Kisagotami

I was reading “The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” and came across this interesting anecdote.  It’s about a woman named Kisagotami that lost her only child and couldn’t accept it.  She ran around looking for a medicine that will bring her child back to life.  She was told the Buddha would have such a medicine.

She went to the Buddha and asked him.  He told her that he has such a medicine but in order to make it, she will have to get some ingredients.  She was told to get a handful of mustard seed and she immediately agreed.  Then he told her that it has to be from a household where no child, spouse, parent or servant has died”

She agreed went from house to house in search of the mustard seed.  At each house the people agreed to give her the seed, but she couldn’t find a home where death has not visited.  Seeing that, she realized that she wasn’t alone in her grief and let go of her child’s lifeless body and returned to the Buddha who told her “You thought that you alone had lost a son; the law of death is that among all living creatures there is no permanence.”