How to save a girdled tree

Bridge grafting as a life-saving procedure for trees

Mirjana Bulatovic-Danilovich, Michigan State University Extension -

Evaluate your situation and you may be able to save trees rather than replace them.

In the previous article referring to trees damaged by rodents, I talked about doing damage assessment and collecting the scionwood. The objective of this article is to address the next steps.

Saving the trees

Before anything else, make an assessment whether or not the trees are salvageable; is it going to be worth the time and the effort of trying to save them? This is greatly determined by the:

  • Extent of damage
  • Tree age
  • Tree spacing.

For the young trees (1-2 year old) with severe damage (100 percent girdled trunk), cutting the trunk back below the injured area will save the tree. This will induce the regrowth and the newly developing shoot should be trained as a replacement tree.

The older trees need more involved “surgical” procedure known as - bridge grafting. As hopeful and good as this procedure is, it is not the answer for all trees. Stone fruits (cherry, peach, plum etc.) are very seldom successfully grafted. The other undesirable effect is in creating the opportunity for many disease (i.e. bacterial canker) and insect invasion (borer complex). Pome fruits (apples and pears) are in much better position. Both, young and old trees are easily grafted without too much trouble. For older trees, bridge grafting is an easy operation with high success rate.

Bridge grafting

To proceed with bridge grafting, following steps need to be done first:

  • Collect the scionwood (in anticipation of the damage)
  • Inspect the damage
  • Prepare the area around the tree to be grafted
  • Perform the grafting.

The first two steps should have been done along with the winter pruning or as soon as possible in early spring. It is essential to collect the scionwood from the dormant trees.

The last two steps are performed in May when the bark is “slippery” and is easily separated from the cambium without any damage to the bark or cambium. If the injury is right at the soil line or slightly below, one should dig down to the healthy part. It should be left exposed to the sun so it can worm-up and become “slippery”. This is done at least 10 days prior to grafting to insure high and good take/healing.

It is important not to rush the procedure. If the tree is not sufficiently “awake” the graft will not take. Tree sap or “juice” must be flowing for bark to “slip” easy!

What makes a good scionwood?

  • One year old growth at 3/8” in diameter. Water sprouts work well.
  • Straight branches 15-18” long.
  • Wood from healthy trees.
  • Wood from disease (fire blight) tolerant trees.
  • Cultivars for apples: Red delicious, Empire, Spy ...
  • Cultivars for pears: Old Home, Seckel, Kieffer ...

Bridge grafting - step by step

  • Clean up the wound and trim the bark to an even cut.
  • Prepare a scion-wood by cutting it at 3” longer than the length of the wound         .
  • Make a wedge cut on both ends of the scion-wood.
  • Make an inlay cut into the bark from the edges of the wound, approximately 2” long and as wide as the scion-wood.
  •  Remove the bark, so the healthy wood is exposed.
  • Place the wedged scion-wood into the slit and affix it with the nails.
  • Do the same with the other end.
  • Make sure that the scion-wood is at the slight bow. That will insure flexibility and better cambial contact.
  • Scion-wood should be placed every 3-4” apart all around.
  •  Upon completion, cover graft unions with the grafting compound or wax to preserve moisture and prevent drying out.

Completely girdled tree saved by the bridge grafts. Photo credit: M. Danilovich

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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How To Save A Girdled Tree from Dying – The Tree Care Guide

By knowing what to do when your tree is girdled, you may be able to save it from dying a fast death. Even though trees are magnificent in their survival tactics, they cannot overcome most cases of girdling on their own. gathered information on what girdling is, what can cause it, how to repair it, and when to call a professional.

To understand how to save your tree, you need to know what girdling is and what you are trying to repair.

A tree is girdled when water and nutrients can no longer flow between the canopy and the roots by way of the xylem and phloem (found directly underneath the bark). You will be trying to bridge the gap caused by bark damage, reconnecting the xylem and phloem.

While there are many causes of this condition, the following measures address girdling caused by damaged or removed bark around the circumference of the tree.

How To Fix Girdled Trees

When your tree is girdled due to bark damage, the following procedure may restore the flow of water and nutrients from the canopy to the roots:

1. Collect scion wood. These are “new growth” twigs about a thumb-size in diameter and 2 to 3 inches longer than the wound (mark the top part of the twigs to identify the flow or direction).

2. Clean the wound by removing any loose bark. Use a sharp and clean knife if necessary.

3. Trim one side of the twigs so they will lie flat on the tree trunk.

4. Trim each end of the twigs into a wedge shape.

5. Make two parallel cuts in the bark above and below the wound (in line with each other), you are creating flaps that the twigs (bridges) will be inserted under.

6. With the topside up, lift the flaps and place the bridge under them.

7. Cover the graft connections with a grafting compound or wax to preserve moisture and protect the grafts from infestation and disease.

8. Repeat this process every 3 to 4 inches around the damaged tree trunk.

If the trunk layers and bridges join, the flow of nutrients will be restored. If the bridges fail, the decline of the tree will occur quickly, and a professional should be called in to evaluate the tree and recommend a course of action.

Bridge Grafting Pros and Cons

Bridge grafting is comparable to bypass surgery, only for a tree. This procedure does not always work and is certainly not attractive. To learn more about this method, read

However, when bridge grafting succeeds in restoring the flow of water and nutrients within a tree, you get to enjoy the benefits of that tree for countless years to come.

What Causes Tree Girdling

There are many ways a tree can be girdled. Consider the following before making any decisions on treatments or courses of action:

• Bark damage or removal (by animal or human activity) occurring entirely around the circumference of the trunk.
• Extreme weather events that cause the stripping of the bark from the tree trunk.
• Lightning strikes can instantaneously evaporate the moisture within the bark. Such strikes can cause irreparable damage to the tree trunk.
• Circling roots can wrap themselves around the tree below the root flare. These roots tighten as they grow, and through immense pressure can stop the flow of water and nutrients between the crown and roots.

• Climbing vines are also a common culprit. As they grow and circle the tree trunk, the pressure they exert as they thicken can be enough to girdle the tree. Read more about how climbing vines damage trees at

• Strings, ropes, and chains left wrapped around tree trunks will eventually lead to the girdling of the tree. Over long periods, either friction will make them cut into the bark, or the outward growth of the tree trunk will cause them to tighten and eventually girdle the tree.
• A successful beetle infestation can wreak havoc as beetles will bore through the bark and feed on the xylem and phloem in all directions, eventually causing hydraulic failure through girdling.
• Diseases like verticillium wilt can cause girdling at a cellular level by causing the tree’s vascular system to “clog up” and stop the flow of water and nutrients from the crown to the roots.

When you suspect the girdling or hydraulic failure of a tree, it is essential that a professional tree service is called to evaluate the tree and offer a course of action. This may include treatment or removal.

