The Sower

BHARADVAJA, a wealthy Brahman farmer, was celebrating his harvest-thanksgiving when the Blessed One came with his alms-bowl, begging for food. Some of the people paid him reverence, but the Brahman was angry and said: “samana, it would be more fitting for you to go to work than to beg. I plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat. If you did likewise, you, too, would have something to eat.”

The Tathagatha answered him and said: “Brahman, if too, plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat.” “Do you profess to be a husbandman?” replied the Brahman. “Where, then, are your bullocks? Where is the seed and the plough?”

The Blessed One said: “Faith is the seed I sow: good works are the rain that fertilizes it; wisdom and modesty are the plough; my mind is the guiding-rein; I lay hold of the handle of the law; earnestness is the goad I use, and exertion is my draught-ox. This ploughing is ploughed to destroy the weeds of illusion. The harvest it yields is the immortal fruits of Nirvana, and thus all sorrow ends.” Then the Brahman poured rice-milk into a golden bowl and offered it to the Blessed One, saying: “Let the Teacher of mankind partake of the rice-milk, for the venerable Gautama ploughs a ploughing that bears the fruit of immortality.”

The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!