During the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States periods in China (771-221BC), the King of Wu climbed up the Monkey Mountain. All the monkeys fled away upon seeing so many people in armour, except one which swung and jumped from branch to branch to show off his agility.

The king shot the monkey with an arrow but surprisingly, the monkey caught the arrow. The king was angry, and ordered his followers to shoot the monkey simultaneously, and it was killed.

The king approached Yan Buyi and said, “This monkey was asking for his doom by trying to show off his dexterity and despising me, the king. You too, watch your demeanour and don’t be arrogant.”

Yan Buyi was horrified and sought help from sage Dong Wu to get rid of his arrogance. He wanted to become humble and improve his disposition.

The sage told him, “A Buddhist would be able to see the vanity of the world and let it go. Be cautious, as working for a king is as dangerous as getting along with a tiger.” Since then, Yan Buyi was no longer proud of himself; he distanced himself from fame and vanity, declined glory, splendour, wealth and rank. Three years later, he finally regained the appreciation of the king.

As a Buddhist practitioner, you must not be haughty. Refrain from judging others based upon your limited capability, talent, and knowledge of Buddhism, since you may not know what you possess represents only a smattering of knowledge in the eyes of others. Being arrogant usually does not end well. As Buddhist practitioners, we should refrain from being arrogant; instead, our minds should remain tranquil like still water. Only when you are calm can you discover the truth of this world.

Bear in mind only when you are calm can you discover the truth of this world.

Inspirational Short Stories: The Arrogant Monkey