Tree Girdling Repair

In this article, you discovered what girdling means, how to repair it, what causes it, and when to call a professional tree service.

By taking quick action to treat and repair a girdled tree, you can save it from dying a fast death.

When you allow a girdled tree to go untreated, the tree will die. A girdled tree’s root plate destabilizes over time, and the tree may topple in even the lightest of storms.


Tags:Circling RootsClimbing VinesHow To Save A Girdled TreeThe Tree Care GuidetreeTree Bark Damagetree careTree GirdlingTree Girdling RepairTree Health

Grafting and Budding of Fruit Trees - Gardener's Site 3-DAMJA

Grafting and Budding of Fruit Trees

Grafting Methods

Simple Copulation

Simple copulation is used mainly on young apple and pear trees, when the branches are relatively small (no more than 12 mm in diameter), and the bottom layer has approximately the same diameter as the shoot of the new cultivar.

Cutting - cut off a branch bottom layer, leaving a stump at least 30 cm long. Make a straight oblique cut about 3 cm long both on the shoot and on the stem (see A and C in Figure 1). Make the cut even and flat - one stab with a sharp knife will do it. For tongue, make a straight cut (not split) starting at the top and cutting along the entire length of the level (B and D).

Merge - Merge the two pieces together (E). If the process and stem do not have the same size, make sure that the process is in contact with the inner cortex with one side. If the toe of a stem or process extends beyond the heel of another, trim it evenly.

Figure 1. Simple copulation is usually used to graft root stems and shoots, but can also be used for grafting small branches.

Strapping and covering - tight secure with tape, then carefully cover the confluence and bonding material composition for vaccination.

This the type of grafting is difficult for the novice, but is widely used by experienced operators. It lends itself to the tape binding method. The tape serves to seal the wound and linking parts together.

then while other types of grafting depend on good bark glide, a simple copulation - no. In fact, it is better if you get this vaccination before narrow tongue of wood.

Aftercare - remove wrap as soon as the appendage begins to grow to prevent girdling tree.

Split graft

Graft splitting is used to process old old apple and pear trees on the trunk a small tree or on the side branches of a large tree. Best fit for branches with a diameter of 2.5 to 5 cm. Vaccinations are done within one and a half meters from the trunk or main branches and preferably no more than one and a half to three meters from the ground, otherwise the new top of the tree will be too high.

Figure 2. Inoculation splitting is used for large branches.

Cutting - Select a knot-free area and cut the trunk with a saw. Cut the cleft (by avoid splitting if possible) with a chisel, large knife or axe. After a few tests, you will know the correct depth of the crevice. AT horizontal branches, the cleft should be lateral, that is, not perpendicular to reduce gap due to birds and storms.

oblique cut about 5 mm above the upper primordium, cut off the processes so that they included three rudiments, and on a blunt wedge about 3 cm long, one side which is slightly thicker than the other (see A and B in Figure 2). If the cutting wedge cut to a sharp end, there is a risk of peeling the bark. Also spicy the wedge process is not suitable for a cleft (C).

Fusion - slightly open cleft with a grafting tool or a screwdriver. Insert the stem with each side, with the inner bark of the stem and process in contact. Tolstoy side of the process outward (B).

in mind that the bark of a larger stem is thicker than the bark of a process, therefore the process should not be at the same level with the trunk. Very light slope will provide contact at least where the cambium layers intersect (D).

Bonding and coating - no the need to tie, unless the trunk is small and does not tie well. Coat the confluence with grafting compound and make sure the gap is covered all the way. length (E).

Figure 3. In this An example of split grafting shows three stages of growth of a branch from a shoot.

Figure 4. Problems in the next storm. Don't let two leaders compete.

Subsequent care - Shoots that grow intensively will need attention to prevent breakage by birds, ice and storms. Or tie the appendix to a support brace (see B in fig. 3), or compress tips before growth becomes excessive. For additional support circle all shoots from one stump with twine (A).

During the first season, let all the shoots and the growth of the shoots from under the inoculation grow without interference. However, do not let this grafted plant shade the cuttings. Second spring, choose the most suitable shoot as a permanent branch and consider others as spares. Leave spare shoots to help with healing the stump, but cut them down to a few buds on each (see B). Third spring again strongly cuts off the spare shoots. In the fourth season or when overcrowding noted, cut off all spare shoots as deemed necessary (FROM).

Modified split graft

Instead of to try to master simple copulation or side grafting, use a simple kind of split grafting on a small grafted plant.

Surat 5. Üýtgedilen dilip sapma

Barrel (see B) about the same size as the process (A), can be divided and inserted wedge-shaped process.

If the trunk is larger than the process, be careful, take the process to one side, and not to the center (C). Thus, the cambium of the stem and the process will come into contact.

Warning wrap this inoculation (D) with a good quality rubber band. As the vaccine grows The tape stretches and breaks down over time.

Very large trees are generally poor subjects for split grafting, therefore, when transplanting their large branches, a slightly different method.

Caution cut down the branch, cutting it first so as not to tear the bark. Maybe, you will have to recut the barrel to make it smooth. Cut down the branch to get sprouts, not split it.

Make two cuts about 5 cm deep at right angles to each other through the end of the barrel, making a "+" shape. Then place the shoots in four places, made by these cuts.

Side graft

Although side grafting is adapted to a wide range of branch sizes (diameters from 5 to 15 mm), its use is usually limited to branches that are too large for simple copulation, but not large enough for split grafting. As the name implies, the process is inserted into the side of the trunk, which, as usually larger in diameter than the process.

Cutting - select a smooth spot on the lower branch parts at least 30 cm from the trunk. Make an oblique cut under the narrow angle almost to the pith (branch pith) (see B in figure 6). cut shoot into a short sharp wedge (about 25 mm) so that one side is thicker other (see A).

Figure 6. In a side graft, the incision runs across the fiber, to reduce splitting.

Merging - slightly bend the branch, to open the cut. Press on the appendage so that the layers of the cambium of the stem and processes met on one side (C).

Bonding and coating – No bonding required if the material binds well, but you may need to bind small materials if the process is not held firmly. The cut surfaces must be coated with the grafting compound (E).

Aftercare – Approx. after two weeks, cut off the stem above the confluence (D) using sharp scissors, so as not to damage the process. Then coat the cut surface with vaccinations (D).

If the graft has been tied, cut off the ligament shortly after the start of growth; this is prevent girdling. In the first season, you can allow some growth shoots from the graft, but don't let this growth obscure the shoot growth.

after the first season, all growth must be stopped, except for grafting.

Inspect grafts during the growing season to protect them from improper coating or binding. If shoots are attacked by bacterial scorched fruit trees, cut them 15 cm below the visible symptoms.


