Mustard Seeds


There is a old story in Buddhism, usually referred to as the Mustard Seed story. A mother who has just lost her child hears that the Buddha is in town; she goes to him, weeping and begging him to use his supernatural powers to revive the child. The Buddha consents to this request provided she would fulfil a task. The task given to her is to go to the village, knock on each door, and get a mustard seed from any house where there has never been a death. The mother goes around and after some time comes back to the Buddha, having realized that death is inevitable and that there is no one who is not affected by death: Everybody has to die. What the Buddha indirectly taught her by this exercise was the First Noble Truth in Buddhism, known as Dukkha, often translated into English as “suffering”: Existence…

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