Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Aescetic and the Nun: A Fractured Jataka Tale

Do you remember Fractured Fairy Tales from the Rocky And Bullwinkle show?
Well I have a Fractured Jataka Tale to tell you.
It goes something like this:

Once upon a time (Or in Cherokee, Ge-i) an elderly Tibetan Buddhist nun was walking down the road pushing a cart loaded with food.

When she happened upon a man wearing rags and looking woefully thin sitting at the crossroads.

She stops and asks, “Sir, are you in need? Can I help you in some way?”

The man responds: “No I’m an aesthetic. I need nothing. I am sitting here praying for all the poor and hungry. I have not eaten in a month so I will understand what it’s like to be truly without.” He scolds her,

“And look at you, in your prideful robes, going to market with so much food! You should be ashamed, ignoring the poor like that.”

“Oh this isn’t for me,” the nun replied. “This morning I too prayed for the poor and hungry. And then I went to a wealthy farmer and asked for this food. I’m going to town now to distribute it, so all may have enough.” She looked at him and smiled. “You are welcome to join me if you wish.”

The aesthetic refused, saying that his task was greater because he desired to feed the entire world instead of helping just a few. The nun shrugged and went on her way.

The point is:

Intent without purpose is useless.

Wishing to help is good.
Praying for all is better.
Desiring to push a cart
and actually feeding others
Is better still.

Nothing is more insulting to someone who is poor
To say ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and then drop nothing
Into their begging bowl.

Nothing is more awful than to have an empty belly
While tons of good food go to waste every year.

Nothing gives greater happiness
Than to bestow upon others
The thanksgiving and bounty
That you yourself has.

Remember the poor on Thanksgiving.
And keep giving thanks,
for yourself
For your country,
For your planet.
throughout the year.

visit my kind teacher's sites at: Become Buddha
Read his essays here:
Buddhas Quick Path

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