Stories from Buddhism: Compassion

Guo Zheng

PureInsight | August 13, 2006

[] On a very chilly winter day, a destitute man came to see a monk at a temple. He was shivering because of hunger and cold.

The man said to the monk, "You can tell that I feel hungry and cold. My
whole family is sick and in deadly danger. If you have anything to help
us maintain our lives even for only one day, please help us with your
compassion and mercy."

The monk felt compassionate for him, but he couldn't find anything to
give to the man. When he looked up, he saw the Buddha statue in the
temple that he worshiped. He removed the gold ring on the back of the
Buddha statue and gave it to the man, saying, "Take it and exchange it
for some money."

Other monks saw it and felt astonished and angry. They berated him,
"How can you dismantle the gold ring from the Buddha statue?"

The monk answered, "What I did is just based on the Buddha's teachings.
The Buddha came to this humankind world to save all human beings. If
the Buddha saw the situation that I just encountered, he would chop off
his hands and feet to save the man. "

Alas! While worshipping the Buddha or cultivating oneself in the Buddha
school, the Buddha's compassion actually can be reflected in every tiny
thing. Human beings! Even if you pay to add lots of gold onto the face
of a Buddha statue, but you don't treat people with a genuinely
compassionate heart, the Buddha might not be delighted at all!

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