THE MUSTARD SEED

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THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby reddust » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:40 am

THERE was a rich man who found his gold suddenly transformed into ashes; and he took to his bed and refused all food. A friend, hearing of his sickness, visited the rich man and learned the cause of his grief. And the friend said: "Thou didst not make good use of thy wealth. When thou didst hoard it up it was not better than ashes. Now heed my advice. Spread mats in the bazaar; pile up these ashes, and pretend to trade with them." The rich man did as his friend had told him, and when his neighbors asked him, "Why sellest thou ashes?" he said: "I offer my goods for sale."

After some time a young girl, named Kisa Gotami, an orphan and very poor, passed by, and seeing the rich man in the bazaar, said: "My lord, why pilest thou thus up gold and silver for sale?" And the rich man said: "Wilt thou please hand me that gold and silver?" And Kisa Gotami took up a handful of ashes, and lo! they changed back into gold. Considering that Kisa Gotami had the mental eye of spiritual knowledge and saw the real worth of things, the rich man gave her in marriage to his son, and he said: "With many, gold is no better than ashes, but with Kisa Gotami ashes become pure gold."

And Kisa Gotami had an only son, and he died. In her grief she carried the dead child to all her neighbors, asking them for medicine, and the people said: "She has lost her senses. The boy is dead. At length Kisa Gotami met a man who replied to her request: "I cannot give thee medicine for thy child, but I know a physician who can." The girl said: "Pray tell me, sir; who is it?" And the man replied: "Go to Sakyamuni, the Buddha."

Kisa Gotami repaired to the Buddha and cried: "Lord and Master, give me the medicine that will cure my boy." The Buddha answered: "I want a handful of mustard-seed." And when the girl in her joy promised to procure it, the Buddha added: "The mustard-seed must be taken from a house where no one has lost a child, husband, parent, or friend." Poor Kisa Gotami now went from house to house, and the people pitied her and said: "Here is mustard-seed; take it!" But when she asked Did a son or daughter, a father or mother, die in your family?" They answered her: "Alas the living are few, but the dead are many. Do not remind us of our deepest grief." And there was no house but some beloved one had died in it.

Kisa Gotami became weary and hopeless, and sat down at the wayside, watching the lights of the city, as they flickered up and were extinguished again. At last the darkness of the night reigned everywhere. And she considered the fate of men, that their lives flicker up and are extinguished. And she thought to herself: "How selfish am I in my grief! Death is common to all; yet in this valley of desolation there is a path that leads him to immortality who has surrendered all selfishness."

Putting away the selfishness of her affection for her child, Kisa Gotami had the dead body buried in the forest. Returning to the Buddha, she took refuge in him and found comfort in the Dharma, which is a balm that will soothe all the pains of our troubled hearts.

The Buddha said: "The life of mortals in this world is troubled and brief and combined with pain. For there is not any means by which those that have been born can avoid dying; after reaching old age there is death; of such a nature are living beings. As ripe fruits are early in danger of falling, so mortals when born are always in danger of death. As all earthen vessels made by the potter end in being broken, so is the life of mortals. Both young and adult, both those who are fools and those who are wise, all fall into the power of death; all are subject to death.

"Of those who, overcome by death, depart from life, a father cannot save his son, nor kinsmen their relations. Mark I while relatives are looking on and lamenting deeply, one by one mortals are carried off, like an ox that is led to the slaughter. So the world is afflicted with death and decay, therefore the wise do not grieve, knowing the terms of the world. In whatever manner people think a thing will come to pass, it is often different when it happens, and great is the disappointment; see, such are the terms of the world.

"Not from weeping nor from grieving will any one obtain peace of mind; on the contrary, his pain will be the greater and his body will suffer. He will make himself sick and pale, yet the dead are not saved by his lamentation. People pass away, and their fate after death will be according to their deeds. If a man live a hundred years, or even more, he will at last be separated from the company of his relatives, and leave the life of this world. He who seeks peace should draw out the arrow of lamentation, and complaint, and grief. He who has drawn out the arrow and has become composed will obtain peace of mind; he who has overcome all sorrow will become free from sorrow, and be blessed."
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:13 am

Great story; always liked that one. It is so much more rational and common sense than . . . you know that one in the New Testament.
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby reddust » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:27 am

David, I know this is going to sound weird but the rational brings great comfort to me even through I might get sad reading these kinds of stories. The stories Gotama Buddha told settle my heart down, one of my first Dhamma stories. When ever I feel really, really sad, I read this story :namaste:
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby tidathep » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:30 pm

reddust wrote:David, I know this is going to sound weird but the rational brings great comfort to me even through I might get sad reading these kinds of stories. The stories Gotama Buddha told settle my heart down, one of my first Dhamma stories. When ever I feel really, really sad, I read this story :namaste:

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Dear Reddust,

This is also 1 of my favorite Dhammapada story. I wish you paint Kisa-Gotami and post it here.

tidathep
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby reddust » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:02 pm

tidathep wrote:Dear Reddust,

This is also 1 of my favorite Dhammapada story. I wish you paint Kisa-Gotami and post it here.

tidathep


Dear Tidathep,

Which Kisa-Gotami should I paint? Which scene in the story? I will do this for you but let's narrow down the choices, when she is crazed with grief, the girl prior to marriage, or the one who found her sanity? I will post the painting when I finish.
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:27 am

Looking forward to seeing it, always one of my favorite stories too.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby shaunc » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:27 pm

This was either the first or one of the first stories of Buddhism I learned. At the time there was a lot of pain in my life & it really touched my heart. It's still one of my favourite stories.
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby tidathep » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:57 pm

reddust wrote:
Dear Tidathep,

Which Kisa-Gotami should I paint? Which scene in the story? I will do this for you but let's narrow down the choices, when she is crazed with grief, the girl prior to marriage, or the one who found her sanity? I will post the painting when I finish.

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Dear Reddust......Thank you in advance....I choose 'when she is crazed with grief'...can't believe you'll paint Kisa-Gotami and post it !! I must say that I'm so happy to know that you love Dhammapada stories too...I used to have a dear dhamma-friend who love Jataka/Dhammapada like I do...but he passed away last November. I have a happy story about a son who died and reborn in Tavatimsa Heaven...the father was in so much grief :

Matthakundali: The Tavatimsa Deva : http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=13831

Thanks again :thanks:
tidathep :namaste:
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby reddust » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:13 am

tidathep wrote:-----------
Dear Reddust......Thank you in advance....I choose 'when she is crazed with grief'...



Thanks again :thanks:
tidathep :namaste:


I found some really good statues and paintings of women grieving over their child. I need images to paint from. I already started the research. I found the Matthakundali: The Tavatimsa Deva story and it's fitting. I really love to paint requests :heart:

Verse 2: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.
Mind and mental events are concepts, mere postulations within the three realms of samsara Longchenpa .... A link to my Garden, Art and Foodie blog Scratch Living
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Re: THE MUSTARD SEED

Postby tidathep » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:01 am

[quote="reddust"][
I found some really good statues and paintings of women grieving over their child. I need images to paint from. I already started the research. I found the Matthakundali: The Tavatimsa Deva story and it's fitting. I really love to paint requests :heart:
------------------
Dear Reddust :heart:

This painting might inspire you :
Image

You're so kind...Thanks a million!!
tidathep :heart:
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