a time, when King Brahmadatta was ruling in Benares, there was
an old woman who had a calf. This calf was of a noble dark color.
In fact, he was jet black without a spot of white. He was the
Bodhisatta the Enlightenment Being.
The old woman
raised the little calf just as though he were her own child. She
fed him only the very best rice and rice porridge. She petted
his head and neck, and he licked her hand. Since they were so
friendly, the people began calling the calf, "Grandma's Blackie'.
he grew up into a big strong bull, Grandma's Blackie remained
very tame and gentle. The village children played with him, holding
onto his neck and ears and horns. They would even grab his tail
and swing up onto his back for a ride. He liked children, so he
bull thought, "The loving old woman, who brought me up, is
like a kind mother to me. She raised me as if I were her own child.
She is poor and in need, but too humble to ask for my help. She
is too gentle to force me to work. Because I also love her, I
wish to release her from the suffering of poverty." So he
began looking for work.
One day a
caravan of 500 carts came by the village. It stopped at a difficult
place to cross the river. The bullocks were not able to pull the
carts across. The caravan leader hooked up all 500 pairs of bullocks
to the first cart. But the river was so rough that they could
not pull across even that one cart.
this problem, the leader began looking for more bulls. He was
known to be an expert judge of the qualities of bulls. While examining
the wandering village herd, he noticed Grandma's Blackie. At once
he thought, "This noble bullock looks like he has the strength
and the will to pull my carts across the river."
He said to
the villagers standing nearby, "To whom does this big black
bull belong? I would like to use him to pull my caravan across
the river, and I am willing to pay his owner for his services."
The people said, "By all means, take him. His master is not
So he put
a rope through Grandma's Blackie's nose. But when he pulled, he
could not budge him! The bull was thinking, "Until this man
says what he will pay for my work, I will not move."
a good judge of bulls, the caravan leader understood his reasoning.
So he said, "My dear bull, after you have pulled my 500 carts
across the river, I will pay you two gold coins for each cart
- not just one, but two!" Hearing this, Grandma's Blackie
went with him at once.
Then the man
harnessed the strong black bull to the first cart. He proceeded
to pull it across the river. This was what all one thousand bulls
could not do before. Likewise, he pulled across each of the other
499 carts, one at a time, without slowing down a bit!
When all was
done, the caravan leader made a package containing only one gold
coin per cart, that is, 500 coins. He hung this around the mighty
bullock's neck. The bull thought, "This man promised two
gold coins per cart, but that is not what he has hung around my
neck. So I will not let him leave!" He went to the front
of the caravan and blocked the path.
tried to push him out of the way, but he would not move. He tried
to drive the carts around him. But all the bulls had seen how
strong he was, so they would not move either!
The man thought,
"There is no doubt that this is a very intelligent bull,
who knows I have given him only half-pay." So he made a new
package containing the full one-thousand gold coins, and hung
it instead around the bull's neck.
Blackie re-crossed the river and walked directly towards the old
woman, his 'mother'. Along the way, the children tried to grab
the money package, thinking it was a game. But he escaped them.
When the woman
saw the heavy package, she was surprised. The children told her
all about what happened down at the river. She opened the package
and discovered the one thousand gold coins.
The old woman
also saw the tired look in the eyes of her 'child'. She said,
"Oh my son, do you think I wish to live off the money you
earn? Why did you wish to work so hard and suffer so? No matter
how difficult it may be, I will always care for and look after
kind woman washed the lovely bull and massaged his tired muscles
with oil. She fed him good food and cared for him, until the end
of their happy lives together.
moral is: Loving-kindness makes the poorest
house into the richest home.