Buddhist Teachings

A piece of paper flew across the room and hit the blackboard seconds before the door opened and an old man walked into the room. It wasn't that he was old; so much as the children in the room, of which there were eight, thought him of as old. The tall, thin man peered at the mess in the room, particularly the pieces of paper on the floor and shook his bald head. His eyes, appearing to be an even brighter green when surrounded by sun-darkened skin, peered at the eight children in the room as he sternly asked, "Why is there noise coming from this room that can be heard from the hall outside?

The children looked down at the books on their desks and acted as if nothing had been going on. Especially not the argument between Fief and Girth over the matter of the stolen quill pen. That is, after all, why there was a lot of paper on the ground. Not to mention other non-sanitary items.

When the children didn't answer the man continued, "Very well, don't respond. After all, children are to be seen, not heard. I will be your new teacher for today and tomorrow. Class will begin after you all clean up this mess." There were murmurs of protest from the students as they all got out of their chairs and began to obediently clean up the mess in the room. For the students had no choice but to obey their teacher. It was written in one of the five laws they were taught: teacher – student.


Ten minutes later, the room was as clean as it had been on the first day of school and the teacher was standing before the desk. "I am Buddha. It is not usual for me to teach a group of children that have strayed from the Noble Eightfold Path, but a friend requested I help him out. You will all act obediently during this day and the next."

The children were sitting quietly in their chairs, holding back yawns of boredom as Buddha continued. "Now, I usually do not act this callous, but I have been dead for many years and I personally believe that I died because a student, like yourselves, killed me in some way. If you so much as speak when I haven't addressed you, I will have to punish you." All the students eyed the whip hiding behind his back worriedly.

A young boy raised his hand, "Master Buddha?"

Buddha glared at the boy and asked, "Didn't I just tell you that I would punish any that spoke without first being addressed?"

The young boy swallowed and nodded. "Yes, Master Buddha, you did. But I wanted to ask you a question."

"What is it?" asked Buddha, irritated.

"Didn't you die from eating a puff fish?"

Buddha nodded. "Yes. However, I have learned since my death that a child poisoned the fish I was to eat, by moving the poison glad closer to the fish after the cook took it out. In this way, I died, thanks to a brat like you."

Another child raised his hand and spoke before Buddha called on him. "But Master Buddha, weren't you enlightened, therefore reaching Nibbana and getting out of the circle of rebirth?"

A little girl in the back of the room then called out, "But you're not really Buddha are you? You couldn't be Buddha because Buddha strived to end all suffering and you are threatening to hit us with that whip if we talk. By that rational, you cause us suffering of the mind as well as the body."

Buddha looked around, his left eye twitching spasmodically as his fist tightened on the whip that he held behind his back. "You keep on talking! I said not to speak unless spoken to!"

The students began to all talk at the same time, creating lot of noise, each insisting he was a fraud, not the real Buddha. Buddha had had enough and in anger, stormed behind the teacher's desk and pulled forth a large, brown bag. In frustration, he plopped it on the desk, turned to the eight students in the room and roared, "Silence! Now!"

The students immediately quieted and they peered at their substitute teacher with frightened eyes. "In this bag, there are eight items. One for each of you. You all are to come up here and get an item and write a one page report on why you think your item is the best item your could've received."

Seven of the children, relived that the essay seemed to be the extent of their "punishment" for speaking when not first granted permission, grinned. The eighth child, a young boy with hair so black it had blue highlights, was frowning, his grey eyes shadowed as he immersed himself in thought. When he looked up at the sound of his name being called, his eyes darkened as he came out of whatever thought that had him so focused. When he went up to the desk and reached into the bag, there was only one item left; a round, smooth stone made of smoky quartz that turned the light upon it into little rainbows inside.

After all the items were gone, Buddha addressed the children. "Class is dismissed for today. I expect all of the essays to arrive with you tomorrow, completely finished." Without waiting for an answer, he paced to the door and exited the room.


The next day, the kids were silent as they waited for their teacher to arrive. When the door opened, they were all sitting respectfully in their chairs, so as to hopefully not receive any more essays to do that night for homework.

Buddha nodded in satisfaction as he observed the silent students, then immediately got down to business. "All of you have your papers?"

All of the students, except for the small boy in the back, nodded. Buddha noted this and continued. "Very well. I will call on each of you in turn and you will read aloud what you wrote." He nodded to one of the girls in the room and said, "You first."

The girl smiled and stood to recite, in all glory why she thought her item, a book on plants, was the best item she could've gotten. "Mine is the best because it is an item of learning," she read. "A book can tell you many things about the nature of the world and this book is a special one. It taught me a lot about plants and how to grow them. If all people had a book like this…"

She proceeded to read her essay in its entirety and when she was through Buddha nodded and turned to the boy beside her. "Your turn."

