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The Buddha’s Metta (Loving – Kindness) & Karuna (Compassion) For all sentinel beings - Part V

I am a human being and I am not perfect. So, please kindly read the message and not the messenger- By Sanjoo Thangjam

KISAGOTAMI

 Kisagotami was from Savatthi and was married to young rich man. The son born to them died when he was still a toddler. Overcome by grief, Kisagotami couldn’t accept the fact that her child was dead. Carrying her dead son she went about the city asking  for medicine to cure her son. She was completely out of her mind. Then a wise man told her to go and see the Buddha who was staying nearby.

Carrying the son, she went before the Buddha begging him to restore her child to life. The Buddha said, “ If you bring me some mustard seeds from a house where there never has been a death, then I will do as you ask.”

Full of hope, Kisagotami went from house to house in search of the mustard seeds. Everywhere she went people were more than willing to give her the seeds from a house but at each house when she asked if there had been a death, she was told that indeed there had been. Eventually she realised that there was not one family  who had not encountered dead. Her attitude changed and she returned to her senses. She realized that the Buddha was showing her that everything that was born would pass away. She could now part with her child’s lifeless body, and allow it to be created.

She returned to the Buddha in a totally different state of mind. She said, “ Kind sir, mustard seeds I can find but a house where there had been not death does not exist.”

The Buddha said, “ It is good that you now know that you are not the only mother who has ever lost a son. Death comes to everyone; it is a very nature of life.”

Perceiving the impermanence of human existence, Kisagotami asked the Buddha for ordination as a nun (Bhikkhuni).He granted her request. She worked hard developing her meditation skills and performing her religious duties. One day while meditating on the flames of a lamp she thought to herself, “ Even as it is with these flames, so also it is with living beings in this world: some shine brightly for a long time, while others go out immediately.”

The Buddha saw with his supernormal powers that Venerable Kisagotami was close to achieving Nirvana and he focused his energy on her. She continued mediating on the impermanent nature of things and achieved arahatship.

RAJJUMALA

The Buddha was able to use his wisdom to help people to avoid thoughtless actions which would lead to more suffering.

Rajjumala was a slave outside the village of Gaya. Her mistress didn’t like her and always mistreated her. She would pull Rajjumala by her hair. To avoid this, one day Rajjumala shaved off all her hair. This did not stop her cruel mistress; she tied a rope around  Rajjumala’s head and pulled her around.

Unable to stand being mistreated any more, Rajjumala decided to kill herself. She began to walk toward the village and she found the Buddha waiting for her. He spoke to her of the Dharma   ( about to get enlightened- Nirvana).

Thus she was able to return to her mistress, calm and at peace. Her mistress noticed the change in her slave’s demeanour. Rajjumala spoke of her meeting with the Buddha. Curious, Rajjumala’s mistress went to visit the Buddha and she became his follower too.

The Buddha had explained to them that in a previous birth, Rajjumala had been the mistress, and the mistress had been the slave. Rajjumala had mistreated her slave who vowed to get revenge.

The Buddha’s  KARUNA had saved them from continuing this cycle of pain and suffering.

(The writer is a Lay Buddhist & a Human Rights Activist for People Who Use Drugs. (PUDs). He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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