A Classic Story of The Buddha and the Beggar

A Classic Story of the Buddha and the Beggar

A Classic Story of The Buddha and Beggar

Once upon a time, there existed a beggar who diligently endeavoured to procure food. Alas, he noticed that his meagre provisions vanished without fail each day. One fateful day, he successfully captured the bold mouse that persistently stole his food. He questioned the little thief, “Pray tell, why do you steal from me? As a homeless individual, you could thieve from the more affluent without any repercussions upon them.”


In response, the mouse disclosed a peculiar side of the beggar’s destiny, stating, “Your fate dictates that you shall only possess a meagre sum of eight items only. Regardless of your pleas or acquisitions, this is the limit of your possessions.”


The beggar was stupefied and asked, “Why is such a destiny bestowed upon me?”


The mouse replied, “I am unaware of the answer. Seek the wisdom of Buddha, for he may provide enlightenment.”


Motivated by this advice, the beggar embarked on a journey to find the revered Buddha. However, due to his delayed departure, he unexpectedly stumbled upon the abode of an affluent family. Begging them for shelter for the night, his request was kindly granted.


Curious about his night-time wanderings, the family inquired, “Young sir, why do you traverse these lands so late?”


The beggar responded, “I am in pursuit of an audience with the Buddha, for I carry a question that shall be presented before him.”


Expressing their own predicament, the family implored, “Might we entrust you with a query to pose to the Buddha? Our 16-year-old daughter has been rendered mute, and we yearn to discover the path towards restoring her speech.”


Grateful for their hospitality, the destitute man graciously consented, affirming, “Certainly, I shall convey your question to the esteemed Buddha.”


As dawn broke, the beggar continued his journey. An imposing range of mountains appeared before him, demanding that has to cross the giant mountains to meet the Buddha. Scaling one of the peaks, he encountered a sorcerer.


Kindly, the sorcerer offered his enchanted staff, capable of granting flight, to transport the beggar across the formidable mountain range. Greatly appreciative, the beggar gratefully accepted, and within minutes, they soared over the colossal peaks.


Upon landing, the inquisitive sorcerer inquired about the beggar’s destination. Explaining his quest to consult the Buddha regarding his destined fate, the beggar was then asked to carry another question, as the sorcerer himself had strived for a millennium to attain entry into heaven and desired guidance towards that celestial realm.


Agreeing to the sorcerer’s request, the beggar resumed his pilgrimage to find the Buddha. As he pressed on, he encountered one final obstacle—an impassable river. Providentially, a gargantuan turtle emerged and offered passage across the river.


Midst the river crossing, the turtle inquired, “Whither dost thou venture?”


The beggar responded, “I am bound for the presence of the Buddha, seeking answers regarding my destined path.”


The turtle entreated, “Pray, present a question on my behalf. For five centuries, I have aspired to metamorphose into a dragon. According to my teachings, this transformation should have occurred. Could you beseech the Buddha for the path I must tread to realize my dragon form?”


Grateful for the turtle’s assistance, the destitute man pledged, “Indeed, I shall convey your question to the Buddha.”


Finally, the beggar arrived at the presence of the revered Buddha, who declared, “I shall respond to three questions for each individual present, but only three questions in total.”


The destitute man was taken aback, realizing that he had four questions in his heart. Contemplating deeply, he considered the plight of the turtle, tirelessly yearning to become a dragon for five centuries. He pondered the sorcerer, striving for a millennium to reach the celestial realms of heaven. He reflected upon the young girl, silenced by a condition that denied her speech. And then, with humility, he looked upon himself, a mere beggar with no lofty aspirations. In that moment, he realized the insignificance of his own predicament.


Overwhelmed with empathy, he felt compassion for the turtle, the sorcerer, and the young girl. He recognized their struggles as greater than his own, and he resolved to relinquish his own questions to address theirs.


Thus, he approached the Buddha and, with reverence, inquired, “Most venerable one, there are others whose questions weigh heavier upon their souls than my own. I beseech you to answer their queries before mine, for my own concerns pale in comparison.”


