Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Positive Stories the Buddha Told - 1

The Mustard Seeds

There lived a young girl Gauthami who married a rich man’s son. Soon they had a beautiful baby boy. The boy grew up well on the love of the parents.

One day the boy died, taken ill suddenly.

Gauthami cried for hours unable to bear the pain of being parted from her son. The pleas of the elders to burry the boy before sunset fell on deaf ears. She wailed, “how can god be so cruel to take the life of a young child?”

She went around looking for a physician who could cure her son. All the physicians she met said they didn’t have the power to revive the dead. At last, she met a wise man who said,” You must meet the great one, the Sakyamuni, the Buddha. He may be able to help you.” “Thank you, sir,” said Gauthami and was soon on her way to meet Buddha, carrying her son.

“My lord, my son is dead. I love my son. Please give him back to me,” pleaded Gauthami.

“First bring a handful of mustard seeds,” said Buddha. She was delighted by the hope Buddha gave her and was about to rush off to the nearest house to fetch it.

“Wait, but you must bring the mustard seeds from a house where no son, father, wife, husband or grandparent has died. There should have been no death in that house,” he continued.

Gauthami went house to house to ask for the mustard seeds. Every one was helpful and gave her the seeds. But when she asked if there was a death in the house, they replied, “Yes young lady, is there a house where no one is dead, where grief and pain has not been experienced?”

She walked all through the town and could not find a single house where no death had occurred.

Disappointed, she returned to the Buddha and explained what had happened.

“Child, separation, pain and grief has to be accepted. There is no escape from this for anyone. Do not be too attached to anything or you’ll face the pangs of pain. No sooner do you detach yourself from things and accept the truth, you’ll be free of all pain and grief.” Thus spoke the Buddha