upon a time there was a caravan leader. He went from country to
country selling various goods. His caravans usually had at least
500 bullock carts.
one of these trips his path led through a very thick forest. Before
entering it, he called together all the members of the caravan.
He warned them, "My friends, when you go through this forest
be careful to avoid the poisonous trees, poisonous fruits, poisonous
leaves, poisonous flowers and even poisonous honeycombs.
whatever you have not eaten before whether a fruit, leaf,
flower or anything else must not be eaten without asking
me first." They all said respectfully, "Yes, sir."
was a village in the forest. Just outside the village stood a tree
called a 'whatnot tree'. Its trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and
fruits look very similar to a mango tree. Even the colour, shape,
smell and taste are almost exactly the same as a mango tree. But
unlike a mango, the whatnot fruit is a deadly poison!
went ahead of the caravan and came upon the whatnot tree. They were
all hungry, and the whatnot fruits looked like delicious ripe mangoes.
Some started eating the fruits immediately, without thinking at
all. They devoured them before anyone could say a word.
remembered the leader's warning, but they thought this was just
a different variety of mango tree. They thought they were lucky
to find ripe mangoes right next to a village. So they decided to
eat some of the fruits before they were all gone.
were also some who were wiser than the rest. They decided it would
be safer to obey the warning of the caravan leader. Although they
didn't know it, he just happened to be the Enlightenment Being.
the leader arrived at the tree, the ones who had been careful and
not eaten asked, "Sir, what is this tree? Is it safe to eat
investigating thoughtfully he replied, "No, no. This may look
like a mango tree, but it isn't. It is a poisonous whatnot tree.
Don't even touch it!"
ones who had already eaten the whatnot fruit were terrified. The
caravan leader told them to make themselves vomit as soon as possible.
They did this, and then were given four sweet foods to eat - raisins,
cane sugar paste, sweet yogurt and bee's honey. In this way their
taste buds were refreshed after throwing up the poisonous whatnot
the greediest and most foolish ones could not be saved. They were
the ones who had started eating the poisonous fruits immediately,
without thinking at all. It was too late for them. The poison had
already started doing its work, and it killed them.
the past, when caravans had come to the whatnot tree, the people
had eaten its poisonous fruits and died in their sleep during the
night. The next morning the local villagers had come to the campsite.
They had grabbed the dead bodies by the legs, dragged them to a
secret hiding place, and buried them. Then they had taken for themselves
all the merchandise and bullock carts of the caravan.
expected to do the same thing this time. At dawn the next morning
the villagers ran towards the whatnot tree. They said to each other,
"The bullocks will be mine!" "I want the carts and
wagons!" "I will take the loads of merchandise!"
when they got to the whatnot tree they saw that most of the people
in the caravan were alive and well. In surprise, they asked them,
"How did you know this was not a mango tree?" They answered,
"We did not know, but our leader had warned us ahead of time,
and when he saw it he knew."
the villagers asked the caravan leader, "Oh wise one, how did
you know this was not a mango tree?"
replied, "I knew it for two reasons. First, this tree is easy
to climb. And second, it is right next to a village. If the fruits
on such a tree remain unpicked, they cannot be safe to eat!"
was amazed that such lifesaving wisdom was based on such simple
common sense. The caravan continued on its way safely.
moral is: The wise are led by common sense;
fools follow only hunger.