Buddha Says... - Path to Happiness (Part - 2)

Buddha Says…

Best bedtime stories collection by Buddha.

Compiled By

Hiren Kavad

Part - 2


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These stories are not written by me. It’s compilation of story told by Buddha to his disciples and other peoples for better character building. But I don’t think these stories are just as religious stories. Among these, some stories are told by Buddha to his followers for various teaching. These stories doesn’t just give us entertainment, But also sow core values like Truth, love, compassion, honesty, ordination, unity, association, Infatuation, friendship, cleanliness, courage etc.

Today we are forgetting telling stories to our children. Bedtime stories was/is the best source of creating values in children and adults. These stories give us knowledge and we can experiment in various difficulties of life. Using these stories we can develop human value and good qualities like unity, patience, self control, tolerance, compassion, love and truth. Major purpose of stories is to create moral and ethical values through entertainment, because children only enjoy which gives them entertainment. They are not obvious, so they enjoy little little things. They are curious to know the things. We can easily sow good values in their souls. So parents please take one step for your children. My friend adults read these stories and try to implement and use it in your life, because I have also used these principles of Buddha in my life, and I am very happy.


Buddha is a core motivation behind this effort. Without Buddha’s inspiration I could never be able to compile this book. So Many many thanks to Buddha.

I thank to my parents who give me birth in this beautiful world, and I could able to see these various colors of life.

I thank to Mr. Ven Kurunegoda Piyatissa, because most of these stories are interpreted by him. He is the major contributor to converting pali script’s stories into modern English. Thanks a lot.

Thanks to all who helped me, inspired me directly or indirectly.

App Dipo Bhavah !

- Buddha


  • The Dancing Peacock
  • The Quail King And The Hunter
  • The Fortunate Fish
  • The Baby Quail Who Could Not Fly Away
  • Wise Birds And Foolish Birds
  • The Birth Of A Banyan Tree
  • The Crane And The Crab
  • Buried Treasure
  • 1. The Dancing Peacock

    [Pride and Modesty]

    Once upon a time, a very long time ago, the four-footed animals made the lion their king. There was a gigantic fish that roamed the oceans, and the fish made him their king. The birds were attracted to beauty, so they chose the Golden swan as their king.

    King Golden swan had a beautiful golden daughter. While she was still young, he granted her one wish. She wished that, when she was old enough, she could pick her own husband. When his daughter was old enough, King Golden swan called all the birds living in the vast Himalayan Mountains of central Asia to a gathering. The purpose was to find a worthy husband for his golden daughter. Birds came from far away, even from high Tibet. There were geese, swans, eagles, sparrows, humming birds, cuckoos, owls and many other kinds of birds.
    The gathering was held on a high rock slab, in the beautiful green land of Nepal. King Golden swan told his lovely daughter to select whichever husband she wished.

    She looked over the many birds. Her eye was attracted by a shining emerald-green long- necked peacock, with gorgeous flowing tail feathers. She told her father, “This bird, the peacock, will be my husband.” Hearing that he was the lucky one, all the other birds crowded around the peacock to congratulate him. They said, “Even among so many beautiful birds, the golden swan princess has chosen you. We congratulate you on your good fortune.”

    The peacock became so puffed up with pride that he began to show off his colorful feathers in a fantastic strutting dance. He fanned out his spectacular tail feathers and danced in a circle to show off his beautiful tail. Being so conceited, he pointed his head at the sky and forgot all modesty, so that he also, showed his most private parts for all to see!

    The other birds, especially the young ones, giggled. But King Golden swan was not amused. He was embarrassed to see his daughter’s choice behave in this way. He thought, “This peacock has no inner shame to give him proper modesty. Nor does he have the outer fear to prevent indecent behaviour. So why should my daughter be shamed by such a mindless mate?” standing in the midst of the great assembly of birds, the king said, “ sir peacock, your voice is sweet, your feathers are beautiful, your neck shines like an emerald, and your tail is like a splendid fan. But you have danced here like one who has no proper shame or fear. I will not permit my innocent daughter to marry such an ignorant fool!”

