Stories from Buddhism: The Story of Loushajia's Poverty

Guo Zheng

PureInsight | July 9, 2006

[] During the
time of the Jusaluo Kingdom in India, a boy named Loushajia lived in a
fishing village. Actually, he had been a cultivating monk many lives
earlier. Yet, due to his greed, narrow-mindedness and attachment to
profit and jealousy, he had cheated a monk who had reached the level of
Arhat and thus fell into endless suffering. In this life, he was born
into this fishing village and brought misfortune to the villagers as

There were one thousand villagers living in the village and they were
like a large family. But from the day Loushajia's mother became
pregnant with him, the villagers couldn't catch any fish day after day
and thus became destitute. During the ten months of her pregnancy, many
mishaps happened one after another and there were seven big fires and
seven punishments from the king. The unfortunate fishermen were
helpless. After talking over among themselves, they suspected there was
to be an ill-fated person among them who has caused such calamities.
They decided to divide the villagers into two groups, five hundred
villagers in each group.  

After the separation, the group with Loushajia's parents was still in a
miserable situation, while the other group regained its prosperity. The
unfortunate group divided among themselves into two groups again. After
several divisions, Loushajia's parents were singled out. Everyone then
realized they were the cause of the misery and thus expelled them from
the village.

Loushajia's mother was having great difficulty making a living and gave
birth to Loushajia during hopeless wandering from her home. She took on
the responsibility of raising her son for the first few years. When
Loushajia was old enough, she gave him a bowl and said: "Poor child, go
and beg for food for yourself from now on!"


After his mother left him, and with no one to depend on, Loushajia had to beg for food every day and led a miserable life.

One day when Buddha Myna was begging for food, he saw a child sitting
besides the washing basin of a wealthy family, picking up leftover rice
scrap by scrap. Seeing the pitiful bony child in torn and tattered
clothing, Buddha Myna walked to the child and asked: "Child, where do
you live? Don't you have parents?"  

The child said: "I am homeless. My parents told me: ‘Son, you have
great karma and brought misery to our clan. We have also been dragged
down.' They thus abandoned me and went away. I am afraid I won't be
seeing them anymore."

Buddha Myna asked him: "Do you want to be a monk?"

"Honorable Monk, I think so. But who will accept an unfortunate person like me? Let alone I will bring misery to everyone."

"I will take you." Buddha Myna told the child.

The child was very happy and followed Buddha Myna. When they got back,
Buddha Myna first fed and then bathed the child himself. He imparted
the Buddha Fa to him and gave a ceremony for him to become a monk.

Even under the Buddha's protection, because of his own karma, Loushajia
was destined to endure a long term of impoverishment and the torment of
hunger in his latest incarnation.

Even though he was a monk, whenever a small amount of gruel was put
into his bowl, the bowl would appear full right away. Thus, when the
givers saw the bowl was full, they wouldn't put in any more food in his

Some givers often said, "It's very strange. When he came to get gruel,
the gruel in the bucket would disappear and we wouldn't have any to
give him."

When Loushajia attained Arhathood, he had few desires and was
contented. He didn't want to eat much, only enough to maintain his
body's needs.

When Loushajia was about to reach nirvana, Buddha Myna knew in his meditation and thought, "I need to feed him a full meal."

Buddha Myna then took Loushajia to the town of Shewei to beg for food.
But people still showed no respect. Buddha Myna had no choice but to
tell Loushajia: "You go back first."

As soon as he left, Buddha Myna got food right away. He sent a person
to bring food to Loushajia. But the person ate the food on the way.
When Buddha Myna returned and asked Loushajia: "Have you eaten?"

"Honorable Monk, thank you. Let me eat later."

Buddha Myna felt uneasy when he heard what Loushajia had said. He
figured it was already past mealtime, so he walked to Jusaluo King's
palace. He got a bowl of fine food for Loushajia. Loushajia was too shy
to eat it. Buddha said to him, "Loushajia, I'll hold the bowl and you
sit down to eat. If I let go of the bowl, the food in it will


Thus Loushajia ate while Buddha Myna held the bow and used his
supernormal power to prevent the food from disappearing so Loushajia
was able to eat.

Loushajia left the world with no attachments to this world where he had
suffered all his life. He repaid his karma and returned to the peaceful
and happy world of the sages.

Buddha Myna saw Loushajia abandoned his troubled body and felt relieved. He did not feel uneasy anymore.

Dear reader, don't be jealous and greedy and create karma for yourself.
If you do, you might suffer and might not even obtain one mouthful of

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