Budding – This is a form of grafting in which a single bud is used as a shoot, and not part of the stem. This is the most common method of growing fruit trees in the nursery, but it can also be used to process plums, cherries, apricots and peaches, as well as young apple and pear trees. (Cherry, plum, apricot and peach are not easily grafted split or by simple copulation).

Budding takes place in the summer, usually from 15 July to August 15, when the bark of the trunk slips easily and when well grown buds. In hot climatic zones, this can be done and winter/early spring. The first step is to cut the desired variety of buds from strong growth shoots of the current season (see A in Figure 7). These kidneys must be mature, as evidenced by a slightly brownish color.

Cut the leaves as soon as the eye stalk cut off, leaving about 12 mm of leaf petiole for the handle. Avoid soft heads of the ocular stalk. Wrap the eye stem in damp burlap, moss or paper to prevent drying out.

This In this way, you can process branches the size of a pencil up to 12 mm. bark over large branches too thick for satisfactory budding.

Cutting - On branches stem, about 40 cm or more from the trunk, make a T cut just above the bark (FROM). Then, using a knife blade or bark separator, lift the corners and gently loosen the bark.

Figure 7. In budding, one kidney does the work process.

Bud with wood attached

Cut off bud from an eye cutting (A), which includes a thin piece attached wood (B). Run the kidney under the cortical folds and lower it down by the handle (see D and E in figure 7).

Binding - use rubber strips, electrician's tape, or duct tape to tie the bud. Wrap and tie tightly, but make sure you don't cover the bud (see F on figure 7).

Aftercare - cut bunch before it becomes too tight, that is, after two or three weeks. Cut off the side of the kidney. The rubber bands do not need to be cut. Bud should remain dormant until next spring. Cut off the stem above bud as soon as the bud begins to grow.

Not allow shoots to grow.

after the second year, remove all additional growth from the stem, that is, leave only shoots grafted on a bud. When two or more buds grow, you can use all, but usually one is enough to create a new branch.

Bud removed wood

As shown in figure 8, cut well from A under kidney to B. Remove the knife and pass the blade only through the bark at B. Take bark between thumb and finger and pinch the bark with the attached kidney (C), free from wood (D). If the bud is fresh and in good condition, you will achieve success after several tries.

Figure 8. Bud with wood removed.

Kidneys from which a piece of wood has been removed have complete surface of the cambium exposed to match the uterine cambium, and sometimes lead to better growth, but they are not stiff enough to be easily address. A bud with wood attached is easier to work with and usually gives nice results. (See above for “Tethering” and “Aftercare” of the kidney).

Bridge grafting

When the bark of the tree is completely removed (girdle) around the trunk, this part of the tree over the damaged area will die. Even if they are fully girdled, some trees may fall and stay alive for one season, but both tip and root the second year will die if shoots do not appear under the belted areas.

Girdling can be caused by rodents, which damage many fruit trees every year. Sometimes a tree can appear girded only if the rodent has not passed through the bark to the wood. Sometimes the girdled area extends less than halfway around the trunk, and such injuries are protected from drying out, a new bark will grow from the cambium. Once you find an injury, cover it with bituminous grafting compound.

Rabbit damage, usually is some distance from the ground or snow line. These animals cut branches and tear the bark to shreds. Mice run underground out of sight under grass or snow. They usually start in one place and increase it. Compound-toothed flying squirrels gnaw roots underground. Trees damaged in this way often overturn and cannot be cured.

Fig. 9. Two Bridge Grafting Methods Shown (L-cut on the left and inlay on the right). The process on the left is inserted under the cortex on each end; The process on the right is placed in a depression at each end.

Treatment of girdled trees requires the following materials:

1. Sharp knife, like a good folding knife

2. Small nails for attaching cuttings to wood

3. Light hammer

4. Set of nails

5. Saw for cutting old thick bark

6. Shovel or spatula if damaged below ground level

7. Heavy cleaning brush for cleaning excavated bark

8. Dormant or freshly cut bridge extensions

9. Asphalt-containing graft or asphalt dressing

Scion – apple scions can be taken from any hardy variety of apple or forest apple. Pear sprouts need use for pear, plum for plum and so on. Old trees rarely give good shoots if they weren't well trimmed last year. If 1 year old wood is not available, 2-year-old wood can be used. If you can anticipate the need, you must cut off the shoots before growth begins. store them in a damp and cool place. You can cut off the sprouts, fresh as needed. necessary if you bridge quickly before growth begins shoots.

Small tree - apples and pears up to 5 cm in diameter too small to be connected. The wobble of such little trunks strong winds will knock out shoots. If the tree is below 2.5 cm, it is best to cut down just below the waist, and then cover the incision with an asphalt dressing or vaccination agent. Shoots of the same variety are likely to grow over the place where the tree was originally grafted. Trees 1 to 5 cm best possible process by cutting or sawing them below the injury in the spring and placing the shoots in the stumps by cleft grafting. Cherry and plum trees are not usually grafted successfully. If they are only 2 or 3 years old, cut them off under the injury and the new sprout will grow over the place where the tree was originally grafted.

How to vaccinate bridge - grafting with a bridge is done in the spring after the start of growth, when the bark of the tree to be treated will rise easily (slide) off the tree - usually between April 15 and May 15.

The first step is to trim the bark belted trees both above and below the belt. Trim damaged or frayed bark by 25mm or so to strengthen the bark. The edges must be clean and smooth. Scrape off the old rough bark to keep the bark alive.

There are two methods of insertion of shoots: (1) L-cut, best for trees with thin bark, and (2) inlay, for trees with thick bark.

To make an L-shaped cut, start with edges of the living bark and cut a cut about 5 cm long in the bark under the belt (left side in figure 9). Raise the edges with a blunt smooth tool. Such the tool can easily be made from hardwood or plastic. A thin comb file is good for this purpose. Do not use the extension to raise bark .

Figure 10. A quick way to connect girdled trees. The branches are cut out and inserted in essentially the same way as in Figure 9.

Prepare a second slot on the top side of the belt directly above the first.

measure it to the waist to determine the length of the process. Form the top the end of the process to a certain taper with a longer flat surface next to the tree. Insert the ends under the bark, nail them into place and nail the pieces of bark. When driving nails into a process or bark, be careful not to crush the bark. A set of nails will help avoid bark injuries.

Inlay method (right side of figure 9) - best bridge grafting method. In fact, it is a need for a short span. Select a bent process to make the bridge inlay. Measure the distance to be covered and make the escape long enough to extend 35-50 mm over the belt at each end. Cut straight, smooth front side at each end.

Drive a nail into each end. Attach it lightly to the bark of the tree to mark the spot. Circle each end of the bark, to get the exact size of the process. Remove the sprout, cut along the tree traces and pull out a piece of bark. Then place the process in the channels in the cortex and nail gently. Usually one nail is enough.