    Then King Golden swan married his golden daughter to a royal nephew. The silly strutting peacock flew away, having lost a beautiful wife.

    The moral is: If you let pride go to your head, you’ll wind up acting like a fool.

    2. The Quail King And The Hunter


    Once upon a time, there was a Quail King who reigned over a flock of a thousand quails. There was also a very clever quail hunter. He knew how to make a quail call. Because this sounded just like a real quail crying for help, it never failed to attract other quails. Then the hunter covered them with a net, stuffed them in baskets, and sold them to make a living. Because he always put the safety of his flock first. Quail King was highly respected by all. While on the lookout for danger, one day he came across the hunter and saw what he did. He thought, “This quail hunter has a good plan for destroying our relatives. I must make a better plan to save us.”

    Then he called together his whole nation of a thousand quails. He also invited other quails to attend the meeting. He said, “Greetings to our quail nation and welcome to our visitors. We are faced with great danger. Many of our relatives are being trapped and sold by a clever hunter. Then they are being killed and eaten. I have come up with a plan to save us all. When the hunter covers us with his net, every single one of us must raise his neck at the same time. Then, all together, we should fly away with the net and drop it on a thorn bush. That will keep him busy, and we will be able to escape with our lives.” All agreed to follow this smart strategy.

    The next day the hunter lured the quails with his quail call as usual. But when he threw his net over them, they all rose up their necks at once, flew away with the net, and dropped it on a thorn bush. He could catch no quails at all! In addition, it took him the rest of the day to loosen his net from the thorns - so he had no time left to try again!

    The same thing happened on the following day. So he spent a second day unhooking his net from sharp thorns. He arrived home only to be greeted by his wife’s sharp tongue! She complained, “You used to bring home quail to eat, and money from selling quails. Now you return empty-handed. What do you do all day? You must have another wife somewhere, who is feasting on quail meat at this very moment!”

    The hunter replied, “Don’t think such a thing, my darling. These days the quails have become very unified. They act as one, and rise up their necks and carry my net to a thorn bush. But thanks to you, my one and only wife, I know just what to do! Just as you argue with me, one day they too will argue, as relatives usually do. While they are occupied in conflict and bickering, I will trap them and bring them back to you. Then you will be pleased with me again. Until then, I must be patient.”

    The hunter had to put up with his wife’s complaints for several more days. Then one morning after being lured by the quail call, it just so happened that one quail accidentally stepped on the head of another. He immediately got angry and squawked at her. She removed her foot from his head and said, “Please don’t be angry with me. Please excuse my mistake. “But he would not listen. Soon both of them were squawking and squawking, and the conflict got worse and worse! Hearing this bickering getting louder and louder, Quail King said, “There is no advantage in conflict. Continuing it will lead to danger!” But they just wouldn’t listen.

    Then Quail King thought, “I’m afraid this silly conflict will keep them from cooperating to raise the net.” So he commanded that all should escape. His own flock flew away at once. And it was just in time too! Suddenly the quail hunter threw his net over the remaining quails. The two arguing quails said to each other, I won’t hold the net for you.” Hearing this, even some of the other quails said, “Why should I hold the net for anyone else?”

    So the conflict spread like wildfire. The hunter grabbed all the quails, stuffed them in his baskets, and took them home to his wife. Of course she was overjoyed, and they invited all their friends over for a big quail feast.

    The moral is: There is safety in unity, and danger in conflict.

    3. The Fortunate Fish


    Once upon a time, King Brahmadatta had a very wise adviser who understood the speech of animals. He understood what they said, and he could speak to them in their languages.

    One day the adviser was wandering along the river bank with his followers. They came upon some fishermen who had cast a big net into the river. While peering into the water, they noticed a big handsome fish who was following his pretty wife.

    Her shining scales reflected the morning sunlight in all the colors of the rainbow. Her feather-like fins fluttered like the delicate wings of a fairy, as they sent her gliding through the water. It was clear that her husband was so entranced by the way she looked and the way she moved, that he was not paying attention to anything else! As they came near the net, the wife fish smelled it. Then she saw it and alertly avoided it at the very last moment. But her husband was so blinded by his desire for her that he could not turn away fast enough. Instead, he swam right into the net and was trapped! The fishermen pulled in their net and threw the big fish onto the shore. They built a fire, and carved a spit to roast him on.

