What Sariputta Witnessed
|During the era of Shakyamuni Buddha, I (Sariputta) personally witnessed a rare event.
The Buddha and his ten major disciples were out seeking offerings. A newborn baby was one of those who made offerings. Even though newly born, the baby was able to speak just as the Buddha did. It was really unusual.
This baby's parents were personages of Sravasti. The baby was their first son and able to speak as soon as he was born. The baby's first words were that he wanted to make offerings to the Buddha's sangha. This desire to make offerings to the sangha was also exceptional.
Moreover, the baby requested that his parents invite his elderly, grey-haired mother of his former lifetime to accept offerings from him, making the situation even more unusual. Amazingly, the infant knew his mother from his previous lifetime and conversed fluently and accurately with her during their encounter.
While the offerings were being made, the Buddha sat in the highest seat with his ten major disciples sitting next to him, on both sides. The infant's mother of his previous lifetime sat in the seat of honor while his parents of this lifetime sat in a lower position. By just waving his hand, the infant was able to cause delicacies of every kind to fall from the sky and nectar to drift down to the table.
Just as everyone finishing eating, a dharma throne for the Buddha to sit on descended from the sky. Once seated, the Buddha began to discourse the following:
Four Noble Truths
Twelve Links of Dependent Origination
At that moment, the infant's parents of this lifetime came forward. They asked how their son was able to speak immediately after he was born. Why did he want to make offerings right away? How was he able to know his mother from his previous lifetime?
The Buddha answered that the infant's background was extraordinary. He was, in fact, the Fragrance Envoy of the Buddhaland, whose focus was primarily the making of offerings to holy beings.
In his former lifetime, this envoy had been born into a poor family. After the father died an early death, he and his mother relied upon each other. He believed in Buddhism and made a profound study of Buddhadharma. Due to vows made in previous lifetimes, he swiftly attained enlightenment and saw his Buddha-nature. Even though during that time, he remained fond of offering to the sangha, he had to wait for causes and conditions to ripen in order to make his offerings.
It was for this reason that the son wanted to reincarnate: he had promised his mother of his previous lifetime that after he reincarnated, he would take care of her and continue to be filial.
Because he had attained enlightenment and seen his Buddha-nature, he was not confused when entering the fetus, when in the fetus, or when exiting the fetus. Therefore, he could speak immediately after he was born, stand upright, and know the karma of his previous lifetime.
Making offerings to the sangha had always been the infant's desire and he understood that he was the Fragrance Envoy. By merely waving his hand, food and a dharma throne descended from heaven. According to the Buddha, the infant's background and merits originated from providing meals and offerings to the sangha.
After witnessing this event, Sariputta was deeply moved.
Don't consider making offerings to be trivial
Don't consider providing meals to the sangha to be insignificant
Or think that offering a small amount of food and drink is of little account
The buddha land is barely discernible
One must look remotely to see a thousand miles
Cultivation must begin at once
By just doing this
Makes even the greatest arhat smile
Translated by True Buddha Translation Team
Translator: DJ Chang
Editor: Henry Wolf
|| Back |