The Golden Buddha

November 3, 2009 at 8:31 am | Posted in Asia, Children's Stories, Moments from History, Reflections | Leave a comment
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Listen to the audio version of this at Tales of Wisdom

Welcome, this is Corinne Malaske with an Ancient tale of Wisdom to share, that of ‘The Golden Buddha’. It has touched my heart and I hope it will touch yours. Since time began, Humans have always sought divine enlightenment. This story is about the purity of this desire to cultivate or raise ourselves up.

A butcher came upon two people cultivating the state of enlightenment or Buddha hood. They told the butcher they were going West to see the Buddha and asked him to come with them. The butcher said, “I’m just too filthy and not worthy enough. Please, take my sincere heart with you.” So saying, the butcher took out his own heart, entrusting it to these two people. They agreed to take his heart into the West to the Buddha.

They did indeed find the Buddha. The Buddha pointed to a giant pot full of boiling water and asked them to jump into the pot. They both felt a lot of hesitation and uncertainty. They decided to throw the butcher’s heart into the pot first to see what would happen. Only then would they decide whether to risk their hearts to the pot. So, they threw the butcher’s heart into the pot and it turned into a golden Buddha. Seeing this, they immediately jumped into the pot as well. They became just two pieces of fried dough, the reflection of their inner realm of being.
Though short, this tale says many things. This story shows that the butcher felt his profession made him unworthy of being a Buddha or enlightened being. There are certain elements of the profession that are not good. Still, he did show respect and no hesitation or reservation in giving his heart to the Buddha. The golden Buddha reflected the purity of his inner realm.

The other two people both felt a lot of hesitation. This shows they did not have complete faith in the words of the Buddha. They were still evaluating things with a human heart. At first, they would only risk the heart of the butcher. Only, after seeing the butcher’s heart become their hearts’ desire, a golden Buddha, did they have the faith to jump into the pot.

We must then ask whether it was faith in the Buddha or just gaining what their hearts desired that sent them into that pot. They like many others are stuck in that ‘seeing is believing’ mindset. We must all take that leap of faith with our hearts to enter the realms of Buddha beyond.
Do we have the butcher’s pure heart or do we seek our own gains? This has been Corinne Malaske for Ancient Tales of wisdom.

The source for this story is


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