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The old woman and Her Half-pomegranate


The Buddha was once in Raja Griha where he had allotted a day for the collection of alms. Now sat under a tree and began to receive gifts. King Bimbasara had brought with him deeds of land, houses and other valuable properties. There followed Prince Ajata Shatru with rich and valuable gifts. Finally, came grandness and wealthy merchants Buddha accepted their gifts by extending his right hand in token of them. Suddenly there came into the procession an old, shrivelled woman and she said to him sadly: "Lord, I heard about your appeal for charity only this morning. As you see, I am poor and old and I have nothing to give except this pomegranate. I had eaten half of it when I heard of your appeal. Lord, I have nothing to give but this half pomegranate, so I brought it with me. Will you accept this?" She looked appealingly at the Buddha. To the astonishment of all the powerful! and wealthy persons, the Buddha at once came down and accepted her gift with both hands and in deep gratitude. "O. blessed one," said Bimbasara, why do you so coldly acknowledge our gifts by merely extending your hand when we gave so much? And, why did

you come down from your dais to acknowledge this woman's gift when she gave merely half a piece of fruit? "Because, King," the Buddha replied evenly. "she gave all that she had. The rest of you gave only a part of what you had."  

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