    Lying on the ground, the fish was flopping around and groaning in agony. Since the wise adviser understood fish talk, he translated for the others. He said, “This poor fish is madly repeating over and over again: My wife! My wife! I must be with my wife! I care for her much more than for my life!
    My wife! My wife! I must be with my wife! I care for her much more than for my life!”

    The adviser thought, “Truly this fish has gone crazy. He is in this terrible state because he became a slave to his own desire. And it is clear that he has learned nothing from the results of his actions. If he dies keeping such agony, and the desire that caused it, in his mind, he will surely continue to suffer by being reborn in some hell world. Therefore, I must save him!” So this kind man went over to the fishermen and said, “oh my friends, loyal subjects of our king, you have never given me and my followers a fish for our curry. Won’t you give us one today?”

    They replied, “Oh royal minister, please accept from us any fish you wish!” “This big one on the river bank looks delicious,” said the adviser. “Please take him, sir,” they said.

    Then he sat down on the bank. He took the fish, who was still groaning, into his hands. He spoke to him in the language only fish can understand, saying, “You foolish fish! If I had not seen you today, you would have gotten yourself killed. Your blind desire was leading you to continued suffering. From now on, do not let yourself be trapped by your own desires!”

    Then the fish realized how fortunate he was to have found such a friend. He thanked him for his wise advice. The minister released the lucky fish back into the river, and went on his way.

    The moral is: Fools are trapped by their own desires.

    4. The Baby Quail Who Could Not Fly Away

    [The Power of Truth, Wholesomeness and Compassion]

    Once upon a time, the Enlightenment Being was born as a tiny quail. Although he had little feet and wings, he could not yet walk or fly. His parents worked hard bringing food to the nest, feeding him from their beaks.
    In that part of the world, there were usually forest fires every year. So it happened that a fire began in that particular year. All the birds who were able, flew away at the first sign of smoke. As the fire spread, and got closer and closer to the nest of the baby quail, his parents remained with him. Finally the fire got so close, that they too had to fly away to save their lives. All the trees, big and small, were burning and crackling with a loud noise. The little one saw that everything was being destroyed by the fire that raged out of control. He could do nothing to save himself. At that moment, his mind was overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness.

    Then it occurred to him, “My parents loved me very much. Unselfishly they built a nest for me, and then fed me without greed. When the fire came, they remained with me until the last moment. All the other birds who could, had flown away a long time before. So great was the loving-kindness of my parents, that they stayed and risked their lives, but still they were helpless to save me. Since they could not carry me, they were forced to fly away alone. I thank them, wherever they are, for loving me so. I hope with all my heart they will be safe and well and happy.

    “Now I am all alone. There is no one I can go to for help. I have wings, but I cannot fly away. I have feet, but I cannot run away. But I can still think. All I have left to use is my mind - a mind that remains pure. The only beings I have known in my short life were my parents, and my mind has been filled with loving-kindness towards them. I have done nothing unwholesome to anyone. I am filled with new-born innocent truthfulness.”

    Then an amazing miracle took place. This innocent truthfulness grew and grew until it became larger than the little baby bird. The knowledge of truth spread beyond that one lifetime, and many previous births became known. One such previous birth had led to knowing a Buddha, a fully enlightened knower of Truth one who had the power of Truth, the purity of wholesomeness, and the purpose of compassion.

    Then the Great Being within the tiny baby quail thought, “May this very young innocent truthfulness be united with that ancient purity of wholesomeness and power of Truth. May all birds and other beings, who are still trapped by the fire, be saved. And may this spot be safe from fire for a million years!”
    And so it was.

    The moral is: Truth, wholesomeness and compassion can save the world.

    5. Wise Birds And Foolish Birds

    [Good Advice]

    Once upon a time, there was a giant tree in the forest. Many many birds lived in this tree. And the wisest of them was their leader.

