Eye of spiritual wisdom

There was a rich man who found his gold suddenly transformed into ashes; and he took to his bed and refused all food. A friend, hearing of his sickness, visited the rich man and learned the cause of his grief. And the friend said: “You did not make good use of your wealth. When you hoarded it up it was not better than ashes. Now heed my advice. Spread mats in the bazaar; pile up these ashes, and pretend to trade with them.” The rich man did as his friend had told him, and when his neighbours asked, “Why do you sell ashes?” he said: “I offer my goods for sale.”

After some time a young girl, named Kisa Gotami, an orphan and very poor, passed by, and seeing the rich man in the bazaar, said: “My lord, why do you pile up thus gold and silver for sale?” And the rich man said: “Will you please hand me that gold and silver?” And Kisa Gotami took a handful of ashes, and lo! they changed back into gold. Considering that Kisa Gotami had the eye of spiritual wisdom and saw the real worth of things, the rich man gave her in marriage to his son, and he said: “With many, gold is no better than ashes, but with Kisa Gotami ashes become pure gold.”

(adapted from ‘The Mustard See’ – http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/btg/btg85.htm)

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