10 Buddha Stories That Will Teach You Vital Life Lessons

Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Team Lifelords


The Stories of Buddha That Will Help You To Learn The Vital Life Lessons


“Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, and is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox.”

– Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha Stories

Wonderful Buddha Stories That Will Reshape Your Thinking Today: There is probably no one in the world (among educated people) who has not heard the name of Gautama Buddha. He is considered the most successful spiritual teacher on the planet. In his entire lifetime, he had around forty thousand disciples.

These disciples roam village to village, and city to city to bring a spiritual wave to society. Many wise and scholarly people think that old Buddhist stories are a simple yet rich source of wisdom and everyone can learn great spiritual lessons from these stories.

You can even entertain your kids and friends in their leisure time and thus can help them acquire some great wisdom that can transform their lives. Here is a collection of some great Buddha stories.

We think these stories are worthy enough to be read by everyone including college students and working professionals. We hope you like all these stories and will try to share them with your friends and followers on social media platforms.

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1. An Insightful Story About The Last Days of Lord Buddha

Mahatma Buddha was inclining on the bed on the eve of his Mahaparinirvana. A sage named Subhadra came there to find a solution to some questions and doubts. But the Buddha’s disciple Anand stopped him from entering the hut and said, “It will not be proper to bother the Lord at this time.”

Subhadra, however, kept insisting on a Darshana. The Buddha overheard the murmur outside and called out, “Anand, let Subhadra in. He has come to seek knowledge and not to trouble me.”

The moment Subhadra went inside and saw the serene and compassionate figure of the Lord, Buddha’s teachings entered his heart. He took pravrajya and bevame a bhikshu (monk). Lord Buddha did not disappoint the true seekers even at the time of Mahaparinirvana.

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2. Lord Buddha Story on How To Preserve Your Serenity

Buddha seemed quite unruffled by the insults hurled at him by a visitor. When his disciples later asked him what the secret of his serenity was, he said: “Imagine what would happen if someone placed an offering before you and you did not pick it up.”

“Or someone sent you a letter that you refused to open; you would be unaffected by its contents, would you not? Do this each time you are abused and you will not lose your serenity.”

The only kind of dignity, that is genuine, is that which is not diminished by the disrespect of others. You didn’t diminish the majesty of Niagra Falls by spitting in it.

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3. Learn to Listen When The Wise Speak: The Story of Bodhisattva

Once, the Bodhisattva was born as an ascetic. He had five hundred followers, who lived with him in his mountain abode. One day, half of his followers, including their chief had gone away looking for food. Suddenly, the Bodhisattva fell sick and took to bed.

The followers who had remained with him at the abode reached his bedside to tent to him. They asked him what his life’s achievement was. The Bodhisattva replied, “Nothing.” The followers failed to understand the true meaning of the wise man’s words.

They considered him to be a failure because he had achieved nothing. Soon after, the Bodhisattva died. The foolish followers gave him a simple burial, without any ceremony.

When the chief of the other half of the followers returned, he explained to the others that their master had achieved such divinity that he could see beyond the ordinary appearance of things.

But they did not understand him either. One night, the Bodhisattva appeared before his followers and said,

“The one who hears the Truth and understands it immediately is far better off than a hundred fools who spend a hundred years thinking.” The followers then realized that one should listen when the wise speak.

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4. A Wonderful Story About Lord Buddha, Swan & His Cousin

One day Prince Siddhartha was walking in the beautiful garden of the palace. Suddenly a swan flying in the sky fell before him. Siddhartha noticed that the swan was struck by a shooting arrow. He at once picked up the bird and gently removed the arrow from the swan’s body.

The swan was badly hurt and it was in a state of deep shock. Caring Siddhartha applied a bandage to swam’s wound and offered it some water to drink. He was absorbed in nursing the wounded swan.

Suddenly, Devadatta, Siddharta’s cousin came here and said to him, “Siddhartha Give me the bird. It’s mine.” But Siddharth refused to give him the bird.

Then Devadatta took his cousin to the court of the king for justice. “I shot the arrow and brought the bird down. It belongs to me,” said Devadatta.

“I nursed its wound and saved its life,” said Siddhartha. The king looked at the bird Siddhartha was holding.

“Had the bird been killed by your arrow, you could have claimed it,” said the king. “But Siddhartha saved it. One who saves is greater than one who kills. So this bird belongs to the Siddhartha, and not to you,” said the wise king.

By that time the wound had healed, and the swan had fully recovered. Siddhartha went out and let the bird go. The swan looked at Siddhartha for a few moments and showed gratitude by bowing its head.

Then it flew and Siddhartha watched till the swan fly so high in the air that it disappeared from his vision.

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5. The Mosquito & The Carpenter: A Past Life Story of Buddha

Once upon a time when Brahmadatta was the king of Benares, the Bodhisatta gained his livelihood as a trader. In those days in a border village in Kasi, there dwelt a number of carpenters. And it chanced that one of them, a bald gray-haired man, was planing away at some wood with his head.

His head was glistening like a copper bowl when a mosquito settled on his scalp and stung him with its dart-like sting. Said the carpenter to his son, who was seated hard by, “My boy, there’s a mosquito stinging me on the head. Do drive it away.”

“Hold still then father,” said the son. “One blow will settle it.”

(At that very time the Bodhisatta had reached that village in the way of trade, and was sitting in the carpenter’s shop.)

“Rid me of it!” cried the father.

