out
of sight. "Who is this little man?" he asked. "What
does he do for you?" "He's my little assistant,"
said Fear Maker. 'Very well," said King Brahmadatta, "the
job is yours."
this way Fear Maker was accepted into the king's service, but it
was Little Archer who did all the work.
long, news came to the palace that there was a ferocious tiger living
in the jungle next to the king's highway. He ambushed travellers,
and then killed and ate them. Many began to avoid the king's highway
out of fear of the man-eater.
king summoned Fear Maker and asked, "Can you capture this rampaging
tiger, young man?" "Your majesty," he answered, "I
am known as your best archer. Why wouldn't I be able to capture
a tiger?" Hearing this, the king gave him an extra sum of money
and sent him out to catch the tiger.
Maker went home and told all this to his partner. "All right,"
said Little Archer, "be on your way!" "Aren't you
coming too?" asked the surprised Fear Maker. "No, I won't
go," he replied, "but I will give you a perfect plan.
You must do exactly as I say." "I will, my little friend.
Please tell me," said the big front man.
clever little dwarf said to his friend, "Go to the district
of the tiger, but don't rush straight to his home by yourself. Instead,
gather together a thousand local villagers and give them all bows
and arrows. Take them directly to the tiger's home. But then you
must let them go on ahead while you hide in the underbrush.
local villagers will be very afraid of the tiger. When they see
him they will surround him and beat him. Being so terrified, they
won't stop beating him until he's dead!
you must cut a piece of vine with your teeth. Then come out of hiding
and approach the dead tiger, holding the vine in your hand. When
you see the tiger's body, shout at the people, 'Hey! Who has killed
the tiger? I was going to capture him with this vine and lead him
like a bull to the king. That's why I've been searching in the jungle.
Now tell me who has killed the tiger before I could get here with
villagers will be easily frightened by this. They will say, 'Lord
Fear Maker, please don't tell the king! Then they will give you
a big bribe to be quiet. Thinking you have killed the dangerous
tiger, King Brahmadatta will also reward you greatly." This
was the tricky plan of the clever Little Archer.
Maker did exactly as he had been instructed. The man-eating tiger
was killed, and fear was removed from that part of the king's highway.
Followed by a big crowd he returned to the king and said, "Your
majesty, I have killed the tiger and made the jungle safe for people
again." The king was pleased and gave him a huge reward.
long there were similar complaints about a buffalo who threatened
another royal road. Again the king sent Fear Maker. Following Little
Archer's strategy he did exactly as before. He took credit for killing
the buffalo and was greatly rewarded again by the grateful king.
this time Fear Maker had become a very rich and powerful nobleman.
All the wealth and praise, which he didn't really deserve, soon
went to his head. He became intoxicated with his own conceit and
began thinking he was a 'big man' in his own right. He even looked
down on Little Archer and ignored his advice. He said to him, "You
think this is all because of you. But I don't need you. I can do
all this without you!" He had come to believe the appearance
created by Little Archer's plan.
it happened that an enemy king attacked. He surrounded the city
of Benares with his army. He sent a message to King Brahmadatta
that he must either surrender his kingdom or wage war. The King
of Benares ordered his greatest hero, Fear Maker, to go out and
fight the enemy.
Maker was dressed in full military armour. He mounted the mightiest
armoured war elephant. Little Archer knew that the ungrateful conceited
braggart, called Fear Maker was really scared to death underneath.
So he too mounted the elephant and sat behind Fear Maker. The mighty
elephant walked through the city gates towards the battlefield,
followed by a big crowd.
Fear Maker heard the huge noise made by the war drums, he began
trembling with fear. To keep him from falling off the elephant and
being killed, Little Archer tied a rope around him and held him
Fear Maker saw the field of battle he was overwhelmed by the terrible
fear of death. So much so, that he couldn't help but release his
bowels and urinate at the same time all over the back of
the poor brave war elephant!
Enlightenment Being said, "Before you bragged and spoke roughly
like a big man. But now, the only big thing you do is make a filthy
mess all over this elephant's back! Your present actions prove your
past appearance was false."
Maker had embarrassed himself. Little Archer had humbled him by
speaking the truth. But he couldn't help feeling sympathy for him.
He said, "Don't be afraid anymore, my friend. With me to protect
you, your life is safe. Climb down from the elephant and go home
and take a bath."
atop the great elephant, the Enlightenment Being thought, "Now
is the time to show what is in the heart of this hunchbacked little
dwarf!" Shouting mightily as he rode he charged into the field
of battle. Without killing any men or animals, he crashed through
the enemy's defences. He broke into the king's camp, captured him,
and took him back as prisoner to the King of Benares.
Brahmadatta was delighted with Little Archer's great victory. He
rewarded him with wealth and fame. He became known throughout all
India as 'Little Archer the Wise'. He sent his friend Fear Maker
back to his home village and supported him with monthly payments.
Archer the Wise practiced generosity and other meritorious deeds.
When he died he was reborn as he deserved.
moral is: "Appearances can be deceiving."