Just a Bit of Gruel – from Jataka Tale #3

The Buddha was once a virtuous, generous king of Koshala. After remembering his previous birth, his gifts of charity increased manyfold and his good conduct was ceaseless. While teaching the power of good deeds, the king would often recite a verse that ended with: All this glory is the fruit of just a bit if gruel.

His subjects were consumed with curiosity about the verse as was the queen who begged for an explanation. With a gentle smile the king replied, “In my former birth I was a poor laborer who was subject to fatigue and insults. One day four begging monks appeared at my door. With a heart of faith, I gave them a bit of gruel, which was all we had in our meager home. It is because of this simple gesture that I was reborn a king. Having seen the immense results of even a simple act of heartfelt generosity, who would not dedicate himself to charity and good conduct?” ~~~

If you want to have pure generosity it is perfect to be concerned about your behavior. With harmless behavior your generosity can become much better than just ordinary generosity. Therefore that king was always harmless. 

– Demo Rinpoche, Jewel Heart Ann Arbor, Jataka Tales, April 25, 2021

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