King Kali said, “You may have cheated my women into believing you, but I'll never believe you. You say you can be patient? Is that true?”
The old cultivator said, “Of course.”
“All right, I’m going to give you a test!” The King then drew his sword and chopped off the old cultivator's hand. He said, “I’ve just chopped off your hand. Do you hate me?”
The cultivator said, “No.”
“You don’t hate me? Then you really have some skill. But you must be lying. You just say you don't hate me, even though in your mind you do. You're lying! I'm a very smart person. You think you can fool me?” King Kali continued, “All right, since you claim you are patient and don't hate me, I'm going to chop off your other hand.”
After chopping off the cultivator's other hand, the King asked,
“How do you hate me?”
The old cultivator said, “No.”
The King then chopped off the cultivator's feet. Having hacked off the cultivator's four limbs, he asked,“Do you hate me?”
“No,” said the cultivator, “not only do I not hate you, but when I accomplish Buddhahood, I will save you first. How can I convince you that I don't hate you? If I hate you, my four limbs will not be restored, and if I don't hate you, my hands and feet will be restored, even though you have completely severed them from my body. If they are restored, then that will prove that I don't feel any hatred. If I feel any hatred, then that will not occur.” Whereupon the old cultivator became whole again.
Having witnessed King Kali hack off the cultivator's hands and feet in such a cruel manner, the Dharma-protecting spirits manifested their great supernatural power and pelted the King with a shower of hailstones. Realizing the severity of his offense and seeing the cultivator's great spiritual powers, King Kali knelt before the cultivator seeking forgiveness.
The cultivator said, “If I don't realize Buddhahood, there is nothing to be said. But if one day I do, I will save you first.” That is why the Buddha first went to the Deer Park to teach Ajnatakaundinya, who had been King Kali in a former life. Because of his past vow, the Buddha first wanted to save the person who had treated him the worst.
After hearing this story, we should all vow that after becoming Buddhas, we will first save those who treated us the worst. We shouldn't think, “You're been so mean to me. I'm going to send you to the hells after I become a Buddha.” Don't make that kind of vow.
When the Buddha went to the Deer Park, he spoke the three turnings of the Dharma Wheel of the Four Noble Truths for the five Bhikshus.
First he said:
This is suffering; it is oppressive.
This is the cause of suffering; it beckons.
This is the Way; it can be cultivated.
This is the cessation of suffering; it can be realized.
The second time he said,
This is suffering; I have completely known it.
This is the cause of suffering; I have completely eliminated it.
This is the Way; I have completely cultivated it.
This is the cessation of suffering; I have completely realized it.