Venerable Jing Yuan Discourse: Golden Gem
Golden Gem: extracted from ‘The Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish’
During Buddha’s era, in the city of Sravasti, there was born to the wife of a householder, a son named Golden Gem. He was very handsome, and was born with clenched fists. To the surprise and delight of his parents, they found a golden coin in each of his hand when they opened up his fists. When the parents happily took the coins, two more would appear continuously, and soon the storeroom was filled with golden coins. When the boy came of age, he begged his parents to allow him to become a monk. With their consent, he went to the Buddha and became fully ordained. He studied and practised with joyous perseverance, and became an arhat.
Ananda asked Buddha for the cause of Golden Gem’s gold coins appearing inexhaustibly in his hands since his birth. Buddha said: “Ninety-one aeons ago, when Buddha Kasyapa had come into the world. At that time, there was a poor man who made his living by bringing wood down from the mountains and selling them. Once, he saw the Buddha and his disciples were invited to a noble man’s palace for a meal. He was filled with rejoice, and with respect, he offered his two coins that were earned on that very day to the Buddha and his disciples. Buddha accepted it compassionately.”
Buddha said: “Since then, gold coins have appeared in this poor man’s hands without interruption for ninety-one great aeons. He has had an abundance of property, jewels and necessities. Monk Golden Gem was that poor man who lived at that time.” Buddha said: “ If monk Golden Gem has not yet achieved realization in this life, he would continue to have an abundance of wealth”. Lastly, Buddha advised: “Every sentient being should always strive to put the practice of generosity into action, with joyous perseverance.”
- An ordinary poor man merely offered two coins once, but received an abundance of fortune for ninety-one kalpas (The effects of having abundant fortune over a long time arise even from a small virtuous karma done over a short time—offering of two coins). — is this the magnification of karma?