8. The Buddha and the Farmer
the Buddha was in the village of Ekanala, in Magadha. The rain
had fallen and it was planting time. In the early morning, when
the leaves were still wet with dew, the Buddha went to the field
where Kasibharadvaja, a Brahmin and farmer, had five hundred
ploughs at work. When the Blessed One arrived, it was the time
for the Brahmin to distribute food to the workers. The Buddha
waited there for his alms food, but when the Brahmin saw him
he sneered and said, "I plough and sow, and having ploughed
and sown, I eat. O ascetic, you also should plough and sow,
and having ploughed and sown, you should eat."
Brahmin, I too plough and sow," replied the Buddha. "And
having ploughed and sown, I eat."
puzzled Brahmin said, "You claim that you plough and sow,
but I do not see you ploughing."
Buddha replied, "I sow faith as the seeds. My discipline
is the rain. My wisdom is my yoke and plough. My modesty is
the plough-head. The mind is the rope. Mindfulness is the ploughshare
and the goad. I am restrained in deeds, words and food. I do
my weeding with truthfulness. The bliss I get is my freedom
from suffering. With perseverance I bear my yoke until I come
to nirvana. Thus, I have done my ploughing. It brings the fruit
of immortality. By ploughing like this, one escapes all suffering."
this explanation, the Brahmin realised his error and said, "May
the Venerable Gotama eat the milk-rice! The Venerable Gotama
is a farmer, since his crops bear the fruit of Deathlessness!"
So saying, the Brahmin filled a large bowl with milk-rice and
offered it to the Buddha.
Buddha refused the food, saying that he could not accept food
in return for his teachings.
Brahmin fell at the feet of the Buddha and asked to be ordained
into the order of monks. And not long after, Kasibharadvaja
became an arahant.