Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Long ago in eastern Tibet there lived an elderly widow and her son who was a trader. They spent the long winters weaving and making things so that when spring came he'd have goods to trade in India. His mother, a devoted (and maybe a bit naive) Buddhist, asked her son to bring her a relic of the Buddha to place on her altar, preferably, a tooth. The trader was often busy and each time he came back from his travels, he forgot to look for a relic for his mother.
The next time he went off, his mother said: "If you don't bring back Buddha's tooth this time, I'm going to jump off a cliff and kill myself." So he said "Ok, don't worry, this time I will make sure to bring back Buddha's tooth for your altar."
Once again while he was off on his travels he forgot to look for the holy relic his mother had begged him to find until he was only a day away from home. Very nervous, remembering what his mother had said he looked around and found a dog's skeleton. He took a tooth from the skull, cleaned it and wrapped it in a piece of beautiful gold silk brocade.
The next day when he arrived at his village he presented the gift to his mother and said "This is Buddha's tooth. Please cherish it. Take care of it. Put it on your altar."
Soon after, the trader left on yet another trip and he intended to get a genuine relic to replace the dog tooth. However, as usual, he forgot until he was on his way home. When he arrived home, he saw crowds outside his house. When he went in, he saw many people prostrating to his mother's altar. On the altar was a tooth which was radiating light. He asked his mother where this relic came from, as it was undoubtedly a genuine relic. His mother told him it was the one he brought back for her.