The Wise King

Once upon a time, the Bodhisattva was born to King Buddhirama of Mithila and was named Fruitful. Prince Fruitful grew up to become a handsome young man. By the time he was sixteen, he had mastered religion and literature and was a skilled warrior. He decided to sail to Burma to make his fortune. There was a fierce storm at sea and the ship began to sink. Fruitful soaked his clothes in oil, so that it would help him float on water, then jumped into the sea and swam with all his might in the direction of Mithila. The Sea Goddess, pleased with his undying spirit and courage, flew to Mithila and lay him down on a sacred stone in a mango garden.

Now, King Buddhirama had died before his son was born and his kingdom had been usurped by his brother, Suddhirama. And now, King Suddhirama had died. The royal priest set a white horse free and declared that the first person the horse would stop by, would be crowned the new king of Mithila. The royal horse roamed for many days, reached the mango garden and stopped by Prince Fruitful! The priest anointed the prince with holy water and took him to the palace to Princess Sivali, King Suddhirama’s daughter. She said, “My father’s final wish was that the future king would have to pass two tests. He will have to string a bow that can only be strung by a thousand men and he will have to find sixteen hidden treasures, the first of which is the treasure of the Rising Sun. Only then can he become king.”

Fruitful strung the bow effortlessly. For the second test, he remembered that the Silent Buddhas – the holy men who never preached – were often compared to the glory of the sun. So, he went to the place there where King Suddhirama used to go to give alms to the Silent Buddhas, dug the ground and just as he had thought, found the first treasures. Reasoning similarly, he found all the hidden treasures and passed both tests. Thus, Prince Fruitful became the king of Mithila.

The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!