The Prince And The She-Devil

Once, Bodhisattva was born as the son of King Brahmadatta of Benaras. He was the youngest of the hundred sons the King had. As he grew up, he became the strongest and wisest of all his brothers. But since he was the youngest, he had no hope of becoming the king. One day, he asked the Silent Buddhas whether he stood any chance of being crowned. The Silent Buddhas informed him that if he could reach Takshila within seven days, he might become the king of Takshila. But they also informed him about the dangerous Devil Wood that would fall on his way.

Next morning, the prince along with his five servants set off for Takshila. He carried a charmed string and some sand, which would ward off evil forces. However, while crossing Devil Wood he lost all his five servants who succumbed to temptations laid down by the devils. A she-devil said, “I will not rest until I eat his soft flesh.” She followed the prince, taking the form of a beautiful woman. Such was his self-control that the prince did not even look at her. After reaching Takshila, the Bodhisattva went straight into a rest house. Since he carried the charmed string and the sand, the devil could not follow him inside. Just then, the king of Takshila was passing by on his royal chariot. He instantly fell in love with the beautiful woman on the roadside. He asked her, “Why are you standing here, dear lady?” “My husband is inside the rest house and he is refusing to accept me as his wife,” answered the devil sorrowfully. Hearing this, the Bodhisattva came out and said, “She is no wife of mine. She is a devil and she intends to eat me.” At this the devil broke into false tears. Sobbing pitiably, she cried, “O Lord! What shall I do if my husband leaves me?” The King felt very sorry for her, took her into his palace and married her that very day.

Now, as the devil was away from the Devil Wood, she had lost her power to subdue others unless they themselves succumbed to temptation. So at night in the royal bedchamber, the devil told the king, “O my Lord, I am sure everyone here envies my good fortune. Give me such power that none can harm me.” Hearing this, the king gave her his arm band and said, “Wear this band. No one within the palace can ever harm you.” At night when all fell asleep, the devil killed and ate everyone within the palace compound. Next morning, people realized that what the Bodhisattva had said was true. His wisdom and self-control impressed them and he was made the new king of Takshila.

The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!

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