“All right, father,” answered the son, who was behind the old man’s back, and, raising a sharp ax on high with intent to kill only the mosquito, he cleft his father’s head in two. So the old man fell dead on the spot.

Thought the Bodhisatta, who had been an eye-witness of the whole scene, “Better than such a friend is an enemy with sense, whom fear of men’s vengeance will deter from killing a man.” And he recited these lines:

Sense-lacking friends are worse than foes with sense;
Witness the son that sought the gnat to slay,
But cleft, poor fool, his father’s skull in two.

So saying, the Bodhisatta rose up and departed, passing away in after days to fare according to his deserts. And as for the carpenter, his body was burned by his kinsfolk.

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6. What Is The True Endurance: Past Life Story of Buddha

In one of his incarnations as Bodhisattva Lord Buddha was born as a bull. Even as a wild bull the Lord was very calm and composed. Due to his benevolent nature, a monkey tormented the bull Bodhisattva a lot.

The monkey sometimes jumped on his back, sometimes pulled his tail while at other times dangled on his horns. Still, the bull remained unperturbed.

One day the deities of the heavens said to the bull – “The monkey torments you so much. It deserves punishment.”

The bull said, “I very well understand the notoriousness of the monkey and I am also capable of exterminating him in one blow. People helplessly tolerate the wrongdoings of the powerful.”

“But true endurance consists in bearing the painful misconduct of those who are weaker than us. Non-resistance of evil is true Ahimsa.”

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7. The Story of Lord Buddha on How To Get Rid of Your Ego

It is easy to earn fame, but tough to retain and digest it. This fact could be exemplified by the incident, which occurred with a disciple of the Buddha. When he went on Pravrajya, his vibrant speeches fetched him immense praise. However, on returning to the Sangha, the manager, Anantapindaka, gave him an axe to cut and bring wood from the forest.

It was the rule of the Sangha that everyone had to do physical labor. But, he was considering himself too superior for such a ‘low grade’ work. Anantpindaka understood his feelings and sent him to Shravasti to meet the Buddha.

On reaching Buddha’s camp, he saw that the enlightened Buddha was himself begging for alms and even picking up the dried cow dung cakes from the roadside so that they could be used as fuel in the Sangha.

On meeting him, the divine mentor read his mind and explained, “To become an Arhat (the fittest), first dissolve your ego. Doing manual labor would not harm your glory in any way. Instead, abstaining from it would give rise to hypocrisy.”

The devotee understood the reality and saluted his savior. This is the message from every mentor to his disciple.

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8. The Princes & The Judas Tree: An Interesting Buddha Story

Once upon a time Brahmadatta, the King of Benares, had four sons. One day they sent for the charioteer and said to him, “We want to see a Judas tree. Show us one!”

“Very well, I will,” the charioteer replied.

But he did not show it to them altogether. He took the eldest at once to the forest in the chariot and showed him the tree at the time when the buds were just sprouting from the stem.

To the second he showed it when the leaves were green. To the third at the time of blossoming. And to the fourth when it was bearing fruit.

After this, it happened that the four brothers were sitting together and someone asked, “What sort of a tree is the Judas tree?”

Then the first brother answered, “Like a burnt stump!”

And the second cried, “Like a banyan tree!”

And the third, “Like a piece of meat!”

And the fourth said, “Like the acacia!”

They were vexed at each other’s answers and ran to find their father. “My Lord,” they asked, “what sort of a tree is the Judas tree?”

“What did you say to that?” he asked.

They told him the manner of their answers.

Said the king, “All four of you have seen the tree. Only when the charioteer showed you the tree, you did not ask him,

‘What is the tree like at such a time, or at such another time?’ You made no distinctions, and that is the reason for your mistake.”

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9. Why Buddha Refused To Forgive: An Inspiring Buddha Story

One day a famous businessman of the city came into Buddha’s assembly and spat at Buddha. He was furious because his children, instead of spending their time earning money, were meditating with Buddha. He was of the strong opinion that Buddha was misleading his children.

That’s why he insulted the Buddha in this manner. But Buddha said no single word and showed no reaction at all. He just smiled at him in his usual tone. The man walked away in a huff, shocked. He could not sleep all night.

For the first time in his life, he met someone who smiled when he was spat at. His whole world had turned upside down. The next day he went back to Buddha, fell at his feet, and said, “Please forgive me! I didn’t know what I did.”

But Buddha said, “No! I cannot excuse you!” Everyone in his assembly was taken aback! Buddha said, “Why should I forgive you when you have done nothing wrong?”

The businessman reminded him of what he did on the previous day. Buddha simply replied, “Oh that person is not here now. If I ever meet the person you spat on, I’ll tell him to excuse you. To this person here, you’ve not done any wrong.”

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10. Buddha Story on Handling Insult & Maintaining Compassion

One day Lord Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him by speaking vulgar words. “You have no right teaching others, he shouted.” You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake.”

Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead, he asked the young man “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom the gift belongs?”

The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered. “It would belong to me because I bought the gift.”

The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct, and the same is about your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me.

All you have done is hurt yourself. If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead. When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy. But when you love others, everyone is happy.”

The young man listened closely to these wise words of the Buddha. “You are right, O Enlightened One,” he said. Please teach me the path of love. I wish to become your follower.”

Source: Jataka Tales (Stories of Buddha’s Past Lives)

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“There is no fear for one whose mind is not filled with desires.”

– Gautama Buddha

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