6. Brutal Killing

By Ben Chang and George Soko, Malawi

Out of ignorance, non-compassion and ill will, something inhumane, horrible and incomprehensible happened. It happened that one day she went to the lake for a swim. Unfortunately, Dams was also there. He had gone to have a look at some beautiful natural sea birds, fish and the calm lake. No sooner had he arrived at the beach than his eyes bumped into Christina. She was almost seventeen years old. Dams was almost twenty three. Upon seeing her, he was extremely happy. He knew that it was the convenient place and time to fulfill his plan. The place was cool and there was nobody around apart from the two of them. He tried to keep himself out of her sight so that she couldn't see him. The setting was so marvelous that he succeeded in his plan. He secretly and quietly approached her from behind as she sat along the lake, concentrating her mind on the water. She was not aware of what was happening behind her. He came close to her and grabbed her strongly. She almost broke her back trying to rescue herself, but to no avail. She tried to scream, but it was too late because he had already covered her mouth with his hand

Dams was as powerful as an elephant. She recognized him, but there was no way to prevent him from doing what he did. He threw her down, and afterwards he was happy that he had satisfied his desire for her. He enjoyed what he did, but afterwards uncomfortable thoughts started prevailing in his mind. Chris was in tears on the sand. She was mentally dead, and what remained for her was only the physical body, with her mind somewhere else. She was in total agony

Dams was also confused. His mind was troubled. He eventually realized that what he did set his life in the balance. He knew for sure that it was a serious criminal offence that beckoned disastrous consequences. Now, he thought of ways to make sure that news of the disgusting, filthy event did not go beyond the beach boundaries. Though nobody witnessed the rape, he knew for sure that she would report it to her parents, and they in turn would bring the case to the police officials’ attention. Obviously, he could be in a lot of trouble. “Homicide is the best solution to appease my conscience,” he thought to himself. Things did not happen according to his original plan. He planned only to rape her, but now he also wanted to kill her.

It was as if he were a wild beast. Suddenly, he jumped and grabbed her. Chris cried for help, but it was in vain, and he throttled her to death. After, he felt relieved. Then he buried the corpse in the sand behind the huge rock. He forgot that human life is the most important thing in the world, and thought that no one would let the cat out of the bag. Not long after the evil deed, her parents discovered that Christina was missing. The news that this gorgeous girl was missing spread all over the ten directions. Her parents presented the issue to the police. The police started seeking her and put the news on air through different media. Dams thought that he was free since no one saw him committing the two evil crimes of rape and homicide. People in the compound worked hand in hand with the police, but they couldn’t find her. After three days, her youngest sister who was slightly over three years old told her mother that Chris had gone to the lake for swimming.

They went to the lake only to find her stinking body buried in sand. They exhumed it and carried it home. A post-mortem revealed that she had died of severe throttling, but they couldn’t trace the perpetrator. Contrary to his expectation, Christina’s spirit started causing inconveniences for Dams. His mind was not at peace. The situation became more and more unsettling. He felt as if everyone knew that he was a murderer. The unwholesome deeds that he committed were following him wherever he went. The world to him became a confined space. He thought that there was nothing for it but to commit suicide to relieve his frustrations. He wrote a note divulging the causes and conditions of his death and put it in his pocket. Then he hanged himself with a rope in a tree and died on the spot..

The incident was reported to the police. They were flabbergasted to hear of two cases of the same nature from the same compound within a week. They were still investigating the previous case; armed police detectives came and found the note in his pocket. The note read: “Chris was the most gorgeous girl in this compound. I proposed to her several times, but she rebuffed me. She was my best friend. I tried this way and that, but she always turned me down. Thereafter, I thought raping her could be the beginning of love between her and me. Normally, I was friendly to her. Alas, my cheerful face was quite different to what was lingering in my mind. After raping her, another evil thought came into my mind that I should kill her. I thought it would be the end of her, that no one would discover my crimes. When the police and people in the compound were looking for her, I felt extremely guilty that I was responsible for her death, but I failed to spill the beans for fear of the disastrous conditions, which would befall me. Nevertheless, I couldn’t feel peace of mind. I thought the best solution was to commit suicide. Let me be free!”

This story signifies that in living in the world we are entangled with worldly pleasures and desires that create great pain and suffering. Sensual and flirting pleasures always invite unbearable, difficult conditions. Defeat ignorance, which conditions attachment. Initially, Dams had a wrong view that made him attracted to Christina's physical body. He had unwholesome thoughts of proposing to her. Later, this turned into rape, then homicide, and eventually suicide.

The Buddha said, “Happy is goodwill towards all sentient beings; happy is non-attachment; happy is he who has heard the Truth and utilizes it; happy is the one who controls his mind; happy is the one who lives without sensual and flirting pleasures.” A single unwholesome thought can cause immeasurable suffering for oneself as well as for others. Dams had dangerous thoughts of falling in love with Chris, which resulted in rape and the loss of two lives. Suicide is not the solution to frustrations and disappointment, as it creates even more problems. The Buddha teaches that there is a best, most convenient way to end suffering. This way purifies the mind, and a purified mind cannot have suffering. The Buddhist Teaching (Dharma) says, “Suicide is morally and spiritually wrong and is a cowardly way of ending problems. Suicide cannot occur if your mind is pure and tranquil.”

If you leave this world by suicide, it is very likely you will be reborn into the lower realms of existence for many years. And it is said in the sutras that we enjoy the past merits, which means that we will suffer in our next lives if we have not accumulated enough merits in this life. The Buddha said that: “by one’s deeds one is purified and by one’s deeds one is cursed. Cultivating one’s body and mind brings happiness to many, and only through good deeds will our world find peace, love and harmony.” “A trivial evil thought in the mind can bear immeasurable destruction.”

Author's comment:

This is a true story, which happened in Malawi. Ben Chang wrote it. From this story, he wanted to say how sensual desires and craving generate evil deeds, and how an uncontrolled mind makes evil deeds. Firstly, desires arise from mind then after, followed by speech and body. If mind creates bad conceptions we get bad result, if mind creates good conceptions its results are good. The Buddha has explained this theory in Dhammapada as follows: -

“Mano-pubbangama dhamma - mano-settha mano-maya Manasa ce padutthena - bhasati va karoti va Tato nam dukkhamanveti - cakkam va vahato padam. Mind is the forerunner of all states, Mind is chief, mind made are they. If one speaks or acts with wicked mind, because of that, suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoof of the draught-ox ”

“Mano-pubbangama dhamma - mano-settha mano-maya Manasa ce pasannena - bhasati va karoti va Tato nam sukhamanveti - chaya va anapayini. Mind is the forerunner of all states, Mind is chief, mind made are they. If one speaks or acts with pure mind, because of that, happiness follows one, even as one’s shadow that never leaves. All the time the Buddhas constantly advised the community not to do any evil, to cultivate good, to purify one’s mind. This is the message delivered by Buddhas that appeared in the world. “Sabba-papassa akaranam - kusalassa upasampada Sacitta-pariyodapanam - etam buddhana sasanam.

Anything bad that happens, the reason for that is Bad guided mind. It will do many robberies, killing, stealing etc. Here George Soko helps to us tot understand how the polluted mind destroys our all life. Finally, as we can see through this story, these young people died cause of ignorance. Because of craving, these two persons suffered during this life and, will without any doubt suffered during their lives to come.