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Dharma Publishing

Three Friends Sketchbook

Three Friends Sketchbook

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The Compatible Brothers

There are at least two versions of the parable of the compatible brothers: one version describes three brothers and the other, four. The four brother story concerns an elephant, a monkey, a hare, and a partridge standing on each other's backs. One version of the story relates to Shariputra, one of Buddha's foremost disciples, who was unable to find lodging in the village of Vaishali. The younger disciples had hurried to the town and secured all available lodgings, so Shariputra spent the night beneath a tree, without shelter. Hearing this, the Buddha told the following parable in response to the younger disciple's self-cherishing attitude... "Once, beneath a great banyan tree in the Himalayan foothills, there lived four friends: a partridge, a hare, a monkey, and an elephant. Their mutual respect had diminished, and in order to determine who was the most senior, the began discussing the age of the banyan tree. The elephant first related how, when he was but a baby, the banyan tree was but a small bush. The monkey then related how, in his infancy, the tree was merely a shrub. The hare related how he had seen it as a leafless sapling. Last, the partridge spoke, telling how he had once swallowed the original seed and from his droppings this mighty tree had sprouted. The partridge then was acclaimed the eldest and most honored. Once again, harmony was attained in the kingdom." Buddha then decreed that henceforth age would confer priority within the Sangha.

Spiral bound sketchbook

150 blank pages

8.5" x 8.5"

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