Sunday, February 12, 2006

Suffering is universal

One day, a young mother came to see the Buddha. She was overcome with grief and carried her dead infant in her arms. Having heard of his great powers, she begged him to bring her baby back to life. He agreed to do so, and told her that he needed only a single mustard seed from a household that had known no suffering.

The bereaved woman went from door to door, asking the occupants for a mustard seed and hearing from each family a different story of suffering. She gradually came to understand the universality of suffering. She laid her child to rest, became a nun, and eventually achieved nirvāna.

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