the monster made its entry to the palace, it could see everyone but the
one it was looking for.
It was the emperor that the monster wanted to see.
Courtiers were everywhere moving here and there quite busy with god
only knows what. They put on looks of insolence on their faces. The
monster had qualms, though he had enough guts to enter the royal
premises. But he could not get any further. He was stopped.
“Where are you going?”
“I've come to see the emperor.”
“His Majesty is not in the palace now. Have you got an appointment?”
“No, but he knows me very well”.
“Who do you think you are to talk like that?”
“Oh sir, I'm nothing but a little monster looking forward to seeing the
“Yes sir, a monster. My species is called like that”.
“So you think His Majesty can tolerate slimy monsters like you? You
think like that? Get out of here at once”.
The guard's voice echoed over the walls of the palace. All idlers and
passers by gathered around to see what's going on. Or may be to check
what's gone wrong.
The monster felt a change - a physical one. It could not read his
physical reaction though. It was getting reckless.
“Hey stupid monster you are not going to stay here”.
The royal guards took turns to blast the monster. They too realized
the monster was changing, inch by inch. They had to stop their verbal
brawl when they finally realized the monster has grown to a size so it
could easily attack them.
They wanted it to leave the palace. It was smelling, and, worse
still, posing a threat to the whole palace. Above all they had to
protect their master, who will be back any moment.
Feeling the threat, all royal guards buzzed off to their abodes. The
monster was all alone in the royal courtroom. Then the emperor was back
in the palace. Before stepping into the courtroom, he felt someone quite
monstrous had already stepped in.
No one was aware where he or she is supposed to be. From a distance,
he could see the giant monster squirming with difficulty. He experienced
the foul smell too.
And the sight sent a shudder through his spine. The monster could
kill him with just one blow - no matter how big his retinue is. But he
can't retreat either. This is his palace, and he is responsible for
whatever is taking place at the courtroom. He suddenly remembered an old
advice when he was still a prince.
He took enough courage and stepped in. He was relieved the monster
didn't feel his arrival.
The monster turned to trace the voice. It felt a different physical
change this time.
“Oh, it's you, Your Majesty”.
“Yes friend, why don't you take a seat?”
The monster felt the change going on in its body.
“Yes, Your Majesty, I will. Thank you”.
“Did you have something to drink dear?”
Monster was trying to answer. But it didn't feel like giving away the
royal guards. Whatever resentment it had for the guards was not there
any more. It did not want them to earn royal wrath.
The king understood the silent message. The monster didn't have
anything to drink.
The royal servants came to the monster with a smiling face.
The monster now felt lighter. It understood what's happening. It was
shrinking now. Isn't it strange, the monster thought, that words could
make such a change. When guards threw words of scorn it grew more than
he could control. And now when the king treats it with words of comfort
it is shrinking.
“Is the drink delicious?”
“Very. Thank you”.
The emperor knew the monster in snatches. He could surprise the giant
creature with a full beam smile. The conversation lasted another few
minutes with the same degree of spontaneous warmth. The monster in a way
wanted the conversation to stop, but he didn’t feel like it. He had been
aching for this kind of conversation.
He was glad he was no longer in a den of vice. But there was
something that gave him the creeps. He was shrinking so fast, and now
almost out of body.
“So what are you up to these days?”
“Pretty well everything sir”. That’s all the monster could utter. It
was vanished into thin air.
Aravinda listened to Ajahn Brahm with such an interest. He knew that
won’t be the end of the story. Ajahn would have an explanation for the
“The Buddha told this story to a guy called Udala. This is a classic
example how you deal with difficult people. Tell them to get out, and it
actually gets worse. Instead you must have guts to say ‘thank you for
coming to bother me’, and give them kindness. Difficult people are anger
eating monsters. You must not feed them with anger”.