The Devoted Frog

Once upon a time, there lived a merchant named Nagdatta in the city of Rajagriha. His wife’s name was Bhavdatta. They both loved each other, but the merchant had too much affection for his wife. Unfortunately the merchant died one day. His wife wept, cried, and mourned. The merchant, because of his Karma, was reborn as a frog. Incidentally he was reborn into his own well.

One day when Bhavdatta came to get the water from the well, the frog saw her and he suddenly remembered his past life. Now he knew who he was, he felt very happy. He started dancing and followed Bhavdatta. He followed her into the house. She felt sympathetic for him. She put him on the out side so that he would not get crushed, but the frog came back. Wherever Bhavdatta went, he followed her. This continued for many months.

One day Bhavdatta went to pay reverence to a monk named Suvrat. The frog followed her there. After paying her homage to the monk, the curious Bhavdatta asked him about the frog. She said that the frog had been following her for many months.

This monk was not an ordinary monk. He was an Avadhijnani. That means he can know something up to some distance. He knew who the frog was. He told Bhavdatta that her husband after his death was reborn as the frog. He had remembered his past life and he knew that she was his wife. So, out of affection he was following her.

Bhavdatta picked up the frog gently, and took him home. She started taking good care of the frog.

After a few days Bhavdatta heard that Lord Mahavir had come to the nearby mountain, Vipulachal, and he was there in Samavsaran. Almost everyone in the town including the king was going to pay their homage to him. Bhavdatta joined others towards the Samavsaran. When the frog heard this news, he went hopping along with everybody. People saw him under their feet, so they tried to place him off the road. They did not know that he wanted to go and see Lord Mahavir. He kept going with the crowd, and while doing so, he was crushed under the foot of an elephant, and he died.

Since his thoughts were highly devotional and he was so eager to see Lord Mahavir, he earned good karma (Punya), and was reborn as angel in heaven with many capabilities. With his special power, he looked back at his past lives and remembered the whole incident and his desire to see Lord Mahavir. In order to fulfill that desire, he came to the earth to pay homage to Lord Mahävira and then returned to heaven.

The moral of the story is that attachment should be given up. The second moral is that if a creature like a frog can have devotion, we should have devotion. This devotion leads to the spiritual uplift of the soul.


1) What happened to the merchant after he died?

2) Why did the frog following Bhavdatta every where she went?

3) How did she treat the frog in the beginning?

4) How did she find out who the frog was?

5) How did she treat the frog later on? why?

6) Why was the frog hopping on the road?

7) What happened to the frog?