"The gold is mine,"--This story the Master told at Jetavana, about a brother who was downcast and discontent.
This man could not concentrate his mind on any single object, but his life was all full of discontent; and this was told to the Master. When asked by the Master if he really were discontented, he said yes; asked why, he replied that it was through his passions. "O Brother!" said the Master, "this passion has been despised even by the lower animals; and can you, a priest of such a doctrine, yield to discontent arising from the passion that even brutes despise?" Then he told him an old-world tale.
"Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta reigned over Benares, the Bodhisattva came into the world as a Monkey, in the region of Himalaya. A wood ranger caught him, brought him home and gave him to the king. For a long time he dwelt with the king, serving him faithfully, and he learnt a great deal about the manners of the world of men. The king was pleased at his faithfulness. He sent for the wood ranger, and bade him set the monkey free in the very place where he had been caught; and so he did.
"All the monkey tribe gathered together upon the face of a huge rock, to see the Bodhisattva now that he had come back to them; and they spoke pleasantly to him.
"'Sir, where have you been living this long time?'
"'In the king's palace at Benares.'
"'Then how did you get free?'
"'The king made me his pet monkey, and being pleased with my tricks, he let me go.'
"The monkeys went on--'You must know the manner of living in the world of men: tell us about it too--we want to hear!'
"'Don't ask me the manner of men's living,' quoth the Bodhisattva. 'Do tell--we want to hear!' they said again.
"'Mankind,' said he, 'both princes and Brahmans, cry out--"Mine! mine!" They know not of the impermanence, by which the things that be are not. Hear now the way of these blind fools;' and he spoke these verses:
"'"The gold is mine, the precious gold!" so cry they, night and day:
"'There are two masters in the house; one has no beard to wear,
"On hearing this, all the monkeys cried out--'Stop, stop! we have heard what it is not meet to hear!' and with both hands they stopped their ears tight. And they liked not the place, because they said, 'In this place we heard a thing not seemly;' so they went elsewhere. And this rock went by the name of Garahitapitthi Rock, or the Rock of Blaming."
When the Master had ended this discourse, he declared the Truths and identified the Birth:--at the conclusion of the Truths this Brother reached the Fruit of the First Path:--"The Buddha's present followers were that troop of monkeys, and their chief was I myself."