    One day the leader bird saw two branches rubbing against each other. They were making wood powder come falling down. Then he noticed a tiny wisp of smoke rising from the rubbing branches. He thought, “There is no doubt a fire is starting that may burn down the whole forest.” so the wise old leader called a meeting of all the birds living in the great tree. He told them, “My dear friends, the tree we are living in is beginning to make a fire.

    This fire may destroy the whole forest. Therefore it is dangerous to stay here. Let us leave this forest at once!”

    The wise birds agreed to follow his advice. So they flew away to another forest in a different land. But the birds who were not so wise said, “That old leader panics so easily. He imagines crocodiles in a drop of water! Why should we leave our comfortable homes that have always been safe? Let the scared ones go. We will brave and trust in our trees!”

    Wise leader’s warning came true. The rubbing branches made sparks that fell in the dry leaves under the tree. Those sparks became flames that grew and grew. Soon the giant tree itself caught fire. The foolish birds who still lived there were blinded and choked by the smoke. Many, who could not escape, were trapped and burned to death.

    The moral is: Those who ignore the advice of the wise do so at their own risk.

    6. The Birth Of A Banyan Tree

    [Respect for Elders]

    Once upon a time, there was a big banyan tree in the forest beneath the mighty Himalayas. Living near this banyan tree were three very good friends. They were a quail, a monkey and an elephant. Each of them was quite smart.

    Occasionally the three friends got into a disagreement. When this happened, they did not consider the opinion of any one of them to be more valuable. No matter how much experience each one had, his opinion was treated the same as the others. So it, took them a long time to reach an agreement. Every time this happened, they had to start from the beginning to reach a solution. After a while they realized that it would save time, and help their friendship, if they could shorten their disagreements. They decided that it would certainly help if they considered the most valuable opinion first. Then, if they could agree on that one, they would not have to waste time, and possibly even become less friendly, by arguing about the other two.

    Fortunately, they all thought the most valuable opinion was the one based on the most experience. Therefore, they could live together even more peacefully if they gave higher respect to the oldest among them. Only if his opinion were clearly wrong, would they need to consider others. Unfortunately, the elephant and the monkey and the quail had no idea which one was the oldest. Since this was a time before old age was respected, they had no reason to remember their birthdays or their ages.

    Then one day, while they were relaxing in the shade of the big banyan tree, the quail and the monkey asked the elephant, “As far back as you can remember, what was the size of this banyan tree?”

    The elephant replied, “I remember this tree for a very long time. When I was just a little baby, I used to scratch my belly by rubbing it over the tender shoots on top of this banyan tree.”

    Then the monkey said, “when I was a curious baby monkey, I used to sit and examine the little seedling banyan tree. Sometimes I used to bend over and nibble its top tender leaves.” The monkey and the elephant asked the quail, “As far back as you can remember, what was the size of this banyan tree?”

    The quail said, “When I was young, I was looking for food in a nearby forest. In that forest, there was a big old banyan tree, which was full of ripe berries. I ate some of those berries, and the next day I was standing right here. This was where I let my droppings fall, and the seeds they contained grew up to be this very tree!”

    The monkey and the elephant said, “Aha! Sir quail, you must be the oldest. You deserve our respect and honour. From now on we will pay close attention to your words. Based on your wisdom and experience, advise us when we make mistakes. When there are disagreements, we will give the highest place to your opinion. We ask only that you be honest and just.”

    The quail replied, “I thank you for your respect, and I promise to always do my best to deserve it.” It just so happened that this wise little quail was the Bodhisatta the Enlightenment Being.

    The moral is: Respect for the wisdom of elder’s leads to harmony.

    7. The Crane And The Crab


    Once upon a time, there was a crane who lived near a small pond. Right next to the pond was a big tree with a fairy living in it. He learned by observing the various animals.

    There were also many small fish living in the small pond. The crane was in the habit of picking up fish with his beak and eating them. Since there happened to be a drought in the area, the water level in the pond was becoming lower and lower. This made it easier for the crane to catch fish. In fact, he was even getting to be a little fat!

    However, the crane discovered that no matter how easy it was to catch fish, and no matter how many he ate, he was never completely satisfied. But he did not learn from this. Instead, he decided that if he ate all the fish in the pond, then he would find true happiness. “The more the merrier!” he said to himself.

