FROM THE GOSPEL OF BUDDHA

BHARADVAJA, a wealthy Brahman farmer, was celebrating
his harvest-thanksgiving when the Blessed One came with his alms-
bowl, begging for food. Some of the people paid him reverence, but
the Brahman was angry and said: "O samana, it would be more
fitting for thee to go to work than to beg. I plough and sow, and
having ploughed and sown, I eat. If thou didst likewise, thou, too,
wouldst have something to eat."


The Tathagata answered him and said: "O Brahman, I too,
plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat." "Dost thou
profess to be a husbandman?" replied the Brahman. "Where, then,
are thy bullocks? Where is the seed and the plough?"


The Blessed One said: "Faith is the seed I sow: good works are
the rain that fertilizes it; wisdom and modesty are the plough; my
mind is the guiding-rein; I lay hold of the handle of the law;
earnestness is the goad I use, and exertion is my draught-ox. This
ploughing is ploughed to destroy the weeds of illusion. The harvest
it yields is the immortal fruits of Nirvana, and thus all sorrow ends."


Then the Brahman poured rice-milk into a golden bowl and offered
it to the Blessed One, saying: "Let the Teacher of mankind partake
of the rice-milk, for the venerable Gotama ploughs a ploughing that
bears the fruit of immortality."

 

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