In any grafting method, place the shoot every 35-50 mm around the tree.

There is a third method to insert processes in the grafting of the pons, as shown in Figure 10. Weakening of the cortex, which borders on the damaged area, is almost never performed. It's a little less neat and requires a longer process, but it's faster and the same effectively.

Coating and care - When all the shoots are in place, the junction of the grafted parts should be covered with a vaccine. Note that all belted the surface must be coated and more than one coat may be required. In bridge grafting, cut off any branches or leaves and remove them from the shoots as soon as they begin to grow.

Jataka of the Girded with Fingers

This was once heard by me. The victorious one resided in Shravasti, in the garden of Jetavana, who provided him with Ananthapindada. At that time, King Prasenajit had a first adviser, a powerful and knowledgeable man. His wife became pregnant and gave birth to a child with signs of grace and an incomparably beautiful appearance.

When they invited an expert in omens and showed him the boy, he joyfully said: - This child, marked with signs of good merit, has outstanding abilities and a penetrating mind. - What name should be given to the boy? - Hearing such words, the father of the child asked. - What amazing thing happened at the time when the boy was in the womb? - asked, in turn, the connoisseur of signs. - The mother of the child was a meek and noble character before, - the adviser answered. - From the time of the conception of the child, her disposition became even more meek and noble. She spoke with pleasure about the virtues and good sides of other people and did not like to talk about their vices and shortcomings, she treated everyone around and the destitute with love and mercy. "Does not know sorrow."

The boy grew up with the care of his parents, and when he grew up, he became equal in strength with the most powerful fighters. He alone could resist a thousand people, in a jump he grabbed a bird flying in the sky, and he argued with a horse at the speed of running. For this, the parents fell in love with their son even more. At that time in that country there lived a brahmana, a connoisseur of sacred texts, who was famous for his learning. And five hundred students constantly studied with that brahmana.

Atapa's parents brought their son to him and gave him a Brahmin to teach. The young man Atapa was so diligent in his studies that he studied more in one day than others could learn in a year. And within a short time he comprehended all the sciences. The brahmin teacher placed special hopes on the young man. He brought Atapa closer to him and was constantly with him. Other students also treated the young man with great respect.

The Brahmin's wife, noticing the handsome appearance of the young man and his ability to learn, surpassing the abilities of other students, fell in love with Atapa and constantly thought about him. However, the young man was with other students day and night, so she did not have the opportunity to talk to him. And since her desires remained unfulfilled, passion was firmly rooted in the heart of a woman.

Once, a benefactor invited a brahmin and his disciples to stay with him for three months. Then the brahmin and his wife had the following conversation. “The Benevolent invited me to stay with the disciples for three months,” the brahman said, “shouldn’t I leave one of the students to do the housework?” “You know that there are a lot of housework and a capable person should do them . Therefore, you should leave the young man Atapa, a reliable man, - the delighted wife answered. Then the brahmin ordered Atapa: - You stay and look after the household, and I will go to visit the benefactor.

So, by order of the mentor, Atapa stayed at home. When the brahmana and his disciples left, the extremely delighted wife, perfectly dressed up, began to seduce the young man in all sorts of ways. But Atapa did not succumb to her tricks. Then lust jumped up in her, and she said bluntly: - Although I have long been in love with you, but there was no opportunity before. Now the master has gone, leaving you, so we are alone, and the time has come. Satisfy my desire! - I am a brahmin, - answered Atapa, - and by virtue of the dharma of a brahmin, I should not sleep with the wife of a mentor. If I do this, I will not be a Brahmin. So I'd rather die, but I won't.

From an unfulfilled desire, the mentor's wife was seized with shame and annoyance, which turned into anger, and she decided to quarrel [the mentor] and Atapa. Before the return of the brahmin, his wife tore her clothes, scratched her face with her nails, got dirty with dust and, as if dishonored, fell to the ground without uttering a word. Returning, the brahmin entered the house and saw his wife in such a state. - What happened to you? - he asked her. - What is there to ask, - she answered with tears. - What happened? - insistently asked the brahmin. - Speak! And the wife, sobbing, answered: - When you left, your vaunted Atapa constantly forced me to lie down with him. Without forcing him, he tore my clothes and injured my face. What kind of students do you have! Hearing these words, the brahmin became very angry and said to his wife:

- Atapa is so strong that one can cope with a thousand people, besides, he is the son of a great adviser and a noble family. Therefore, we must carefully make sure that he commits a crime. He came to Atapa, encouraged him with suitable pleasant words and asked: - When I was absent, great cares probably caused you a lot of anxiety? - After such an introduction, the brahmin said: - You did good for me as much as you could, and I will always remember your good deeds. Now I will instruct you in one secret teaching that I have not yet revealed to anyone. If you act in accordance with my instructions, you will be reborn as the deity Brahma.

The young man Atapa, kneeling down, asked to instruct him in the secret teaching. And the brahmin gave Atapa this instruction. - If you chop off the head of a thousand people within seven days, while fasting, take a finger from each and make a girdle out of a thousand fingers, then you will see the deity Brahma with your own eyes, and after death you will immediately be reborn as a deity. Brahma.

Atapa doubted, having heard such a teaching of the mentor, and told him: - It is unbelievable that the taking of life could lead to the birth of the deity Brahma. If you don't believe me, then don't stay here, go wherever you want. Having said this, he cast a spell and plunged his sword into the ground. The uttered spell caused Atapa to have a fit of anger. The mentor, seeing that the young man had become angry, gave him a sword in his hand, and Atapa, holding the sword, ran out of the gate.

He killed the people he met, cut off their fingers and attached them to the belt. That's why everyone called him "The Girded Fingers". So, killing everywhere, on the seventh day he collected nine hundred and ninety-nine fingers, and he lacked only one finger to complete a thousand. However, all the people fled and hid, not a single one showed up, and no matter how much the young man searched, he could not find anyone else. The mother of the young man, who had not eaten for seven days, took pity on him and wanted to send him food.

However, everyone was frightened, and no one dared [to bring food to him]. Then the mother herself took the food and went to her son. He, seeing his mother walking from afar, rushed to her, intending to kill her. The mother shouted to the young man: “Are you really, having lost the feeling of filial respect and thinking about evil, will you commit a sinful deed and kill your mother?” “According to the instructions of my teacher, I must type a thousand fingers in seven days,” the son answered her. - If I type a thousand fingers, I can be reborn as the deity Brahma. Now I have an incomplete number of fingers, and I am forced to kill you. - If so, - said the young man's mother, - then can't you not kill me, but just cut off your finger?

And then the Victorious looked from afar and, knowing that the time for conversion [to the true faith] had come, turned into a monk and went in that direction. "Girded with fingers", seeing the monk, retreated from the murder of his mother and rushed towards the monk, intending to kill him.

