On the Penalty of a Fatal Disease for Abusing a Monk and Committing a Lustful Deed

A tale from the Nihon Ryoiki
of the Monk Kyokai

In the reign of Emporer Shomu, nuns of Saya-dera in Kuwahara, Ito district, Kii province, vowed to hold a service and invited a monk of Yakushi-ji on the West Side of Nara, Dharma Master Daie (popularly called Dharma Master Yosami, for his secular name was Yosami no muraji), to perform the rite of repentance devoted to the Eleven-headed Kannon.

Eleven headed Avalokitesvara Mandala with a thousand arms

It happened that a wicked man lived in that village. His surname was Fumi no imiki (his popular name was Ueda no Saburo). He was evil by nature and had no faith in the Three Treasures. The wife of this wicked man was a daughter of Kamitsuke no kimi Ohashi. She observed the eight precepts for one day and one night, and went to the temple to participate in the rite of repentance in the congregation. When her husband came home, he could not find her. Having asked where she was, he heard his servant say, "She has gone for the rite of repentance." At this he became angry and immediately went to the temple to bring his wife back. The officiating monk saw him and tried to enlighten him, preaching the Buddhist doctrine. However, he would not listen to the monk, saying, "None of your nonsense! You vulgar monk, you seduced my wife! Watch out or you'll get your head smashed!" His vile speach cannot be described in detail. He called his wife to go home with him, and on their return he violated her. Suddenly an ant bit his penis, and he died in acute pain.

He brought on his own death, immediate retribution, since he was so evil minded as to insult the monk unreservedly and not to refrain from wicked lust.

Even if you have a hundred tongues in your mouth and utter a thousand words, never speak ill of monks. Otherwise you will incur immediate penalties.

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Miraculous Stories from the Japanese Buddhist Tradition: The Nihon Ryoiki of the Monk Kyokai. Translated and edited by Kyoko Motomochi Nakamura. First published in 1973 by Harvard University Press: MA. This edition published by Curzon Press: Surrey, Great Britain. Copyright 1997. For non-profit educational use only. ISBN:0-7007-0449-3
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