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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: "O samana, it would be more fitting for thee to go to
work than to beg. I plough and sow, and having ploughed and sown,
I eat. If thou didst likewise, thou, too, wouldst have something
to eat."

The Tathagata answered him and said: "O Brahman, I, too, plough
and sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat."

"Dost thou profess to be a husbandman?" replied the Brahman.
"Where, then, are thy bullocks? Where is the seed and the

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 fruit 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 Gotama ploughs a
ploughing that bears the fruit of immortality."

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