Perfection of Loving Kindness

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Dukulaka, the son of a village chief, and Parika, the daughter of another village chief have complied with their parents arrangements to marry. However, they do not consummate the marriage but instead go to live as ascetics in the forest.

They are under the protection of Indra who foresees great danger in store for them and sends them a son, Sama, who will take care of them. When the boy is sixteen his parents lose their eyesight from the breath of a poisonous snake. Sama thereafter faithfully looks after them.

One day while hunting in the forest, King Piliyaka of Benares sees Sama filling a water jar while the deer, unafraid, drink from the same pool. Thinking the youth must be a god or a Naga, the King wounds him with an arrow so he will not escape. Without reviling his attacker, Sama falls dying to the ground. When the King learns who he is and that he is the only support of his blind parents he is filled with remorse. Vowing to protect Sama’s parents, the King goes to tell them of their son’s death at his hands. They do not speak a word of resentment but ask to be lead to their son’s body. There Parika performs a solemn act and the poison ebbs from Sama’s body whereby he is restored to life. At the same time, through divine intervention his parent’s eyesight is restored. Sama then preaches to the marveling King on how the gods take care of those who honor their parents. They are all reborn in the Brahma planets.