HAVING OR LOSING

Update: 07/09/2021
 

HAVING OR LOSING

 

According to the seventh Khuddaka-nikaya sutra, there is a story about a lady - Mallika.
“One day, Mallika invited Sariputra and Mahamaudgalyayana, and hundreds of the monks to her home in order to offer a meal. That morning, she received a letter written that her husband and sons were beheaded. When hearing the bad news, she was quiet, hiding the letter away, and concentrating on the preparation for the monks' meal. After offering the meal for the monks, Mallika's helper unintentionally dropped a bowl of fresh butter in front of the monks. At this time, Sariputra said: “That bowl was made to be broken, so that you should not be worried about that, Mallika.” She took the letter from her pocket and replied: “I received bad news about my husband and sons. If I was not worried about that, would I be worried just about a broken bowl?”

In the story, we learn that Mallika understood and practiced Buddhism very diligently. She knew that birth goes along with death, existence goes along with disappearance, formation goes along with destruction. Therefore, she kept calm when she heard the grief news about her husband and 32 sons, and kept the meal preparation and offerings. If not, a normal lady could not come over such bad news like that.

When suffering occurs to us, to be calm like Mallika, we should understand the truth that life is uncertain. It is better that we finish the task and solve the problems later. Although we will be depressed, disappointed, nothing could change. It is known that:

“Union does not mean presence,
Separation does not mean disappearance”

(Great Mantra Vietnam 1993, “Sala story, Good Fortune Ancient Tree (Bhadda Sala’s The previous life)”, Chapter Twelve, the seventh Khuddaka-nikaya sutra, translated by Ven. Thich Minh Chau, HCMC publisher).

Extracted from “Eight Drama in the world”, Senior Ven. Thich Chan Tinh
Translated into English by Nguyen Hoang Thoai

 

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