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My gratitude is endless, oh holy monk." The Enlightenment Being said to the king, "Now you must realize why your royal priests wanted to have a sacrifice ceremony. It was not because they understood the Truth. and it was not because they cared for you and your well being. Instead it was due to greediness. They wanted only to get rich, eat fine food, and keep their jobs at your court. "Your 16 dreams have indicated disasters in the distant future. What you do now will have no effect on them. Those things will happen when the world is declining, when the unreal is seen as real, when the unreasonable is thought to be reasonable, and when the non existent seems to exist. It will be a time when many will be unwholesome without shame,, and few will be ashamed of their own wrongdoing. 'Therefore, to prevent these things by performing a sacrifice today is impossible!" Remaining seated, the Bodhisatta miraculously rose into the air. Then he continued his teaching: "Oh king, it was fear that unbalanced your mind and brought you close to killing so many helpless ones. Real freedom from fear comes from a pure mind. And the way to begin purifying your mind is to climb the five steps of training. You will benefit greatly from giving up the five unwholesome actions. These are: destroying life, for this is not compassion; taking what is not given, for this is not generosity; doing wrong in sexual ways, for this is not lovingkindness; speaking falsely, for this is not Truth; losing your mind from alcohol, for this leads to falling down the first four steps. "Oh king, from now on do not join with the priests in killing animals for sacrifice." In this way the Great Being taught the Truth, freed many people from bondage to false beliefs, and released many animals from fear and death. In an instant he returned through the air to his home in the Himalayas. King Brahmadatta practiced the Five Training Steps. He gave alms and did many other good things. At the end of a long life he died and was reborn as he deserved. The moral is: Beware of the panic stricken man. What he can do is more dangerous than what scared him in the first place. Once upon a time, there was a billionaire in northern India. He was an adviser to a king. Although he was very rich. he was not at all good looking. He was lame due to crooked feet, and his hands were also deformed into crooked positions. His eyes were crooked too, that is to say, he was cross eyed. And some would say he had a crooked mind as well, for he was without any religion whatsoever! You might think people would call him, 'Illisa the Crooked', but that was not the case. Illisa also happened to be a miser, one who will not give anything to anybody. He would not even spend any of his wealth on his own enjoyment. Therefore, it was said that his home was like a pond possessed by demons, where no one could quench his thirst. However, Illisa's ancestors, going back seven generations, were the most generous of gift givers. They gave away the very best of their possessions. But when Illisa inherited the family fortune, he abandoned that great family tradition. The family had always maintained a charity dining hall, where anyone could come for a free hot meal. Illisa burned this free food kitchen to the ground, since he wanted to be rid of the expense. Then he pushed the poor and hungry from his door, hitting them as they went. He quickly earned a reputation for hoarding all his wealth and possessions. Soon people began calling him, 'Illisa the Cheap'. One day when he was returning home from advising the king, Illisa saw a tired worn out villager by the side of the road. He had obviously walked a great distance. He was sitting on the ground pouring cheap wine into a cup. He was drinking it, along with some smelly dried fish. Seeing this made Illisa thirsty for a drink of liquor. Then he thought, "I would love to have a