The Worm

A fable inspired by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Once upon a time two Buddhist monks lived together in a monastery for many years and were great friends. Then they died within just days of each other.

One of the monks got reborn into heaven as an angel. The other monk got reborn as a worm living on a dung pile.

The monk now in the heaven living as an angel was having a wonderful time while enjoying the wonderful abundance of all the heavenly pleasures imaginable.

After a while, he started thinking about his friend, “I wonder where my old friend has gone? I was hoping to meet him here in heaven.”

So he scanned all of the heavenly databases he could find but could not locate even a trace of his friend anywhere. Then then proceeded to scan all the interplanetary realms of human beings but he could not find his friend in those places either. He searched the all the listings of animals, fish, birds and insects. No luck. About to give up, he decided to click on worms. Alas! Finally, he found his friend reborn as a worm living on a dung pile.

Wow! He thought: “I am going to help my friend and rescue him from his new incarnation. I’m going down there to that dung pile and will take him up to heaven with me so that he can at least enjoy the heavenly pleasures as a worm.”

So he went down to the dung pile and called his friend. The little worm wriggled out and said: “Who are you and what do you want from me?” The angel said: “I am your old friend. Don’t you remember me? We were monks together in a past life. I’m here to take you away from your dung hill and bring you back to the heavenly realms we me where you can live a much better and happier existence.”

But the worm said: “Go away. Leave me alone. Get lost!” “But I’m your friend and I live in heaven” and he described with great excitement all the wonderful things he knew about heaven.

But the worm said: “Nope. No thank you, I’m quite happy here in my dung pile. Please go away and leave me alone.”

Then the angel thought: “Well if I can only just grab hold of him and take him up to heaven then he could see for himself.” So he grabbed hold of the worm and started tugging at him. But the harder he tugged, the harder that worm clung to his pile of dung refusing to leave it.”

I welcome your comments.

The Worm

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