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The Woman At The Well

Ananda, the favorite disciple of the Buddha, having been sent by
the Lord on a mission, passed by a well near a village, and
seeing Pakati, a girl of the Matanga caste, he asked her for
water to drink.

Pakati said: "O Brahman, I am too humble and mean to give thee
water to drink, do not ask any service of me lest thy holiness be
contaminated, for I am of low caste."

And Ananda replied: "I ask not for caste but for water;" and the
Matanga girl's heart leaped joyfully and she gave Ananda to

Ananda thanked her and went away; but she followed him at a

Having heard that Ananda was a disciple of Gotama Sakyamuni, the
girl repaired to the Blessed One and cried: "O Lord help me, and
let me live in the place where Ananda thy disciple dwells, so
that I may see him and minister unto him, for I love Ananda."

And the Blessed One understood the emotions of her heart and he
said: "Pakati, thy heart is full of love, but thou understandest
not thine own sentiments. It is not Ananda that thou lovest, but
his kindness. Accept, then, the kindness thou hast seen him
practise unto thee, and in the humility of thy station practise
it unto others.

"Verily there is great merit in the generosity of a king when he
is land to a slave; but there is a greater merit in the slave
when he ignores the wrongs which he suffers and cherishes
kindness and good-will to all mankind. He will cease to hate his
oppressors, and even when powerless to resist their usurpation
will with compassion pity their arrogance and supercilious

"Blessed art thou, Pakati, for though thou art a Matanga thou
wilt be a model for noblemen and noblewomen. Thou art of low
caste, but Brahmans may learn a lesson from thee. Swerve not from
the path of justice and righteousness and thou wilt outshine the
royal glory of: queens on the throne."

Next: The Peacemaker

Previous: The Outcast

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