Buddha, seeing such a swift approach, began to leave with a quiet, calm step. "Girded with fingers" rushed after him, but, no matter how hard he tried, he could not overtake. From afar, he shouted: - Monk! Get some rest. The victorious one from afar answered: - I am constantly resting, it is you who do not rest. - How is it, you are resting, but I am not resting? - asked "girded fingers."

And the Victorious One said to this: - I am resting, because my feelings are constantly at rest and I have gained the power of samadhi. But you, falsely instructed by the teacher, are given over to sin, and your thoughts, subjected to seduction, do not give you rest. Therefore, you are engaged in murderous activities day and night, doing endless sinful activities. As soon as the “Girdle of Fingers” heard these words, he penetrated their essence with his thoughts.

Throwing his sword on the ground, Atapa greeted the Victorious from afar and shouted: - I resort to your protection! The victorious one approached and revealed the form of the Buddha, adorned with thirty-two radiant bodily signs. "Girded with fingers", seeing the body of the Buddha, marked with brilliant signs, fell to the ground and in repentance told about his sins.

The Victorious One instructed him in the Teaching, as a result of which Atapa began to look at the Teachings of the Buddha with a completely pure Dharmic eye. Filled with faith, he asked to be accepted as a monk, to which the Victorious said: - Come in goodness! And then the hair on his face and head shaved by itself, and he became a monk. And when the Victorious taught him the proper sections of the Teaching, his thoughts were completely purified, and he became an arhat. After that, the Victorious led him to the grove of Jetavana.

At that time, all the people and animals that lived in that country were horrified when they heard the nickname "Girded with fingers." Pregnant women and female animals from fear could not even give birth. It so happened that at that time one elephant could not be relieved from the burden. The victorious one then ordered the "girded with fingers": - Go to that elephant and tell her: "I have not killed a single person since birth until this day." - the young man asked. - You have just been reborn anew in the noble Teaching, - the Victorious answered this.

After that, the "girded with fingers" put on a monastic robe and, in accordance with the command of the Victorious, came to the elephant and uttered these words. And the elephant was immediately safely relieved of the burden, and "Girded with fingers" returned back.

In the meantime, King Prasenajit set out with an army to capture the "Girded with Fingers" and approached the grove of Jetavana. In the grove there was a nondescript monk, of small stature, who had an extremely harmonious voice. He created a song in the temple, and an army; hearing it, she froze, seized by the desire to listen without end. Elephants and horses also pricked up their ears and listened, not wanting to go any further. Surprised, the king asked: “Why don’t elephants and horses move further?” “They want to listen to a harmonious voice, so they don’t go,” the answer followed. born in the human world. You must immediately listen, - said the king and went to the Jetavana grove. There he got down from the chariot drawn by the elephant, unfastened his sword, ordered the umbrella to be put aside and went to the Victorious. Presenting himself before his eyes, the king bowed his head in greeting to the Victorious and said: - I would like to see who this monk with a euphonious voice is, and give him four thousand karshapanis. - First give a gift, and then you will meet him, for if If you meet him first, you won’t want to give even one karshapani,” the Victorious One said to the king.

After that, the king met with the monk and found that he was so ugly and small that now the thought would not arise to give him at least one karshapani. Then the king knelt before the Victorious One and asked: “What deeds did this ugly and undersized monk, who has such a sweet-sounding voice, do in previous births, what made him so?” “Listen well and remember,” said the Victorious One, and I will tell you.

In times long past, when the Buddha Kashyapa, having come into the world, did good to living beings, and then retired to nirvana, there lived a king named Krikritsi. This king collected the earthly remains of the Buddha Kasyapa, intending to build [above them] a stupa. Then the four naga lords, turning into people, came to that king and asked: - Will you build this stupa from jewels or from the earth? - It would be necessary to build this stupa from jewels, - the king answered, made from earth. After all, each side of the stupa will stretch for five yojanas, and the height of the stupa will be twenty-five yojanas. Then the four naga lords said to the king: - We are the lords of the nagas and we want to give the king jewelry to build a stupa. The king was very happy when he heard these words, and said:

- Such, giving is simply excellent! Then the lords of the Nagas continued: - On the four sides of the city outside it there is a large spring. If you take water from a spring on the east side and knead bricks on it, then all of them will be made of lapis lazuli. If you take water from the spring on the south side and knead bricks on it, then all of them will be made of gold. If you take water from a spring on the western side and knead bricks on it, then all of them will be made of silver. If you take water from a spring on the north side and knead bricks on it, then they will all turn out to be made of crystal. Hearing such words, the king was even more delighted.

He appointed four guards, each of whom was responsible for the construction of one side of the stupa, and work began. Three guards were already finishing their sections of the stupa, and the fourth, due to his laziness, was still far from complete. The king, who personally came to see the construction of the stupa, said to the sloth: - Since you did not try, your work is not finished. I will punish you. That man flared up when he heard the words of the king, and said: - You will never finish such a huge stupa!

However, forced by the king, the lazy overseer and his workers began to work tirelessly day and night, so that all sections of the stupa were completed at the same time. The inflamed overseer, seeing the wonderful view and extraordinary beauty of the stupa, the brilliance of its precious materials, was very happy and repented of the sinfulness of his previous behavior. He attached a golden bell to the top of the stupa, while saying this prayer: “Wherever and whenever I am reborn, may I have a sweet voice, such that all living beings rejoice hearing it. In future times, may I meet the Buddha Shakyamuni and be freed from samsaric existence!" - Great king!

At that time, in that life, the overseer of the construction of one side of the stupa, who said in a fit of temper that the stupa was excessively large, is the current monk. Only for the words "the stupa is excessively large" he was always reborn as an ugly dwarf. However, due to his prayer for obtaining a sweet voice and meeting me, which he uttered, joyfully bringing a golden bell attached to his stupa, for five hundred births he had a sweet voice, and now, having met me, he has gained liberation from samsara.

After listening to this story, the king was about to leave. - King! Where are you going? - Victorious asked him. - In this country there is a scoundrel, who is called "Girded with fingers." He has already killed many people and will continue to do evil. Therefore, we are going to finish him off. - From now on, "Girded with fingers" will not even kill an ant, and there is nothing to say about anyone else, - said the Victorious. The king thought: “Didn't the Victorious one lead that villain to the true faith?” The Victorious one continued: “This “Girded with fingers” has now become a monk and became an arhat. He was freed from the filth of all sins and now resides in this dwelling. If the king wants to meet with him, then he can do it here, - added the Victorious, and sent the king to the cell "Girded with fingers."

When the king approached the door of the cell of the "Girded with Fingers", he heard the sounds of expectoration coming from inside. The king immediately remembered the many dead people and was so frightened that he fell unconscious to the ground. Only after a long time did he come to his senses, returned to the Victorious and told him about what had happened. In response to this, the Victorious said to the great king: “Listen well, great king.

