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Life Is Death Penalty

Once there was a king called Asoka. Asoka was a king from India and he was also a Buddhist. He had a younger brother named Vitasoka. Vitasoka is not a religious man. He never led a religious life. What he cared about was having parties, having fun with girls, wine and all the money in the world. Of course, Vitasoka got all the fun and all the glamorous he wanted since his own brother was the king of India.

Asoka wanted his little brother to know the truth about life. So, he made a trap for his brother. Asoka let his cloak and crown lied on the bench near the side of the pool. He asked two of his closest ministers to accompany his brother while taking a walk to the pool side.

"Why don't you try on the cloak and the crown while there's no one here looking ? Who knows you fit the size, and one day when your brother dies, you can directly take his place? Come on...try it on... There's no harm in it" One of the minister pointed on the cloak and the crown which lied on the bench near the pool side.

Vitasoka knew that it was not right to try on the cloak and crown while his brother was still in the position of the king. However, he couldn't stand the greed he had inside of him. He wanted to try it on. So, when he was putting the cloak on, the king, Asoka came out from the pool and got him trying on the cloak.

"Hey, what are you doing?!! You want to take me down??!! You have betrayed me!" Since it was not right to try on the king's cloak, Asoka said,"I don't care if you are my brother, you should get the punishment! I decided that you have to get death penalty!"

Vitasoka begged for forgiveness and tried to persuade his brother not to punish him for what he did. But Asoka didn't want to listen to any word he said. Asoka put his brother into jail before the death penalty day arrived.

When his brother was in prison, he came to visit his brother and told him, that seven days before his death penalty day came, he could wear the king's cloak and crown, he could have all the beautiful concubines the king has, he could enjoy all the greatest music from the greatest musicians, all the food that king eats, all the entertainment and all the facilities a king has. He could have it all. But only seven days before he died of his death penalty.

Seven days later, when the day arrived. The king, Asoka came to his brother and asked him, "Did you enjoy all the facilities of a king and all the beautiful ladies ?"

"How could I enjoy when I literally know that I will have my death penalty right after seven days of all those?" He looked on the ground, looking sad.

"Nah, now you understand!" The king smiled. Since that day, Vitasoka leaded a very religious life and he became a man that hold on to morality in his life."

Lesson in the story is that, no matter it is seven days, seven weeks, seven years or even seventy years, we will never know when our death penalty will come. We will never when we will die but we surely know that we will eventually leave all the things behind and die. So, how can you live your life recklessly when you know that someday somehow your death penalty will due ?

Let's make our lives important by doing things which are important for all beings. Let's do things that make our lives meaningful while the death penalty hasn't due. Let's live like today is our last day on earth! From Ajahn Brahm's Book "Si Cacing dan Kotoran Kesayangannya 3!"
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