    In order to catch all the fish in the pond, the crane thought up a clever plan. He would trick the fish, and deceive them into trusting him. Then when they trusted him the most, he would gobble them up. He was very pleased with himself for thinking up such a trick.

    To begin with, the crane sat down on the shore. He remained quietly in one position, just like a holy man in the forest. This was intended to get the fish to trust him.

    The fish came to him and asked. “Sir Crane, what are you thinking?” The holy looking crane answered, “Oh my dear fish, it makes me sad to think of your future. I am thinking about the coming miserable disaster.”

    They said, “My lord, what disaster is coming to us?” To which the crane replied, “Look around you! There is very little water left in this pond. You are also running out of food to eat. This severe drought is very dangerous for you poor little ones.”

    Then the fish asked, “Dear uncle crane, what can we do to save ourselves?” “My poor little children,” said the crane, “you must trust me and do as I say. If you allow me to pick you up in my beak, I will take you, one at a time to another pond. That pond is much bigger than this one. It is filled with water and covered with lovely lotuses. It will be like a paradise for you!”

    When they heard the part about the beak, the fish became a little suspicious. They said, “Mr. Crane, how can we believe you? Since the beginning of the world, there has never been a crane who wanted to help fish. Cranes have put fish in their beaks only to eat them. This must be a trick. Or else you must be joking!”

    The crane then raised his head and made himself look as dignified as possible. He said, “Please don’t think such a thing. Can’t you see that I am a very special crane? You should trust me. But if you don’t believe me, send one fish with me and I will show him the beautiful pond. Then when I bring him back here, you will know I can be trusted.” The fish said to each other, “This crane looks so dignified. He sounds like an honest crane. But just in case it’s a trick, let us send with him a useless little troublemaker fish. This will be a test. “Then they found a young fish who was known for playing hooky from school. They pushed him towards the shore.

    The crane bent his head and picked up the little one in his beak. Then he spread his wings and flew to a big tree on the shore of a beautiful big pond. Just as he had said, it was covered with lovely lotuses. The fish was amazed to see such a wonderful place. Then the crane carried him back to his poor old pond, just as he had promised. Arriving home, the little fish described the wonders of the beautiful big pond. Hearing this, all the other fish became very excited and rushed to be the first to go.

    The first lucky passenger was that same useless little troublemaker. Again the crane picked him up in his beak and flew to the big tree on the shore of the beautiful new pond. The little one was sure the helpful crane was about to drop him into the wonderful pond. But instead, the crane suddenly killed him, gobbled up his flesh, and let the bones fall to the ground.

    The crane returned to the old pond, brought the next little fish to the same tree, and ate him in the same way. Likewise, one by one, he gobbled up every last fish! He became so stuffed with fish meat that he had trouble flying back to the little pond. He saw that there were no more fish left for him to trick and eat. Then he noticed a lonely crab crawling along the muddy shore. And he realized that he was still not completely satisfied!

    So he walked over to the crab and said, “My dear crab, I have kindly carried all the fish to a wonderful big pond not far from here. Why do you wish to remain here alone? If you simply do as the fish have done, and let me pick you up in my beak, I will gladly take you there. For your own good, please trust me.”

    But the crab thought, “There is no doubt this over-stuffed crane has eaten all those fish. His belly is so full he can hardly stand up straight. He definitely cannot be trusted! If I can get him to carry me to a new pond and put me in it, so much the better. But if he tries to eat me, I will have to cut off his head with my sharp claws.”

    Then the crab said, “My friend crane, I am afraid I am much too heavy for you to carry in your beak. You would surely drop me along the way. Instead, I will grab onto your neck with my eight legs, and then you can safely carry me to my new home.”

    The crane was so used to playing tricks on others, that he did not imagine he would be in any danger - even though the crab would be grasping him by the throat. Instead he thought, “Excellent! This will give me a chance to eat the sweet meat of this foolish trusting crab.”

    So the crane permitted the crab to grab onto his neck with all eight legs. In addition, he grasped the crane’s neck with his sharp claws. He said, “Now kindly take me to the new pond.” The foolish crane, with his neck in the clutches of the crab, flew to the same big tree next to the new pond.