Long ago in Jambudvipa, in the country of Varanasi, there lived a very poisonous bird that fed only on poisonous worms. Her body was so poisonous that it was dangerous not only to touch it, but even to come close to it. Wherever that bird flew, all living beings fell to the ground in confusion and were in fear. Once that poisonous bird flew into the grove and, sitting on the top of the tree, gave its voice. And near that tree was the king of elephants. Hearing the cry of a poisonous bird, he immediately fell unconscious to the ground.

Great king! At that time, that poisonous bird was the current "Girdle of fingers." The king of the elephants was you yourself, the great king. Then the king said to the Buddha: - This "Girded with fingers" in his frenzy killed so many people, and the Victorious confirmed him in goodness. "Girded with fingers," having also killed all these people, was instructed by me on the path and acquired good thoughts. and about the reason for such villainous deeds.” And the Victorious one told.

Long ago, countless kalpas ago, in Jambudvipa, in the country of Varanasi, there was a king named Balamadar. Once this king, accompanied by four types of his army, went to the forest to have fun hunting. Having met the red beast, the king was carried away by its pursuit and, having lost his retinue, he found himself alone in a dense forest. Tired, he dismounted from his horse to rest. And in that dense forest lived a lioness. Burning with lust, she wandered through the forest and came across the king, who was alone.

Here the lust of the lioness flared up with even greater force. Overwhelmed with desire, she approached the king, lifting her tail. The king, seeing the animal languishing with passion, thought: "This predator is ferocious, and he has enough strength to kill me. If I do not fulfill his desire, then I will be finished." And, seized with fear, he satisfied the passion of the lioness. After that, the lioness left, and the servants who came to the rescue escorted the king through the door. That lioness suffered and in due time gave birth to a son, completely human in appearance, only with motley legs. The lioness, remembering that this was the king's son, put him on her back and delivered him to the king, who, also recognizing him as his child, took him up and named him Kalmashapada, or "Spotted".

The boy grew up and grew up to be a very brave and courageous young man. After the death of the king, he inherited the royal throne and took two wives: one wife - from the Kshatriya family, and the other - from the Brahmin family. Once Kalmashapada went for a walk in the country park and said to his wives: - Wives, both of you, follow quickly. With the one who first meets me, I will spend a full day in games and fun. The one who arrives later will not be allowed to see me.

When the king had departed, the two wives dressed up, prepared their chariots, and set out at the same time. On the road stood a joss-house. The wife, who came from a Brahmin family, stepped off the chariot in front of her, bowed to the deity and quickly moved on. However, she arrived later and, in accordance with the order of the king, was not allowed to see him. In anger, that wife grumbled at the deity, saying to him such words: “Having honored you, I was late to the king and could not be with him. If you truly have power, then why did you refuse me protection and help ?!”

And she planned to do harm to that deity. When the king returned to the palace, this wife turned to him with such a request: - Allow me to spend one day at my own discretion. - I allow it, - the king agreed. Then the woman, having gathered many people, went to the idol and destroyed it, razing it to the ground. Such an act caused great irritation in the deity - the guardian of the joss-house. In anger, this deity decided to harm the king and came to the palace. But the deity - the guardian of the palace did not let him inside.

At that time, a Rishi lived on the mountain called "The Seat of the Rishi". King Kalmashapada honored that rishi with treats, and therefore the rishis flew from day to day through the sky to the palace. Since he did not want refined food, he ate coarse food and, having eaten a little, went away. One day, the rishi did not come, and the deity [the keeper of the broken joss-house], having learned about this, turned into a rishi, intending to enter the palace. However, the guardian deity of the palace recognized him and did not let him through. Then the first deity shouted outside the door: - They are not allowed to enter! - Outside, the rishi is calling, quickly let him go! then ordered the king. And the deity - the guardian of the palace, in accordance with the order of the king, let the werewolf pass.

Entering inside, the werewolf sat down in the place of the rishi, and the king offered him the food that was always prepared for the rishi. The werewolf Rishi did not want to eat this food and said to the king, “This food is very bad. I would eat meat and fish. “Great rishi,” the king replied, “because you used to eat simple food, the meat is not cooked.” “From now on, I will not eat this bad food,” said the werewolf rishi, “cook fish and meat. - With these words, the werewolf left. Then the king ordered meat and fish to be prepared, as the werewolf rishi desired, and when the real rishi came, he served them to him. The real rishi was indignant and angry with the king, but he said to him: - Great rishi! Didn't you order to cook just such food in your arrival yesterday? - I fasted all day yesterday and did not come, - the rishi objected, - who could have ordered that?! You did this to defame me. For this you, king, may you eat only human flesh for twelve years! - said the rishi and left.

It so happened that once the royal cook did not have meat. Not finding anything else in a hurry, he, seeing the corpse of a child, thought: "And such meat will do." Having chopped off the head, arms and legs of the corpse, the cook cooked the meat, flavored it with various spices and served it to the king. The king, having eaten that meat, found that it was much tastier than the former, and asked the cook: - The former meat did not have such a taste, This meat is much tastier. Whose is it? Frightened, the cook fell to the ground and begged: - If the king does not charge me with guilt, then I will tell everything honestly. - Be honest, - the king said, - and you will not be blamed. - it so happened that, having no meat at hand, I found the corpse of a child and cooked it. - This meat is very tasty, - said the king, - always cook such meat from now on.

In response to the king’s words, the cook said: “Although I managed to find the corpse of a child whose meat I cooked for food, however, in the future I may not find such a thing. ” From now on, the king ordered, you can take children secretly so that no one seen. I have the power to do so. Fulfilling the order of the king, the cook kidnapped children at night and prepared food [from their meat] the next day. After a while, most of the townspeople burst into wailing. "My son is gone," was heard here and there. "Why is this happening?" the advisers asked. At night, guards were placed at the crossroads of streets, the vigil of which was captured by the kidnapper of children - the royal cook. Having tied him up, they brought him before the face of the king and said: “Many children have disappeared lately. However, the king remained silent.

This was repeated three times, but the king continued to be silent. “We seized the one who committed the atrocities, and since the criminal was discovered, he should be sentenced, and here silence is inappropriate,” the [advisors] said to the king again. “I ordered,” the king answered.