And so, the beggar selflessly posed the questions on behalf of the turtle, the sorcerer, and the family with the speechless daughter. The Buddha, in his wisdom, responded with profound insights:


“For the turtle to ascend to dragonhood, it must shed its shell—a symbol of attachment and reluctance to leave the familiar. Only by embracing change and relinquishing comfort can the transformation occur.”


“As for the sorcerer seeking passage to heaven, he must release the anchor that tethers him—the staff that symbolizes his attachment to the mortal realm. By letting go and surrendering to the unearthly, he shall find his desired destination.”


“And the young girl who longs for speech, her voice will be found in the embrace of her soulmate. When their destinies intertwine, her silence shall yield to the power of love and connection.”


With these words, the beggar offered his deep gratitude to the Buddha, bowing in reverence. His journey to seek answers had now come to an end.


Returning to the turtle, he joyfully exclaimed, “Dear friend, release your shell and behold the treasure concealed within! For within your earthly abode lie priceless pearls, a testament to your transcendence into dragonhood.”


Overwhelmed with gratitude, the turtle shed its shell, revealing the precious pearls hidden within. With newfound freedom and power, the turtle took flight as a magnificent dragon, soaring through the skies.


Ascending to the mountaintop where he had encountered the sorcerer, the beggar conveyed the Buddha’s wisdom. “Dear sorcerer, release your staff, for it holds you captive in the realm of mortals. By surrendering it, you shall unlock the gates of heaven and ascend to the celestial realms.”


Grateful for this revelation, the sorcerer released his staff, handing it to the destitute man. With a smile of contentment, he ascended into the heavens, leaving behind the mortal realm forever.


Empowered by the treasures and the staff, the destitute man returned to the family who had sheltered him. Eagerly, he shared the Buddha’s words, proclaiming, “The Buddha has spoken! Your daughter’s voice shall be found in the embrace of her soulmate.”


To everyone’s astonishment, as if touched by the divine, the young girl descended the staircase, her voice now restored. “Is that the man who was here before?” she exclaimed, recognizing the beggar as her soulmate.


In that magical moment, the destitute man and the young girl realized they were destined for each other, bound by love and understanding.


This tale imparts profound lessons. It teaches us the significance of selflessness and compassion, the power of empathy and understanding. As the destitute man looked beyond his own troubles and embraced the struggles of others, he found a path to transformation and fulfillment.


It reminds us that sometimes we must let go of our comfort zones, relinquish attachments, and embrace change in order to attain our true potential. The turtle shedding its shell symbolizes the courage to leave behind what is familiar and safe, enabling us to soar to new heights.


Likewise, the sorcerer releasing his staff signifies the liberation from earthly attachments, allowing the spirit to ascend to higher realms. It illustrates the importance of detachment and surrender to attain spiritual enlightenment.


The young girl’s voice returning through the meeting of her soulmate demonstrates the transformative power of love and connection. It highlights the beauty of selfless relationships and the profound impact they can have on our lives.


This tale also teaches us the value of perspective. When we compare our own struggles to the challenges faced by others, our problems can appear trivial in comparison. It encourages us to practice gratitude and empathy, recognizing the difficulties others face and extending a helping hand whenever possible.


Moreover, it reminds us of the profound interconnectedness of our actions and the universe’s response. The beggar’s selflessness was rewarded with the treasures of the turtle and the power of the sorcerer’s staff. It illustrates the notion that when we act with kindness and generosity, the universe conspires to bring us unexpected blessings.


Ultimately, this story serves as a reminder that by selflessly helping others, we can transform not only their lives but also our own. It encourages us to seek the path of compassion, empathy, and selflessness in order to find true fulfillment and create a ripple effect of positive change.


So let us be inspired by the beggar’s journey, and may we strive to be the beacon of light and hope for those around us, knowing that our acts of kindness and selflessness have the power to shape destinies and create a more compassionate world.


For, indeed, as we sow goodness and love into the world, the universe will echo it back to us in ways beyond our imagination.

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