The Communication Of Bliss
Annabhara, the slave of Sumana, having just cut the grass on the
meadow, saw a samana with his bowl begging for food. Throwing
down his bundle of grass he ran into the house and returned with
the rice that had been provided for his own food.
The samana ate the rice and gladdened him with words of religious
The daughter of Sumana having observed the scene from a window
called out: "Good! Annabhara, good! Very good!"
Sumana hearing these words inquired what she meant, and on being
informed about Annabhara's devotion and the words of comfort he
had received from the samana, went to his slave and offered him
money to divide the bliss of his offering.
"My lord," said Annabhara, "let me first ask the venerable man."
And approaching the samana, he said: "My master has asked me to
share with him the bliss of the offering I made thee of my
allowance of rice. Is it right that I should divide it with him?"
The samana replied in a parable. He said: "In a village of one
hundred houses a single light was burning. Then a neighbor came
with his lamp and lit it; and in this same way the light was
communicated from house to house and the brightness in the
village was increased. Thus the light of religion may be diffused
without stinting him who communicates it. Let the bliss of thy
offering also be diffused. Divide it."
Annabhara returned to his master's house and said to him: "I
present thee, my lord, with a share of the bliss of my offering.
Deign to accept it."
Sumana accepted it and offered his slave a sum of money, but
Annabhara replied: "Not so, my lord; if I accept thy money it
would appear as if I sold thee my share. Bliss cannot be sold; I
beg thou wilt accept it as a gift."
The master replied: "Brother Annabhara, from this day forth thou
shalt be free. Live with me as my friend and accept this present
as a token of my respect."
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