The Distance Between Good And Evil is Only One Thought Away

4 min read

People face choices in life, and the choice between good and evil is often to do with our thoughts. A good thought comes from peace and heaven, and an evil thought comes from agony and hell .” When adversity arrives and death is at the door how we react may determine the outcome. The two short stories below illustrate the situation.

Spider silk in Hell

There is a story about a bad guy called Gandado. One day, a hairy spider crossed his path and he immediately thought of trampling it to death. Suddenly he had another thought. It was a compassionate thought. He pondered, “a small life, but why should I trample it to death?” So he stepped aside and let the spider go free.

Because Gandado was a fierce and vicious man and did many bad things, and after he died he fell down into infernal hell. While suffering there, a silky silver spider floated down on its spiderweb. Gandado thought he was dreaming and decided to climb up the spider’s silken thread. He grabbed the thread and began climbing up, trying desperately to escape from the flaming fires of purgatory.

Silhouette of spider hanging on thread against background of night sky and full moon. Photo Royalty free Vector graphics

Climbing halfway, he looked down, and many hell beings followed him. They also began climbing up the spider’s thread. Gandao pondered, “how could such a tiny spider silk thread bear the weight of everyone, and if it breaks, I will lose my chance at freedom?  So he kicked the others down. When Gandado stepped on and kicked the others down, the spider’s silk thread suddenly broke and Gandado and all other hell beings fell into the bottomless pit and had to accept a fate of living in endless suffering.

One good thought gave Gandadu a chance to escape from hell and be born again; however, his one evil thought made him relive the agony of hell. 

Good thoughts save good people, while evil thoughts kill the evil ones.
Good thoughts save good people, while evil thoughts kill the evil ones. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Red Eye Lion Statue

A long time ago, the morals of certain people had become so bad that the Divines wanted to destroy their village. One Bodhisattva (Divine Being) wished to save a kind person in the village and give the villagers another chance. So the Bodhisattva (Divine Being) went down to the world, changed into a beggar and went to the village from house to house begging, but no one would give him a morsel.

One day the beggar saw an old lady offering incense to the Buddha. He humbly asked her for food. The old lady said in embarrassment, “I just have this one bowl of rice, I will give you half and leave the other half for the Buddha.”

When the beggar was leaving, he pointed to a pair of lion statues at the entrance to the village and said to her: “When did you see the lion’s eyes turn red, you and the entire village will be in great danger like that of a great flood, hurry to the mountains, remember.”

The old lady immediately told the people in the village about what the beggar had told her. But the people in the village didn’t believe the old lady instead they ridiculed her saying, “How could the lion eyes made of this stone turn red? You are a crazy old woman!”

One day, some people in the village decided to make fun of the old lady, and they painted the eyes of the lion statues red. When the old lady saw that the stone lion’s eyes were red, she anxiously shouted to the people in the village, “Run away!” When the people in the village saw the old lady really deceived, they all laughed at her. The old lady kept shouting, but no one took her seriously.  When the old lady saw everyone ignoring her, she ran up the mountain alone. She turned around and saw floodwaters rising rapidly, and suddenly the whole village was under water and swept out to sea.

Guanyin Bodhisattva of Mercy Bodhisattva of Hainan Sanya South China Sea Photo: Llee Wu 

A kind thought for the beggar helped the old lady believe his warning. When the villagers heard about the warning they mocked her and with evil in their minds made fun of her.

At the end of the day , good thoughts saved the good, but evil thoughts killed the evil.

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