The dissatisfied and angry advisers dispersed, and leaving the palace, they said to one another: "The king is an enemy who devours our children. One cannot live together and have business with a king who eats human flesh. Such a malicious enemy should be destroyed." And all unanimously decided to kill the king. Outside the city there was a grove with a pond, where the king went daily to take a bath. The advisers hid an armed detachment in a grove, and when the king was bathing in a pond, the detachment surrounded and seized him, intending to kill him. The frightened king turned to the detachment with these words: - Why did you come to surround and seize me? And the advisers told the king the following: - The one named king must take care of his many subjects. And due to the fact that the king devoured the children of his subjects, they all do not find a place for themselves from unbearable suffering. That is why, king, they will kill you. - Of course, such deeds of mine were a sin, - the king answered, - but if I do not do this in the future, will you let me go or not? - Even if black snow falls from heaven, and on your head a black snake is born, - the advisers answered this, - then we will not let you go! And don't talk about it anymore!

Hearing these words of the advisers, King Kalmashapada thought: "Now I will inevitably have to give my life. " And, having thought so, he said to his advisers: - If you have already decided to kill me, then let me calmly indulge in my thoughts for a minute, and then kill me. The advisers waited a little, giving the king the opportunity to indulge in his thoughts, and he silently uttered the following spell: “By the power of all my good merits that I acquired earlier, when I did good deeds, I exercised royal rule according to dharma, honored the rishi with alms, may I turn into Rakshasa flying in the sky!"

And immediately after this spell, he turned into a rakshasa, soared into the sky and grunted from above to the dignitaries: - Although you wanted to kill me, but as a result of my good merits, I remained alive. From now on I will put you to death, I will devour your wives, dear children and all subjects! - With these words, he flew away, sank down the mountain and since then turned into a devourer of people. People, seized with fear, constantly fled and hid.

And that Rakshas, ​​who devoured people, acquired a large company of other Rakshasas, had a retinue and numerous servants. Once, Rakshasas from the retinue said to Rakshas Kalmashapada: - Since we are your retinue and your servants, arrange a feast for us. The Rakshas Kalmashapada decided: "Be like this," and they agreed to kill five hundred kings and prepare them for a feast. After that, the Rakshasas went, began to catch the kings and put them in a cave.

They caught four hundred and ninety-nine kings, only one was missing for a full count. The kings, planted in a cave, rendered one to another: - We suffer, and there is no protection for us. Now, if the mighty Sutasoma arrived here, he could save us. Let's ask a rakshasa to bring Sutasoma here. And having agreed in this way, they turned to the king of the Rakshasas with the following words: - King, if you are going to arrange a feast, then by killing us, ordinary human kings, for a treat, you will not arrange a good feast. But if you get a king called Sutasoma and possessing great virtues, then the feast will be majestic. - Oh, how wonderful it is! - said the king of the Rakshasas, soared into the sky and went for Sutasoma.

Meanwhile, Sutasoma, accompanied by young maidens, went outside the city to take a bath. On the way, he met a mendicant brahmin, and giving him gifts, he said: - I'm going to take a bath. On the way back, I'll give you another gift. When Sutasoma came to the place and bathed, the king of the Rakshasas appeared and took him to the cave. Saddened, Sutasoma burst into tears, and Kalmashapada asked him: - They say that you are the one with the highest virtues. But a great being fears nothing. Why are you sad and crying like a little child? Sutasoma said to the rakshas: - I am sad not because, attached to a mortal body, I am frightened by the rakshas. But because I had never lied before, and now, on my way to take a bath, I met a mendicant brahmin on the road and said that on the way back, after bathing, I would bestow upon him. When I was bathing, you, the king, carried me here. And from the thought that I lied, I am in sorrow. I do not feel sorry for my body and life, and if you, king, out of mercy for me, wait seven days, then, having bestowed upon that brahmin, I will return to you to accept death. Rakshasa objected to this: - If I let you go now, will you return? - If I do not return, - answered Sutasoma, - then you have the power to [again] grab [me]. - And Sutasoma was released. When Sutasoma returned home, the brahmin was still waiting for him. Joyful, Sutasoma bestowed upon him, and the brahmin, knowing that Sutasoma would soon return [to the rakshasa] to lose his life, and grieving because of attachment to his country, said to him such slokas:

When the end of the kalpa comes,
the skies and the rivers will burst into flames: Mount Meru and the seas also
completely turn to dust.
Gods, nagas and asuras - all,
having lost their strength, they will be defeated,
and if there is neither earth nor sky,
think about how the reign of the king can be preserved?
Births, old age, sickness and death
the cycle has no end,
and failure to fulfill mortal desires
entails pain and suffering.
The harm from desire is extremely great,
more than from other sins; when the three worlds are filled with suffering,
then there is no point in thinking about the kingdom.
Everything originally existing will disappear,
it is formed by causes and effects; s
and old age comes in the prime of life,
and the truth inevitably turns into a lie.
All beings from beginning to end are in the illusory world,
and like the emptiness of the three worlds, the government of the country is also empty.
Supreme wisdom is incorporeal, but born from ignorance,
dwelling in four poisonous snakes, everything is revered as good.
The body does not have an eternal "I", the heart does not have an eternal soul,
and if you part with your body and heart, then there is nothing to regret about the kingdom.

When Sutasoma heard these slokas and understood their meaning, he was very happy, appointed an heir to the kingdom, swore in his advisers and, in accordance with his promise, prepared for the return journey. Then the advisers turned to him with the following words: - Do not be afraid of King Kalmashapada. Our opinion is this: if the king stays in an iron house built to protect the royal person, then no matter how powerful Kalmashapada is, he will not be able to do anything. conscientiousness, not allowing to tell a lie. If I tell a lie, then I will not be happy to stay alive. Therefore, I will fulfill the promise I made earlier, and it would be better if I die, but I will not stay alive at the cost of a lie:

Having said this, the king uttered many praises of conscientiousness and spoke of the many harmful consequences of lying, so that the dignitaries felt overwhelmed and could not utter a word. Everyone saw off the king, everyone wept and moaned, stretched out their hands to him, lost their senses.

When Sutasoma set off, the Rakshasa Kalmashapada thought: "It's time for Sutasoma to arrive" - ​​and, having climbed to the top of the mountain, from afar he saw Sutasoma going to his death. When he approached, the Rakshas saw that Sutasoma's face was much more cheerful than before. Then the king of the Rakshasas asked Sutasoma: Why do you rejoice at me when you see death? Or did you find something good in your country, and it made you so happy? Sutasoma replied to this: - Great king! You, having shown immeasurable mercy, extended my life, so that, without breaking the previous promise, I made a great gift and, having listened to the holy Teaching, imprinted it in my memory. And now that my thought has come true, it is more joyful to give one's life here than to remain alive.

Then King Kalmashapada said: - What kind of Teaching did you listen to? Tell me about him. Sutasoma recounted the slokas he had heard to Kalmashapada, and besides, knowing how great the sin of killing and how inevitable the retribution that negative deeds entail, he told the Rakshasa king about it in detail. And when Sutasoma widely showed him the goodness of non-deprivation of life [living beings], the greatness of good merit and the significance of kindness, the Rakshasa Kalmashapada was very happy, bowed down before him and, in accordance with the instructions given, refused to commit further killings and released the kings, planted in a cave, into their countries.

