Faith like a mustard seed.

Post sayings or stories from Buddhist traditions which you find interesting, inspiring or useful. (Your own stories are welcome on DW, but in the Creative Writing or Personal Experience forums rather than here.)
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Redfaery
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Faith like a mustard seed.

Post by Redfaery » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:56 pm

Title idea taken from a Buddhist friend. Story taken from Royall Tyler's translation of a tale from the late twelfth century collection of anecdotes, Konjaku Monogatari.

Mukashi Mukashi...

There was once a man named Gendayu. He was very wicked indeed, a fearless bandit. Not a day went by without him killing something, stealing from someone, or otherwise doing harm to others. He knew nothing of karma and didn't care a bit for religion. Every day, he committed more wickedness.

But so it happened that one day he came upon a monk preaching a sermon. The fellow didn't look worth robbing, so Gendayu decided to watch him. His words were...interesting. He talked of paradise and happiness. And forgiveness. Definitely forgiveness. Gendayu pushed his way to the front of the crowd, sending the bystanders scurrying to safety (for he was a feared man in those parts).

"You there! You say this Amida fellow takes everyone?" He bellowed at the poor, terrified monk.
"Well...yes. Everyone." It took all the monk's courage not to faint.
"Would he take me?" Gendayu asked.
"Well..." the monk faltered. "It's a big decision. You really should think it over..."
Gendayu wasn't satisfied. "You say everyone should take refuge in this Amida fellow, but you want me to 'think it over'?!?!! Are you trying to get in my way? I want to meet this Amida person!!!"
The monk knew he couldn't dissuade Gendayu, so he hastily administered the Vows. "Amida's paradise is in the West," he said. "Chanting his name will gain you great merit."

So off Gendayu went, to the West. He banged his little gong and called out "hey! hey! Amida! hey!"

When no one saw him around for several days, the monk began to worry. He went off westward until he found...Gendayu. Sitting in a tree on a cliff overlooking the ocean. "We are worried about you," the monk said. "When was the last time you had something to eat?"

Gendayu smiled. "I'm not really hungry," he said. "I found Amida. Watch!" And he banged his little gong and yelled "hey! hey there, Amida!"

From the depths of the ocean to the West came the reply: HERE I AM!
NAMO SARASWATI DEVI
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - GANDHI
I am a delicate feminine flower!!!!

SeekerNo1000003
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:22 pm

Re: Faith like a mustard seed.

Post by SeekerNo1000003 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:18 am

I enjoyed this, thank you. :namaste:

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Redfaery
Posts: 531
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:14 pm
Location: Smalltown USA

Re: Faith like a mustard seed.

Post by Redfaery » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:18 pm

Royall Tyler's Japanese Tales has a lot of wonderful Buddhist stories in it from the Classical and Early Medieval periods. Mostly Pure-land inspired. He tells this one much better than I did. This one is my favorite, though. So I had to share it.
NAMO SARASWATI DEVI
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - GANDHI
I am a delicate feminine flower!!!!

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