Fruit of faith in Tamarind tree
May 2022 edition
Let me share a wonderful story about faith & endurance. This is a Buddhist story from Tibet scriptures. The story goes like this;
One day Samma SamBuddha took a walk down the street and noticed a man in grief praying earnestly. The man recognized the Samma SamBuddha and fell on his knees.
He cried & said, "Oh, Lord, life is indeed bitter and painful! I was once a man with great wealth, living a life of ease and happiness. Those I trusted and loved were dishonest, and took everything from me. I am now a wretched man with nothing. How many more times must I be reborn into this world of suffering before I can be liberated?" Samma SamBuddha saw a mango tree by the road. Pointing to the mango tree, the blessed one said, "Do you see that mango tree? You must be reborn as many times as the number of mangoes on that tree before you know the bliss of liberation from the sufferings of this fleeting world."
Seeing that there are at least dozens of mangoes hanging on the tree, the man gasped, "But Lord! I have lived a righteous life in accord with the precepts! I have faith in you! Why am I destined to suffer so much longer?" The blessed one replied, "That is the way it must be." And continued walking.
On the way, Samma SamBuddha came across another man praying by the road and this man, too, fell on his knees and cried, "Oh, Samma SamBuddha, life is indeed bitter and painful. I have lost all those I loved to the king of death. I am now lonely and lost. Life is full of anguish. How many more times must I be reborn into this world of suffering before I know the bliss of liberation?" The Samma SamBuddha pointed to the field of wild flowers along the road and said, "Before you know the bliss of liberation from the sufferings of this fleeting world, you must be reborn as many times as the number of flowers in that field."
Seeing so many hundreds of flowers in the field, the man cried, "But Lord! I have done many good deeds & have followed your teachings by heart. Why must I endure so much more suffering?" The Blessed one replied, "That is how it must be." And continued walking.
Samma SamBuddha came across a tamarind tree, another man fell down on his knees and cried before him, "Oh Lord! Life is full of suffering! During the days, I worked like a slave under the mocking sun. At night, I have nothing to sleep on except a pile of grass on the cold, damped earth. Life is nothing but hunger, thirst and loneliness! How many more times must I be reborn into this world of suffering before I know the bliss of liberation?" The Blessed one looked up to the tamarind tree. Each branch of it bearing many stems and each stem has dozens of leaves. The Samma SamBuddha said, "Look at that tamarind tree. Before you know the bliss of liberation from the sufferings of this fleeting world, you must be reborn as many times as the number of leaves on that tamarind tree."
As the man looked up at the tamarind tree and its thousands of leaves, his eyes filled with tears of gratitude and joy. "Oh! Blessed one! How, merciful! How, Lucky am I, my dedication towards the teachings, my faith has succeeded. Finally, I am reaching to the destination!” he said as he bows down to the ground at the blessed one’s feet.
As you see, there are loads of lessons which we can take from this story to our path of nibbana. But as the Editorials has always maintained a short explanation, let’s take the best out of this story!
Like the first two followers, many expect fruits of nibbana quickly. It’s more like a deal with Samma SamBuddha. “Look, we follow this… we are dedicated to this… we do this much because of this… then WHY NOT?” something like that… So, please check whether you are also a follower with conditions & complains. Whether you expect so much for the little you do in this path.
A true follower of Samma SamBuddha should have a heart like the last follower in this story. When he sees the Tamarind Tree and its thousands of leaves, he just noticed the fruit of nibbana. How true the noble triple gem is. How he is in the right track. So, his faith confirmed… his dedication confirmed.
In Tibet, it says… to this day, the tamarind's seeds are the symbol of faithfulness and patience.
So, my dear Dhamma friends. Be like the follower under the tamarind tree. Faith on triple gem… true dedication towards the path… following the advices of Samma SamBuddha… my dear friends, you will never be failed!