temple with regard to the thoughtless use of things.
At one time, the monks of that day were thoughtless in their use of the four requisites [catu-paccaya-s]. These are clothing, food, shelter, and medicine. Such thoughtlessness barred their escape from the cycle of re-becoming [puna-
bbhava]. Knowing this, the Buddha set forth rules with regard to their careful usage. The Buddha said, “Thoughtless use of the four requisites is like taking deadly poison. And there are, indeed, those in the past who by their thoughtlessness did inadvertently take poison.” Saying this, the Buddha told a Jātaka story of the past: Once upon a time there was a rich man living in Benares who was addicted to gambling. He played dice with another gambling addict, a man whose mind worked in tricky
ways. While the rich gambler was very honest and above board, the tricky one was dishonest. When he kept on winning he kept on playing. But when he began to lose he secretly put one of the dice in his mouth and swallowed it. Then he claimed it was lost and stopped the game. The rich gambler began to notice this trick. Then one day he decided to teach him a lesson. He smeared poison on
the dice and let it dry so it was invisible. He took these dice to the usual place and said, “Let’s play dice!” His friend agreed. They set up the gambling board and began to play. As usual the tricky one began by winning every throw of the dice. But as soon as he began to lose he sneaked the dice into his mouth. Seeing this the rich gambler said, “Swallow now, and then something you don’t expect will happen. Your own dishonesty will make you suffer much.” After swallowing the poison dice the trickster fell down sick and fainted. The rich gambler, who was basically good at heart, thought, “Enough is enough. Now I must save his life.”
He made a medical mixture to cause vomiting. He made him swallow it, and he threw up the poison dice. He gave him a drink made with clear butter, thick palm syrup, honey and cane sugar. This made the trickster feel just fine again. Afterwards he advised him not to deceive a trusting friend again. Eventually both gamblers died and were reborn
as they deserved.
At the end of this Jātaka story, the Buddha said:
“I, myself, was the honest rich gambler in the past.”