After that, Sutasoma, having gathered an army, met with Kalmashapada and again elevated him to the throne. By this time, a full twelve years had passed since the moment of the Rishi's conjuration, so that Kalmashapada could no longer eat human meat and, as before, exercised good rule. - Great king! In that life, at that time, Sutasoma is me now. King Kalmashapada is now "girded with fingers". The people whom Kalmashapada devoured at that time in twelve years are the people killed by the "Girded with Fingers." These people, whenever and wherever they were born, were always killed by him. But in all births I led him to virtue. - What did these people do in a long-standing birth, if in all subsequent births they were killed by "girded with fingers"? - asked the king of the Victorious.

And then the Victorious said: - O great king, listen carefully, and I will tell you about it. Long ago, countless kalpas ago, here in Jambudvipa, in the land of Varanasi, there was a king named Baladara. The king had two sons of such a beautiful appearance that you can’t take your eyes off, and also gifted with great abilities. Once the youngest son thought: “If my father dies, then the elder brother will become king, but I, as the youngest, will never gain royal dignity. I will go to the mountains and take the path of ascetic life." With these thoughts, he came to the king-father and began to ask him: - I would like to go to the mountains and take the path of hermitage. If you love me, then don't mind my desire. The king agreed, and the prince went into the desert. Many years have passed since that time. The tsar-father died, and the elder brother ascended the throne. But the elder brother did not reign for long. He soon fell ill and died, and there was no successor to the royal family.

The dignitaries gathered and began to deliberate what to do. One of them said: - The youngest son of the great king, with the royal permission, is now leading the life of a hermit in the mountains. Let's invite him to the kingdom. - If this is really so, - the other dignitaries agreed, - then without delay we will invite him to the kingdom. - And they went to the mountains in search of the prince. Having met him, they said: - We do not have a king, and we have come to make you king. - Your words are terrible, - said the hermit. - Here I am in goodness and have no worries. Worldly people are unbridled, kings are killed. I can’t [be a king]. “The royal family is interrupted, and there is no successor to it,” the dignitaries objected to this. - Only you, a hermit, belong to the royal family, and since the inhabitants of the country have lost their protector *, then we ask you; in the name of compassion for many living beings, come as a king! The hermit could not refuse and, fulfilling the request of dignitaries, returned to his country and became king. That hermit from his youth was not defiled by lust.

But, having become a ruler, he gradually became defiled by women, so much so that sensual desires awakened in him with great force. Day and night, he did not know how to keep them and even issued the following decree: "People of my country who have daughters for marriage, let them first send them to me, and then marry them off." And besides, he used for evil every beautiful woman of his state, who came to his taste.

One day a woman appeared naked in front of a large gathering of people and prepared to urinate. Everyone said, laughing: - Look what this shameless woman is doing. Then that woman said: - Why is it shameful when a woman urinates in front of other women? After all, you are not ashamed to urinate one in the presence of another, so I am not ashamed, since I urinate among effeminate people. - What do the words spoken by you mean? people asked. “There is only one king in this country, a man,” she answered, “all the rest are nothing more than women.” If you were men, the king would not be able to commit such obscenities!” “This woman is telling the truth,” the people said. - For his immorality, the king must certainly be destroyed! And, having consulted, they all decided to kill the king when he went to his park.

When the king approached the pond, the armed men who had hidden in the park attacked him from all sides and seized him, intending to kill him. “What are you doing?” the king shouted in fear. And the dignitaries told him these words: - The king did not act in accordance with the laws of morality, but, overcome by lust, dishonored, humiliated and insulted the entire population of the country. Unable to endure it any longer, we decided to destroy you and find a wise ruler. - Before, I really did evil, but if there is no such thing in the future, will you let me go? - Even if black snow falls from the sky, and a black snake is born on your head - answered the dignitaries, - then we won’t let you go, and don’t ask!

Hearing this, the king thought: "Now they will certainly kill me." And in a rage, he said to the dignitaries: - Before I lived in the mountains and was a stranger to everything worldly. You forced me to become king, and now you want to kill me. Wherever I was born, may I meet you and kill you! But although the king uttered such a spell, they did not let him go, but killed him. - The great king, - said the Victorious, - the hermit, the king of that time, is now "Girded with fingers", But the people who at that time conspired to kill the king - these are the people now killed by the "Girded Fingers".

They have always [in all births] been slain by the "girded fingers". The king knelt down and asked the Victorious: - This monk "girded with fingers", who killed so many people, is now, when he has gained the good fruit of monasticism, retribution for what he has done?

And the Victorious answered this: - O great king, if you commit a sinful deed, then retribution for it is inevitable. This monk, who is now in his cell, is experiencing unbearable torment from the hellish fire escaping from all the pores of his body. After that, the Victorious, in order to make others understand the inevitability of retribution for sinful deeds, said to one monk: - Monk, go, take the key and insert it into the keyhole of the cell "girded with fingers." Following this instruction, the monk took the key and inserted it into the keyhole, which immediately melted the key.

The frightened monk returned to the Victorious and told him what had happened. The victorious one said to that monk: - This is retribution for committed sins. From this, the king and his retinue were filled with faith. Then the venerable Ananda turned to the Victorious with these words: - What good did the monk “Girded with fingers” do in his previous birth, if his strength was equal to the strength of a great fighter, and his speed could argue with a bird? What goodness did he create if, having met the Victorious One, he freed himself from samsaric existence? Show mercy and tell about this to your numerous entourage. And the Victorious One said: “Listen well!

Long ago, in the time of Buddha Kashyapa, there was a monk who was in charge of household affairs. Once he was walking, carrying more than thirty measures of grain, and on the way he got caught in the rain. There was no shelter, and the grain that was in the vessel was all wet. The monk tried to walk faster, but could not, as he was weighed down by the water that soaked him. And then the monk uttered such a prayer: “In future times, may my strength be equal to the strength of a thousand people, and the speed of my body be like a flying bird!

In future times, when I meet Shakyamuni Buddha, who has come into the world, may I be freed from samsaric existence!" - Ananda, do not consider him for another. The monk who was in charge of household affairs at that time is now the monk "Girded with fingers." The monastic rank, observance of the rules of moral discipline, devotion to the affairs of the monastic community led to the fact that, by his prayer, he was always born gifted! Beautiful appearance, great physical strength and dexterity. And when he met with me, by virtue of the same prayer he got rid of the samsaric existence. After Ananda, the monks, and the numerous royal retinue listened to the teaching of the Victorious One about the inevitable retribution for sinful deeds, they all gave rise to zeal for the creation of good. By imprinting the four noble truths in their minds, some have attained the fruition of stream entry, one return, non-return, and arhatship.

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