One day Buddha was walking slowly alone around the lotus pond in paradise. The lotus flowers on the surface of the water were white, similar to pearls, and their golden pistils continually gave off a delicious scent.
It was in the morning.
Suddenly Buddha stopped on the shore of the pond and glanced at the bottom among the lotus leaves that stretched out on the water. Since hell was beneath this pond, through the water as clear as an amethyst you could see the Sanzu River and the Mount of Needles, as clear as through binoculars.
Buddha observed a man, Kandada, moving along with the other damned in the depths of hell. This man had been a bandit who had committed various crimes, assassinations, arson, etc. Only once had he done a charitable work. One day as he was passing through a dense forest he saw a small spider crawling along a path. He immediately lifted his foot and was about to kill him: But he thought: «No, no, even if he is small he has the life of him. It’s too cruel to kill him for no reason “and he let him go without hurting him.
Looking at hell, Buddha remembered that Kandada had once saved a spider. So for the good he had done, Buddha wanted to help him in return and give him a chance to get out of hell. Fortunately, next to Buddha on a jade-colored lotus leaf a spider was spinning its beautiful silver-colored web.
Buddha then took a thread from the spider delicately in his hand and dropped it among the white pearl-like flowers right to the bottom of hell.
Here in the pool of blood, at the bottom of hell, Kandada floated along with other damned. It was dark everywhere, and since nothing could be seen from time to time but the needles of the mountain, there was nowhere more remote than this. In addition there was a dead silence and nothing could be heard but the sighs of the damned. Exhausted by the various penances they no longer had the strength to cry so even the bandit Kandada was limited to fidgeting like a frog on the verge of death, suffocated by the blood of the pond.
But one day when Kandada raised his head and casually looked up at the sky above the pond, he saw the shimmering, silver-colored spider thread descend towards him from above silently as if it didn’t want to be noticed by anyone. As soon as he saw it he felt great joy.
“Clinging to the spider’s thread, going up and up I could certainly get out of hell. Then if I were lucky enough I could get to heaven. And I will no longer have to climb the mountain of needles or float in the pool of blood. ‘ So Kandada thought and immediately grabbed the line firmly with both hands and began to climb vigorously one stroke after another. Since he had been a bandit, he was used to this feat. But between hell and heaven there are a few tens of thousands of kilometers, so even trying to climb fast he couldn’t have reached the top any time soon. Shortly thereafter he finished using up all of his energy and could no longer
go forward not even a stretch. All he had to do was stop and, hanging by the thread, I look down into the distance.
Thanks to his fatigue, the pool of blood where until a short time before he was could no longer be seen, disappeared into the darkness of the bottom. Even the faintly shimmering mountain of needles lay far below him.
“Climbing with this rhythm maybe it will take much less than I thought to get out of hell” Kandada thought, still clinging to the spider’s thread with both hands, and laughed saying “Well, well” in a tone of voice that could not be heard. since he had come to hell. But all of a sudden – he realized that also countless other damned, were following him climbing up from the bottom, similar to the Indian file of ants. When he saw them, for a moment he kept his mouth open like a fool, only moving his eyes in surprise and fright. “This thread so thin that it barely resists my weight, it can’t hold all these people. If by chance the thread were to tear, I myself, having arrived here after this immense effort, would have to fall straight into hell as before. I cannot accept such a thing ». While he thought so, the damned hundreds and thousands, having come out of the pool of blood all dark, scrambled frantically in single file on the thin and shimmering spider’s thread. Fearing that if he didn’t do something right away, the thread would break in two, Kandada shouts loudly, “Hey, damned, the spider’s thread and mine. Who gave you permission? Get off, get off ».
Just at that moment the thread that had resisted his weight until then snapped at the point where Kandada was attached. In an instant he fell into the dark background rolling like a top.
The thin and shimmering thread of the spider of heaven was left alone in the middle of the sky without moon or stars, broken.
Buddha on the bank of the lotus pond watched all that was going on below the bottom, but when Kandada disappeared into the blood pond like a stone, he resumed his walk with a melancholy face. In the eyes of Buddha, the merciless soul of Kandada seems ignoble, who wanted to get out of hell by himself and had to return to hell as a punishment.
But the lotuses of the Paradise Pond were oblivious to all this. The white pearl-like flowers rippled their chalices at Buddha’s feet, and their gold-colored pistils continually gave off a delicious scent. Even in heaven, noon was approaching.
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