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

comfort.



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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