Among the traditions concerning Buddha, there is one which tells of a young mother whose
child died and whose dead body, in her great love and sorrow, she clasped to her bosom, and went
about from house to house asking if any one would give her some medicine for it. The
neighbors thought her mad, but a wise man, seeing that she could not or would not understand
the law of death, said to her, "My good girl, I cannot myself give medicine for it, but
I know of a doctor who can attend to it." She asked who it was, and was sent by the wise
man to Buddha.
After doing homage to him, she said, "Lord and master, do you know any medicine
that will be good for my boy?" Buddha replied that he did, and told her to fetch from a
house where no son, husband, parent, or slave had died.
Then the woman went in search,
but no such house could she find, for whenever she asked if there had died any of those,
the answer came from one, "I have lost a son;" from another, "I have lost my parents;" and
from all, "Lady, the living are few, but the dead are many."
At last, not finding any
house where death had not been, the truth broke in upon her, and leaving the dead body of
her boy in a forest, she returned to Buddha, and told her tale. He said to her, "You
thought that you alone had lost a son; the law of death is that among all living creatures
there is nothing that abides," and when he had finished preaching the law, the woman became