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Please also enjoy a host of free online Dharma courses through the FPMT Online Learning Center, The Joy of Compassion ebook by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and a host of free downloadable materials, all compliments of FPMT Education Services and through the generous support of our Friends of FPMT.

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The Story of the Four Harmonious Friends

In the Vinayavastu (“Foundation of Discipline”), the Buddha tells the story of the Four Harmonious Friends – a pheasant, a rabbit, a monkey, and an elephant – who lived together in harmony. Each of the younger animals showed respect for the older animals’ life-experience and knowledge by carrying the older on his back.

Later, the eldest (the pheasant) taught the practice of ethical conduct to the others, who then taught the same practice to the rest of the forest creatures. Because of this, happiness and comfort increased greatly in the world.

It is said that wherever a picture of the Four Harmonious Friends is displayed, the ten virtues will increase, the minds of all will become harmonious, and many auspicious events will occur.