Once upon a time there was an old woman who lived with her son. My son works as a trader and has to go to India – Tibet often.
One day, when the child was about to leave for India, the mother said, “The Enlightenment City in India is the place where Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment, so I asked you to bring something back from there. Maybe a few ash bones or spells, magic tools or something. I will worship and consider the very presence of Buddha in my home.”
The role of faith on the path of religious practice
Year after year, the mother reminded her son, but each time the son returned to Tibet without being able to carry out his mother’s instructions.
One day, the child left again for India and the mother said: “This time you don’t bring me anything from Giac Thanh to worship, then I will kill myself.” The son was afraid of his mother’s determination, promising not to forget this time.
After a few months of work, the son was on his way back home, suddenly remembering that he had not stopped by Giac Thanh to find ashes for his mother. “What now?” he wondered. “My mother will really kill herself if she doesn’t bring her anything.” He looked around and saw a dead dog. The son hastily pulled out a dog tooth, carefully wrapped in a silk scarf.
Arriving home, the son happily said to his mother: “This is a tooth of Gotama Buddha. I found it with my own hands at Giac Thanh!”.
The poor mother believed in her son and treasured the tooth, considering it as the real tooth of Gotama Buddha, the Perfectly Enlightened One. From that moment on, she devoted herself to the tooth, and it wasn’t long before she found the inner peace she had been searching for all her life.
It wasn’t long before friends and neighbors also noticed that there was an iridescent light surrounding the tooth, and magical rays were shining on it. Every day, many people come to worship the old woman’s altar and ask for a little bit of the power of the miraculous tooth. On the day of her death, the iridescent light wrapped around her body and her smiling mouth made her lamenting son understand that she was returning to her own nature, from which all things were born.
Since that day it has been known that even a dog’s tooth becomes a miracle, but on condition that the strength of a receptive heart and the compassion of a Buddha combine.
(According to Blue Mane Snow Lion, translated by Nguyen Tuong Bach, Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House, 1999)
The hidden message through the story of the old woman and the monk
In the story, the poor mother was no longer pitiful. A person who returns to his own nature and finds inner peace is one who has attained true happiness, and that is also the ultimate goal of a Buddhist practitioner.
The story does not emphasize the son’s act of lying to his mother – which can be understood as an unfilial act – but emphasizes the pure faith of a sincere and honest mother. Her strong faith in the Buddha helped her find what she wanted in life. The scriptures teach that faith is the root of all blessings; Worshiping relics of the Buddha “can make sentient beings obtain great merit, leave the sufferings of the three realms, and attain Nirvana” (The Great Bowl of Nirvana, volume 26). The Dharma sect of Buddha’s name also upholds Faith – Vow – Hanh. Believing in Buddha’s relics is Faith; wish to think Buddha present in the house is Vow; Worshiping relics is Hanh. The old woman has achieved pure faith, and that is also her practice. That indestructible belief made the dog tooth become a Buddha relic. It is clear that all things created by the mind, outside of the mind, have no dharmas – is the sixth of the ten ways of believing in purity that the old woman has achieved.
The question is: today many people worship Buddha relics, but why do so few people have inner peace like the old woman? It is easy to understand, because people may organize solemn processions of relics, but they do not have a deep faith in the world of eternal Buddha, do not have an elaborate ceremony of worship and unity. secret practice mind.
Worshiping relics is also a practice. If the practice is not correct, it is not possible to get the desired results. Miraculously, a dog tooth can also become auspicious dharma to help the practitioner achieve peace, once it has the “strength of a receptive heart and the compassion of a Buddha”. .