Prince and the She-devils [Chap.
1. Five Meals in the Forest]
upon a time King Brahmadatta was ruling in Benares, in northern
India. The Enlightenment Being was born as the last of his 100 sons
and grew up to be a wise young man.
those days there were Silent Buddhas who came to the palace to receive
alms food. They were called Buddhas because they were enlightened
they knew the Truth and experienced life as it really is,
in every present moment. They were called Silent because they did
not preach the Truth. This was because they knew it was a time when
no one would be able to understand it. However, being filled with
sympathy for the unhappiness of all beings, the Silent Buddhas wished
to help anyone who asked them.
day the young prince was thinking about his 99 older brothers and
wondering if he had any chance to become King of Benares. He decided
to ask the Silent Buddhas about it.
next day the Silent Buddhas came as usual to collect alms food in
the palace. The prince brought purified water and washed their feet.
When they had sat down he gave them appetizers to eat. Before giving
the next course he said to them, "I am 100th in line to the
throne. What are the odds that I will become King of Benares?"
replied, "Oh prince, with so many older brothers there is almost
no chance you will ever be king here. However, you might become
King of Takkasila. If you can get there in seven days you can become
king. But on your way there is a dangerous forest. You must take
the road passing through it, since it would take twice as long to
go around it.
forest is known as 'Devils Woods', because it is filled with all
kinds of devils he-devils, she-devils, and even little children-devils!
The she-devils spend most of their time by the roadside. They use
magic to make buildings and entire cities appear along the way.
buildings have ceilings decorated with stars, and gorgeous rich
couches surrounded by silk curtains of many colors. Sitting on these
couches, the she-devils make themselves look like the sweetest,
most pleasant of goddesses. With words dripping with honey they
attract travelers saying, 'You look tired. Come in, sit down, have
something to drink and then be on your way.'
who are persuaded to come in are invited to sit down. Then the she-devils
use their beautiful physical appearance to trap their visitors with
their own burning desires. After giving in to their desires, the
strangers are killed by the she-devils and eaten while their blood
is still hot!
this way those who are attracted by sight are trapped by the physical
forms of women. Those who are attracted by sound are trapped by
their singing voices and music. Those attracted by smell are trapped
by the divine perfumes they wear. Those attracted by taste are trapped
by the heavenly tasting delicacies they offer. Those attracted by
touch are trapped by their soft luxurious beds and velvet couches.
if you, fair prince, can control all five senses, and force yourself
to avoid looking at those beautiful enticing she-devils, only then
can you become King of Takkasila in seven days."
grateful Bodhisatta replied, "Thank you venerable ones, I will
follow your advice. After hearing such warnings, how could I take
the chance of looking at them?"
he asked the Silent Buddhas to give him special charms to protect
him on his dangerous journey through Devils Woods. So they chanted
protective blessings onto a string and some sand. He accepted the
charms and paid his farewell respects to them, and then to his royal
to his own home he announced to his household servants, "I
am going to Takkasila to win the kingship. You are to remain here."
But five of them said, "We also wish to go with you."
"No," said he, "you can't come with me. I have been
warned that on the way there are beautiful she-devils who trap people
who can't resist the desires coming from their own five senses.
Then they kill their victims and eat them while their blood is still
hot. It is far too dangerous for you. I will rely only on myself
and travel alone."
the five would not listen. They said, "If we go with you, oh
prince, we will force ourselves to keep from looking at those beautiful
she-devils. We will accompany you to Takkasila." "If you
insist, then so be it," said the prince, 'but keep your determination
she-devils were waiting for them in Devils Woods. They had already
magically formed beautiful villages and cities with lovely houses
and palaces along the way.
just so happened that one of the prince's five servants was easily
enchanted by the sight of the curves and figures of the bodies of
women. So he began to fall behind in order to admire them. The worried
prince asked. 'Why do you delay, my friend?" "My feet
ache," said the man, "let me sit and rest a while in one
of these mansions. Then I will catch up with you." "My
good friend," said the prince, "those are she-devils.
Don't chase after them!"
blinded by the temptation of the sense of sight, the man replied,
"My lord, I can't turn away. Whatever will happen, let it happen!"
Giving him one last warning, the prince continued on with the other
one who remained behind went closer to the beautiful looking forms
he was so attracted to. After pleasing themselves fully with the
man, the she-devils killed him and ate him on the spot!
they went farther into Devils Woods and created another mirage of
a beautiful mansion. They sat inside and began singing the sweetest
melodies, accompanied by the lovely sounds of all kinds of musical
instruments. One of the prince's followers was enchanted by the
sound of beautiful music. So he too fell behind and was gobbled
up by the still hungry she-devils.
down the road they created another magic mansion filled with the
scents of all kinds of divine perfumes. This time the man who loved
sweet smells fell behind and was eaten as well.
the she-devils created a fabulous restaurant filled with foods having
the most heavenly flavors. Here the lover of the tastes of the finest
delicacies wandered in and was devoured in turn.
the she-devils went still farther down the road, created soft luxurious
beds and velvet couches, and sat on them. The last of the prince's
followers was one who loved the touch of the softest fabrics and
the most luxurious comfort. So he too fell behind and met his death,
and was quickly eaten by the ravenous she-devils.
events left the Enlightenment Being all alone in Devils Woods. A
certain she-devil thought, "Aha! This one is very strong-minded
indeed. But I am even more determined. I will not stop until I have
tasted his flesh!" So she alone stubbornly followed him, even
though the other devils gave up the chase.
she got closer to the edge of Devils Woods, some woodsmen saw her
and asked. "Lovely lady, who is it that walks on ahead of you?"
'We are newlyweds," replied the lying demon, "he is my
too pure husband, who ran away from me on our wedding night. That's
why I'm chasing after him."
woodsmen caught up to the prince and asked, "Noble sir, this
delicate flower-like golden-skinned young maiden has left her family
to live with you. Why don't you walk with her, instead of making
her chase after you?"
prince replied, "Good people, she is not my wife. She is a
devil. She killed the five men who followed me and ate them while
their blood was still hot!"
the lovely looking devil said, "See how it is, gentlemen, anger
can make husbands call their own wives devils and hungry ghosts!
Such is the way of the world."
to follow the prince, the determined she-devil magically made herself
look pregnant. Then she seemed to be a first-time mother carrying
her make-believe baby on her hip. Whoever saw the pair questioned
them just as the woodsmen had. Each time the Bodhisatta repeated,
"She is not my wife. She is a devil. She killed the five men
who followed me and ate them while their blood was still hot!"