2-28 A Wealthy Man Reborn as a Blind Beggar


Once upon a time, in ancient India, there lived a wealthy father and son. Both were extremely rich and possessed great treasures. However, they were exceedingly greedy and stingy, lacking any sense of charity. Even when beggars occasionally came to their house, they would not let them in, instead having their servants chase them away.

After some time, the wealthy father fell ill and soon passed away. In that country, there was a blind beggar woman. The soul of the wealthy father entered the womb of this beggar woman. When the time came, she gave birth to a child, who was also blind. As the years went by, the child grew to be seven years old. The mother and child lived by begging.

One day, as the child was begging, he reached the house of the wealthy family. At that moment, the gatekeeper was away on an errand, so there was no one to chase the beggar away. The beggar entered the house and stood on the south side of the yard. When the wealthy man saw this, he became very angry and ordered the beggar to be driven away.

Just then, the gatekeeper returned. Seeing the beggar, he grabbed the child by the arm and threw him far away. The child fell to the ground, breaking his arm and injuring his head severely. As he cried out in pain, his mother heard his voice and came running. Seeing her child in such a state, she held him and wept bitterly.

At that moment, the Buddha took pity on them and approached the beggars, saying:
“Listen well. You are the wealthy father. Because of your extreme greed in your previous life, you had no compassion for others and drove beggars away. Therefore, you have received this retribution. This suffering is still light compared to what you will face in hell for countless eons. How pitiful.”

As the Buddha spoke, he touched the child’s head, and the child’s eyes were opened, allowing him to see.

Hearing the Buddha’s words, the beggar reflected:
“When I was the wealthy father, I was extremely greedy and lacked a charitable heart, driving away beggars. Because of this sin, I have now come to my own child’s house and am suffering this punishment.”

The beggar repented deeply, respectfully worshiped the Buddha, and confessed his sins. It is said that through this act, he received the reward of being freed from his sins.

Siro Inuzuka

This text was created by using ChatGPT-4o to translate a modern Japanese translation into English, and then making some modifications. There may be errors in the English expressions. Please correct any mistakes.

Shinichi Kusano


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