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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, t
ou, 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."