Front Page Titles (by Subject) LXXXVII.: THE PATIENT ELEPHANT. - The Gospel of Buddha
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LXXXVII.: THE PATIENT ELEPHANT. - Buddha, The Gospel of Buddha 
The Gospel of Buddha. Compiled from Ancient Records by Paul Carus. Illustrated by O. Kopetzky (Chicago and London: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1915).
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THE PATIENT ELEPHANT.
While the Blessed One was residing in the Jetavana, there was a householder living in Sāvatthi known to all his neighbors as patient and kind, but his relatives were wicked and contrived a plot to rob him. One day they came to the householder and often worrying him with all kinds of threats took away a goodly portion of his property. He did not go to court, nor did he complain, but tolerated with great forbearance the wrongs he suffered. 1
The neighbors wondered and began to talk about it, and rumors of the affair reached the ears of the brethren in Jetavana. While the brethren discussed the occurrence in the assembly hall, the Blessed One entered and asked “What was the topic of your conversation?” And they told him. 2
Said the Blessed One: “The time will come when the wicked relatives will find their punishment. O brethren, this is not the first time that this occurrence took place; it has happened before”, and he told them a world-old tale. 3
Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born in the Himālaya region as an elephant. He grew up strong und big, and ranged the hills and mountains, the peaks and caves of the tortuous woods in the valleys. Once as he went he saw a pleasant tree, and took his food, standing under it. 4
Then some impertinent monkeys came down out of the tree, and jumping on the elephant’s back, insulted and tormented him greatly; they took hold of his tusks, pulled his tail and disported themselves, thereby causing him much annoyance. The Bodhisatta, being full of patience, kindliness and mercy, took no notice at all of their misconduct which the monkeys repeated again and again. 5
One day the spirit that lived in the tree, standing upon the tree-trunk, addressed the elephant saying, “My lord elephant, why dost thou put up with the impudence of these bad monkeys?” And he asked the question in a couplet as follows: 6
The Bodhisatta, on hearing this, replied, “If, Tree-sprite, I cannot endure these monkeys’ ill treatment without abusing their birth, lineage and persons, how can I walk in the eightfold noble path? But these monkeys will do the same to others thinking them to be like me. If they do it to any rogue elephant, he will punish them indeed, and I shall be delivered both from their annoyance and the guilt of having done harm to others.” 8
Saying this he repeated another stanza: 9
A few days after, the Bodhisatta went elsewhither, and another elephant, a savage beast, came and stood in his place. The wicked monkeys thinking him to be like the old one, climbed upon his back and did as before. The rogue elephant seized the monkeys with his trunk, threw them upon the ground, gored them with his tusk and trampled them to mincemeat under his feet. 11
When the Master had ended this teaching, he declared the truths, and identified the births, saying: “At that time the mischievous monkeys were the wicked relatives of the good man, the rogue elephant was the one who will punish them, but the virtuous noble elephant was the Tathāgata himself in a former incarnation.” 12
After this discourse one of the brethren rose and asked leave to propose a question and when permission was granted he said: “I have heard the doctrine that wrong should be met with wrong and the evil doer should be checked by being made to suffer, for if this were not done evil would increase and good would disappear. What shall we do?” 13
Said the Blessed One: “Nay, I will tell you: Ye who have left the world and have adopted this glorious faith of putting aside selfishness, ye shall not do evil for evil nor return hate for hate. Nor do ye think that ye can destroy wrong by retaliating evil for evil and thus increasing wrong. Leave the wicked to their fate and their evil deeds will sooner or later in one way or another bring on their own punishment.” And the Tathāgata repeated these stanzas: 14
THE LAST DAYS.