The Story of Kisa Gotami and The Miracle of her Dead Son

In a small village in Asia there once lived a woman called Kisa Gotami who was mother to an only child, a boy, whom she loved dearly. One fateful day, the young boy became seriously ill and died shortly thereafter. This turn of events was too much for Kisa, the poor woman could not come to terms with the fact that her only child was no more. She simply refused to believe that the boy was dead. At the back of her mind Kisa believed that there had to be a solution, a remedy, some form of concoction that could bring her beloved son back to life.

Insane as it might sound, Kisa flung the lifeless body of the child on her back and went around the village asking the people she met on her way if they knew of any physician who could bring her child back to life. Nobody knew of one, but she never gave up, she continually asked those she met hoping someone would come through and point her in the direct direction.

One day a villager approached Kisa and notified her that Gautama Buddha would be visiting the village soon; the villager then suggested that Kisa take the life-less body of her son to The Buddha to revive it. The villager was optimistic that Buddha was totally capable of bringing the dead boy back to life by virtue that he was an enlightened being familiar with universal laws which govern life and the entire cosmic structure. Seeing no other option, Kisa agreed to this suggestion.
The Buddha soon visited the village; Kisa wasted no time and took the lifeless body of her son to him for revival. She said to Buddha “you are an enlightened being, you know all secrets to life, could you please perform this one small miracle for a poor woman?”

After a paused reflection, the Buddha answered, “I will do it but only on one condition,” Kisa said “I will fulfill any condition you ask of me, I just want my son to come back to life.”

The Buddha then said, “The condition is that you go around the village and bring me back a few mustard seeds from any one of the houses where nobody has ever died,” With this instruction, the woman sprang on her feet and went knocking on doors from one house to the next seeking a few mustard seeds to take back to The Buddha.

Kisa was in luck, or so she thought, because this came at a time when the village was cultivating mustard seeds, thus it would not be a problem to obtain some. The first house she went to, the family residing there were willing to help, they had a store full of mustard seeds, the only problem was that some of the family members had died a while back which meant that the mustard seeds would be of no use to Buddha. Kisa passed her condolences and apologies to them, and they did the same to her; she then excused herself and was soon on her way to the next house looking for a mustard seed from any house where nobody had ever died.

After knocking on many doors as she could, Kisa came to the realization that in each household she had visited, all had at least one family member who had died. She even went to neighboring villages but it was still the same case, each household had at least one deceased family member.

After a few days, Kisa went back to the Buddha and gave him an exhausting look, she said, “There is no family in this village, or elsewhere where nobody has ever died, you tricked me, everybody who is born is going to die.” Buddha replied, “I am glad you quickly understood the point.”

Kisa said, “I fully understand now, I don’t want my son to be brought back to life, kindly initiate me into the art of meditation so that I can transcend and visit the space of immortality where there are no births and deaths.” Thus Buddha initiated Kisa effectively making her one of his disciples.

Life with its ups and downs happens to us all. When adversaries come, rather than fall into a victim mentality on why it is happening to you-you can find solace on the fact that both the good and the bad happen to everyone. Everybody is on a journey you know not about, while others might seemingly be having it better than you, there are others who are in at a disadvantaged position compared to what you are complaining over today. Incidentally, the fact that things are not going your way at this present moment does not mean that-that is how it is always going to be, each season is cyclical; each season comes with its goodies or its lessons and makes way for the next season. Chin up and stride ahead with firm knowledge that tomorrow might just be the day you have been waiting for.

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