Iwrite to the seventh King of Rome on behalf of the Buddha monks, menwho are dedicated to observing the natural order of things and life.After hearing about the public outcry in the Roman Empire, I devotedtime to reveal superior religious secrets that are useful for aleader to secure the fondness of the people. The Dhammapada remainsthe most useful anthology of Buddha’s verses, a great king ofIndia, who gave up his royal life to live as a monk.
Iheard that you stabbed you father-in-law, Emperor Servius Tullius, todeath even after he welcomed you to his family. Furthermore, youmarried his daughter to consolidate your position in Rome (Lee 4).The power behind the throne of Rome comes from the person youbetrayed and killed at the behest of his wife. Emperor Servius gavehis daughter Tullia to a man he trusted as a son. Instead of becominga leader who appreciates the King, you killed him to satisfy yourgreed. I recommend you to pay attention to the words of Buddha andlearn new ways to avoid death. “Phenomena are preceded by theheart, ruled by the heart, made of the heart. If you speak or actwith a corrupted heart, then suffering follows you-as the wheel ofthe cart, the track of the ox that pulls it” (Buddha 1). Thestatement asserts that wicked actions lead to the destruction of aperson. Moreover, people coming to our kingdom say that you allowedyour wife Tullia to drive her chariot across the body of Tullius. Theaction disregarded the respect accorded to dead Kings.
Equally,you ascended to the throne after eliminating Tullius without heedingthe word of the Senate. Buddha warns that recklessness causes dead,“Heedfulessness: the path to the deathless. Heedlessness: the pathto death. The heedful do not die. The heedless are as if alreadydead” (21-24). Your thoughtless actions endanger the Roman Empire’sfuture. Attain enlightenment by heeding the advice of the Senatorsand other leaders. For example, Indra became the lord of all othergoods because of his consistent heedfulness character. Unlike Indra,you consult no one among the leaders except your wife and her motherin taking over the throne. You passed judgment on the late Kinghurriedly, and that might cost the throne you seek to retain forposterity. Therefore, cast away the evil life Emperor Servius andembrace the eightfold journey of a monk to save your future. “Butwhoever puts aside both merit & evil and living the chaste lifejudiciously goes through the world: he’s called a monk” (Buddha93). Emperor Servius discard the evil habits of forcing people toaccept a failed leadership and resolve to execute kingship dutiesknowledgeably. Excellent deeds preserve life and entails applyingconstitutional power to reform the government in ways that eliminateexploitation of citizens. Once you begin to employ wisdom to protectboth the poor and the upper classes, then the Roman citizens willrecognize Emperor Servius as an intelligent leader.
EmperorServius know for sure that you have the heart to attain wisdom byconsciously restraining your mind. People complain that you executecommands that destroy life. The Dhammapada emphasize that peopleshould use positive views to overcoming destructive actions. “Themind well-tamed brings ease… For a person of unsteady mind, notknowing true Dhamma, serenity set adrift: discernment doesn’t growfull” (32-33). The quote highlights the need for a leader to adoptmind-restraining mechanisms to protect the essence of a person. Kingswith a serene mind serve their people better and hold the interestsof the state at heart. However, it is evident that you have anuncontrolled nature of slaying wealthy Roman citizens to partitionand plunder their possessions. Even the poor are complaining that youforce them to build temples and canals without paying their dues(Ogilivie 193). Patrician classes avoid you since they fear eitherbeing killed or losing their properties. Moreover, plebeian masseshave expressed contempt against your leadership program of forcingthem to work without pay. For example, during the construction theTemple of Jupiter, the masses who worked there never received theirwages (Ogilivie 194). I believe that if you uphold the Buddhistteachings and learn to tame your mind and actions, you might enjoy along and peaceful life as a Roman Emperor.
Peoplewant freedom, but you are forcing them to accept Etruscan-lifestylethat is foreign to Rome (Ogilivie 194). Your kingship depends on theindividual capacity to guide and control yourself. Therefore, “Bequick in doing what is admirable. Restrain you mind from what’sevil” (Buddha 116). I quote the Dhammapada to guide you from thewickedness that has started to affect your family. Your son Sextusraped his cousin’s wife, Lucretia (Lee 4). The action caused peopleto kill him while trying to run to Gabi. Equally, you ran away intoexile fearing the wrath of people. Had not Lucretia committed suicideupon realizing that your son had abused her, you would have pushedthe matter aside. Hence, learn to restrain your mind and teach youfamily the same knowledge.
Iappreciate your effort Emperor Servius to learn the ways of Buddhistmonks. The eightfold journey requires a humble person with aresolution to obtain a pure vision. You must understand that wickedkings never last as your adoptive father succumbed to his folly.However, you have the authority to rectify the situation now andredeem your family. Your son Sextus has caused your downfall in theRoman Empire, but your consistent strive will surely bring disasterupon you unless you restrain your mind from engaging in evil.
Iappreciate the timely exchange of ideas between a monk and EmperorServius, and look forward to a time when I will receive a positiveindication of change purpose in life.
Buddha.DhammapadaA Translation.V. T. Bhikkhu (Trans.). Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc.,1997.
Lee,W. H. “Outline of Roman History.” SaintMary’s Hall College,2016.
Ogilivie,R.M.A. Commentaryon Livy, Books 1-5.Clarendon Press, 1965.