Once upon a time, the Bodhisattva was born as a pious and kind-hearted king whose charity and humility were widely known. He was respected by one and all and came to be known as Matribala, which meant “He, whose strength is kindness.” King Matribala’s love for virtue had influenced his subjects and they too followed the path of virtue. The kingdom of King Matribala was never disturbed by any criminal activities. The people were free from fear and enjoyed complete security.
One day, five Yakshas whom Kubera, the King of Yakshas, had banished from his kingdom due to some offence they had committed, reached the kingdom of King Matribala. These yakshas were wicked and never wished anyone any good. They were jealous of the happy kingdom and decided to wreak havoc. But the power of virtue and the benevolence of the king acted as a magical shield for the people. The yakshas could not understand why they failed time and again. “It is strange that out power is useless here. But we must not give up. Let us find out what is stopping us,” they said to each other. Taking the guise of poor Brahmins, they started exploring the kingdom. They reached a forest where they saw a lone shepherd boy resting under a large tree, lost in thoughts.
It seemed from his face that no fear, distrust or sorrow had ever touched him. The yakshas asked him, “Dear boy, you are all alone in the forest. Aren’t you scared?” The shepherd boy asked them why he should feel scared. “Haven’t you heard about yakshas who thrive on human flesh and blood? Even the bravest of the brave fear them,” said the yakshas. Hearing this, the young man burst into laughter.
“It seems you are new to this country. The magic shield of our king’s virtue protects our kingdom. It is not possible for even the gods to make a dent in this shield. So I find no reason to be afraid,” said he. The yakshas left the kingdom, never to return.
The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!