A Father’s Last WordsOctober 12, 2009 7:00 am forgiveness, Peace
“Bitterness is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Dighiti’s presence in the royal city was betrayed by his former barber.
Brahmadatta listened intently as the barber explained his discovery and revealed the whereabouts of Dighiti and his wife. The king’s hidden dread surfaced. Fearing that the royal couple were still plotting revenge, Brahmadaatta turned to his soldiers and commanded them, “Take this man with you. He will lead you to Dighiti and his queen. Arrest them, bind their hands, shave their heads, and parade them through the streets to the edge of the city. Execute them and leave their bodies for the birds of the air to prey on. I will be rid of these enemies once and for all!”
At the same time, young Dighavu was experiencing the pangs of longing. “I have not seen my parents for some time,” he thought to himself. “How I miss my mother’s sweet voice and my father’s encouragement. I must go see them.”
Dighavu left the countryside and made his way to the city. When he arrived, he spotted a commotion in the streets outside his parents’ home and, sensing trouble, pushed his way through the crowd.
Dighiti looked up and saw Dighavu’s face in the crowd. He did not want the army to detect his son’s presence. Knowing that he was was about to die, he also wanted to leave Dighavu with some advice that would guide him through the difficult times ahead.
In a loud voice he called out, “Dighavu, Dighavu. Be not shortsighted. Be not long-sighted. Hatred is not quenched by hatred; hatred is only appeased by love.”
The crowd jeered at Dighiti. “The man is mad with fear,” they cried. “He talks nonsense and gibberish.”
However, Dighavu recognized his father’s voice and he understood his warning. Silently, he ran along the edge of the crowd, staring helplessly at his mother and father as the soldiers marched them through the streets.
Dighiti saw his son’s pained expression and. worried tht he might try to intervene, called out again, “Dighavu, Dighavu! Be not shortsighted. Be not longsighted. Hatred is not quenched by hatred; hatred is only appeased by love.”
Dighavu heard his father’s words; he struggled to understand what they meant. He followed the soldiers out of the south gate of the city, where they forced his parents to knell in the dirt.
Once more Dighiti called out, “Dighavu, Dighavu! Be not short-sighted. Be not long-sighted. Hatred is not quenched by hatred; hatred is only appeased by love.”
His father’s dying words penetrated Dighavu’s heart. He stared in horror as the soldiers executed his parents, chopping off their heads and tossing their bodies onto the street.
What will Dighavu do with his father’s dying words?
Next time: “Is there no end to this?”