November 11, 2004

The Black Mustard Seed

Writing about web page http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/footsteps.htm

Once there was a woman named Kisagotami, whose first-born son died. She was so stricken with grief that she roamed the streets carrying the dead body and asking for help to bring her son back to life. A kind and wise man took her to the Buddha.

The Buddha told her, "Fetch me a handful of mustard seeds and I will bring your child back to life." Joyfully Kisagotami started off to get them. Then the Buddha added, "But the seeds must come from a family that has not known death."

Kisagotami went from door to door in the whole village asking for the mustard seeds, but everyone said, "Oh, there have been many deaths here", "I lost my father", I lost my sister". She could not find a single household that had not been visited by death. Finally Kisagotami returned to the Buddha and said, "There is death in every family. Everyone dies. Now I understand your teaching."

The Buddha said, "No one can escape death and unhappiness. If people expect only happiness in life, they will be disappointed."


- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. It makes things clear in the minds of many. :)

    11 Nov 2004, 18:29

  2. Wendy

    happiness comes after disappointment
    while
    disappointment is usually the outcome of too much happiness.

    30 Nov 2004, 02:02

  3. Unfortunately we often neglected to existance of unhappiness…. suffering…. one should face suffering face on….. investigate it and then leave it…. umm….

    30 Nov 2004, 11:37


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