Each student went in turn and when it was the small boy's turn, Buddha turned to him and once again announced, "Your turn."

The boy stood and was about to speak when Buddha interrupted him. "Where is your essay item?"

"I did not write it sir and I left my item at home."

There was a murmur of amusement in the room from the other students but Buddha silenced them. "Why?"

"Sir, I did not write my essay because I had no need to."

"Why is that," asked Buddha in amusement.

"Because sir," the young boy said. "I did not desire my crystal rock. Therefore, I couldn't write an essay on why I wanted to keep it."

Buddha nodded in pleased amusement, ignoring the unusual hush that had fallen over the room.


Hel, the Norse goddess of Death and Master of the Underworld, whom "Hell" was named after, something that brought her daily, and no small amount of amusement, looked up from the prone, half naked male figure she was torturing as a tall man with dark hair and a pale face entered the room. "Ah, father, you have returned."

Loki, Norse God of Mischief and Hel's father, glanced at the woman that was half dead, half alive and nodded "Yes, I am back."

Hel turned the rotting half of her face away from her father to look at him with her good eye. Some maggots and other bugs, displaced by the slight movement, fell out of her eyeless socket and disappeared when they hit the ground. "So, how did it go?"

Loki shrugged. "The children didn't believe that I was the great Buddha. Children these days are getting harder and harder to trick."

Hel laughed. "Well of course they didn't believe you. You never act the part. You're too mean. From what I know, Buddha was a calm man that was never harsh to anyone while he lived. She sighed. "It's a pity I never got to meet him. I wouldn't have minded adding him to my collection of dying and tortured souls."

Loki frowned. "You may be right. I could try impersonating someone else next time. What about Attila the Hun? Do you think I could act the part?"

Hel shrugged and turned her attention to the man still lying at her feet. She absently stroked the bottom of his chin with her nail as she replied. "Messing with the minds of dead school-children seems boring enough. Why not just stop being the God of Mischief and try something else?"

Loki looked at the man she was torturing in disgust. "I can't. Beside, I like my position. It's fun messing with the minds of mortals. Although children never think it's weird to see someone walking among them that died years ago. I think I'll go back to torturing grown ups. What about that?"

Hel smirked as she pulled the man up and dragged him behind her to her chambers. Throwing the frightened man inside, she began to close the door, calling back to Loki as she did so. "It's up to you father. Good day."

Loki watched door close and briefly thought it was a pity about the guy's fate. He would have been a perfect pet for a while. Ah well. There were always others. With new resolve, Loki disappeared, determined to impersonate someone he could pass off as being. Already anticipating the hours of fun he was going to have while torturing mortal grown ups with the new form he chose.


Notes: Loki - Norse god of mischief. He is a very handsome god with dark hark hair and a perfect face. He has three children who were all of weird shapes and form. They are even more mentally twisted than their father.

Hel - Loki's daughter. Her body is separated into two parts. On one side, she is a beautiful female with a gorgeous face. On the other, her body is dead and rotting with maggots and other things living in the remaining skin still attached to her form. She tormented those unfortunate enough to make it to her place, her favorite play toys being males. It is from her name that the Christians came up with their name for Hell.

Noble Eightfold Path – While he was alive Buddha taught this path. The lessons are right understanding, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration. Later, on the path to arahantship, becoming enlighted and attaining nibbana, two more were added, these being right knowledge and right freedom. Together, these make up the dukkhanirodhagaminipatipada-ariyasacca a tenfold path. (Information obtained from Andy who reviewed the story on 7-16-2004)

The other lessons, besides teacher – student, are father – mother, parent – child, and so on. I actually can't remember the others. Sorry.

The lesson the child learned was the absence of desire. Possessions are a repression we let ourselves obtain and they keep us from enlightenment. To finally reach the final stage, an individual must learn to give up everything. Buddha himself didn't own anything. I won't be reaching this stage anytime soon as I have a habit of not throwing anything away and even have receipts that are three years old floating around…

The reason I tacked on Loki at the end was my way of explaining that yes, Buddha would never act this way and that in fact, it was never him to begin with. I hope this revision clears up a lot of misunderstanding. If I need to make more adjustments let me know and this time I will try to fix things sooner.

Okay, I finally fixed the grammar and spelling errors people pointed about long ago. Sorry it took so long. Notable people being Andy, BlueSaviour15, M, and William Winters.

And remember, just because the child didn't do his homework, doesn't mean the reader can't. :D