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Control Speech For Spiritual Success – Story Lord Buddha And Son Rahul

Lord Buddha realized that his son, Rahul, often wavered from truthfulness. Lord Buddha then told Rahul through the story of an elephant that people attain welfare when they control their speech. One can attain spiritual success only through control of speech.

Lord Buddha said: ‘Rahul, please listen to me carefully. Long ago, a king had a huge elephant. That elephant was very powerful and had the strength of five hundred ordinary elephants. Whenever that elephant went to the battlefield, it was the custom to tie weapons like axe and sword to the tusks, legs, and other parts of that elephant. Also, they used to tie an iron ball to its tail. No one could escape from that elephant in the battlefield.

‘The mahout was very happy that the elephant’s body was simultaneously being protected and destroying the enemy’s armies. However, the mahout realised that just one arrow could hit the elephant’s trunk, put it off-balance, and cause great danger. Hence, the mahout had trained the elephant to curl up its trunk whenever it went to the battlefield. One day, the elephant entered the battlefield. It destroyed the enemy’s armies. At that time, unusually a sword fell to the ground. The elephant stretched its trunk to lift it. As soon as the mahout saw this, he directed the elephant to immediately leave the battlefield.

‘Then, the mahout met the king privately in the palace, and said: “O lord! Today, the elephant stretched its trunk in the battlefield. Hence, this elephant is no more suitable to be used in the battlefield.” Then, after the king and the mahout discussed on this matter, they decided to not use that elephant in the battlefield from that day.

‘Rahul, people attain welfare till they control their speech. Just like the elephant used to curl up its trunk in the battlefield to protect it from being attacked by an arrow, you have to prevent your tongue from speaking a lie. You should be established in a life of speaking the truth. We should be alert whether we are speaking the truth always. Those who are always deeply focused on the truth and speak only the truth become great and free from all sins.

‘The king himself rides an elephant that has been properly trained. Such an elephant also gets the glory of carrying the king. Similarly, a person living a pure life is praised and respected by the great people. That person also becomes one of the great people of the world. The elephant that crosses its bounds at the hour of need foils the plans of its master. A person who acts like that attains ill-fame.’

Lord Buddha gave many such examples and instructed Rahul. How can a cat be born to a tiger? After all, Rahul was Lord Buddha’s son and he understood his predicament. He altered his ways from that day and lived a pure life. He attained the rightful glory that comes from living an honest life.