    Then the crab said, “Hey you stupid crane, have you lost your way? You have not taken me to the pond. Why don’t you take me to the shore and put me in?”

    The crane said, “Who are you calling stupid? I don’t have to take that from you. You’re not my relative. I suppose you thought you tricked me into giving you a free ride. But I’m the clever one. Just look at all those fish bones under this tree. I’ve eaten all the fish, and now I ' m going to eat you too, you stupid crab!”

    The crab replied, “Those fish were eaten because they were foolish enough to trust you. But no one would trust you now. Because you tricked the fish, you have become so conceited you think you can trick anyone. But you can’t fool me. I have you by the throat. So if one dies, we both die!”

    Then the crane realized the danger he was in. He begged the crab, “oh my lord crab, please release me. I have learned my lesson. You can trust me. I have no desire to eat such a handsome crab as you.”

    Then he flew down to the shore and continued, “Now please release me. For your own good, please trust me.” But this old crab had been around. He realized the crane could not be trusted no matter what he said. He knew that if he let go of the crane, he would be eaten for sure. So he cut through his neck with his claws, just like a knife through butter! And the crane’s head fell on the ground. Then the crab crawled safely into the wonderful pond. Meanwhile, the inquisitive fairy had also come to the new pond and seen all that had happened. Sitting on the very top of the big tree, he said for all the gods to hear:
    “The one who lived by tricks and lies, No longer trusted now he dies.”

    The moral is: The trickster, who can’t be trusted, has played his last trick.

    8. Buried Treasure

    [The Arrogance of Power]

    Once upon a time, there was an old man who lived in Benares. He had a very good friend, who was known to be wise. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, he also had a beautiful young wife. The old man and his young wife had a son. The man came to love his son very much. One day he thought, “I have learned that my beautiful young wife cannot always be trusted. When I die, I am sure she will marry another man, and together they will waste the wealth I have worked so hard for. Later on, there will be nothing left for my son to inherit from his mother. So I will do something to guarantee an inheritance for my deserving son. I will bury my wealth to protect it for him.” Then he called for his most faithful servant, Nanda. Together they took all the old man’s wealth deep into the forest and buried it. He said, “My dear Nanda, I know you are obedient and faithful. After I die, you must give this treasure to my son. Keep it a secret until then. When you give the treasure to him, advise him to use it wisely and generously.”

    Before long, the old man died. Several years later, his son completed his education. He returned home to take his place as the head of the family. His mother said, “My son, being a suspicious man, your father has hidden his wealth. I am sure that his faithful servant, Nanda, knows where it is. You should ask him to show you. Then you can get married and support the whole family.” So the son went to Nanda and asked him if he knew where his father had hidden his wealth. Nanda told him that the treasure was buried in the forest, and that he knew the exact spot.

    Then the two of them took a basket and a shovel into the forest. When they arrived at the place the treasure was buried, all of a sudden Nanda became puffed up with how important he was. Although he was only a servant, he had the power of being the only one to know the secret.

    So he became conceited and thought he was better than the son. He said, “You son of a servant girl! Where would you inherit a treasure from?” The patient son did not talk back to his father’s servant. He suffered his abuse, even though it puzzled him. After a short time, they returned home empty handed.

    This strange behaviour was repeated two more times. The son thought, “At home, Nanda appears willing to reveal the secret of the treasure. But when we go into the forest carrying the basket and shovel, he is no longer willing. I wonder why he changes his mind each time.”

    He decided to take this puzzle to his father’s wise old friend. He went to him and described what had happened. The wise old man said, “Go again with Nanda into the forest. Watch where he stands when he abuses you, which he surely will do. Then send him away saying. “You have no right to, speak to me that way. Leave me.” “Dig up the ground on that very spot and you will find your inheritance. Nanda is a weak man. Therefore, when he comes closest to his little bit of power, he turns it into abuse.”

    The son followed this advice exactly. Sure enough, he found the buried treasure. As his father had hoped, he generously used the wealth for the benefit of many.

    The moral is: A little power soon goes to the head of one not used to it.


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