Author Topic: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?  (Read 16354 times)

Jessie Fong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM

"A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.
But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. "I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."
Author Unknown (from Bob Gould in the Yahoo Club: Admirers of HH the Dalai Lama)

If you were in the traveler's shoes, what would you have done with the precious stone, and why?

dondrup

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 816
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 09:38:57 AM »
Though the precious stone is more valuable than the food, it cannot buy food in the mountain to overcome the traveler’s hunger. The wise woman is generous and kind.  She is willing to give away the precious stone without hesitation knowing the precious stone has no value in the mountain.  She knew that the traveler will come back to her for the food!

If I am the traveler, I would not have taken the precious stone but instead I would opt for the food offered by the wise woman. The food can stop my hunger not the precious stone at that moment.

Midakpa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 10:07:54 AM »
What the wise woman has is non-attachment. Because she is not attached to the precious stone, she is able to part with it. Attachment or desire is what will keep us in samsara. This is what the traveller needs to learn. He is intelligent enough to realise that taking the stone and becoming rich is not the right thing to do.

Carpenter

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 170
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 10:23:17 AM »
Yes, the women is very wise indeed, because no matter how precious the stone is, in a place with no food, a precious stone is no different than a stone, food is more important to keep us going in our life, so no point holding the stone which is more like a burden instead.

Few days after the traveler took the stone, he realize the same theory and that is the reason why he went back to return the stone and ask for something else instead, which is food.

Because the lady is not attach to it, that’s why she created the cause to get it back, when we don’t have the karma to own something, no matter how hard we hold onto it, we will still lose it anyway. So letting go is the best action.


ratanasutra

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 345
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 11:05:04 AM »
I think the traveler is very greedy in the first place, he was hungry in the mountains and met a woman who so kind to offer him some food so that he can survive inside the mountains, instead of appreciate in her kindness and generosity but he asked for the precious stone which have material value in return. He is not appreciate in her kindness and he is greedy. He did not realise that if the woman not a kind person he will get nothing from her and he will suffer from hungry later.

I think later on the traveler man realised that the precious stone he got, it has high value but it does not mean that it is the most precious thing in his life.  And for something so precious like this why the woman can just gave it out to him easily. That why the traveler return to her to find out and learn how to has generosity like her. At least the traveler realized in what he has done and want to learn about it.

If i was a traveler, i will not ask for precious stone, as if it precious for me so it should be precious to her same. 

bambi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2012, 11:18:57 AM »
I would've taken the food instead of the stone. But don't forget that I am looking at this situation from a Buddhist point of view.  ;D Well, it is common sense for the traveler to take the precious stone, sell it and keep the money for himself. I doubt with his attachment and selfish mind, the traveler will share any of it with the wise woman.

The wise woman is indeed wise for she is able to give up attachment knowing that it will benefit the traveler and make him happy. She understands impermanence and realized that even if she keeps it, its just her attachment and selfishness. There will never be happiness from attachment just sufferings.

The most precious and valuable gift that the wise woman can give him would be her knowledge which is priceless.  ;D

pgdharma

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1055
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 11:20:10 AM »
When the wise woman gave the precious stone to the traveler, it showed that she is willing to part with something precious that she has. Also she is willing to share the food to the traveler shows that she is not selfish. Acts like these showed that she is not attached to worldly possessions.

However, the traveler after a few days decided to give back the stone to the wise woman as he wanted to learn what made the woman so sharing and giving. He realized that the woman had something more precious than the stone. By returning the stone, he was able to learn about the act of giving; generosity.

negra orquida

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 205
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2012, 02:36:46 PM »
i'd probably just eat the food and travel with her for the rest of the way.  if we pass by a town i'd suggest to sell the precious stone and use the money to set up a small trading business  ;D

back to the original story... i think the traveler is also very wise. He was able to come out of his greed to see the bigger picture, to realise that there is a certain quality in a person who is able to part with something precious to give to a stranger. and he recognised that that quality is far more valuable than the precious gem.

biggyboy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2012, 07:23:13 PM »
The old woman in the story is wise, generous and kind. The traveller soon realizes that the precious stone is of no use to him in the mountains and food will keep him alive.

However, I believe that he realized something more than that and returned the precious stone to the old lady.  He believed that the old lady can give him something more precious than the precious stone or food.  The kind old lady is willing to share her food or give away the precious stone without any hesitation.  The traveller wants to learn the secret of how to give without hesitation like what she does….Generosity.

Jessie Fong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 01:24:18 PM »
The traveller asked : Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.

He had asked for her to give him Generosity an act of giving freely without expecting anything in return.  This is something not tangible so it cannot be given.  The traveller must learn from the woman.  Having returned the previous stone to her, he had already started the wheel in motion, his first act of generosity.  He also realised that the stone could not be compared to the worth of the act.

Dondrup Shugden

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 896
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 03:02:13 PM »
A short and beautiful story of two travellers who met and one being a ''taker'' asked of the woman not only part of her food but also the precious stone that she had. Of which the woman gave without hesitation.

Here we have some extremely giving and generous and another extremely greedy.  But at the end, the man proved also to be wise to return the precious and asked for the lesson to be learnt from the woman on her supreme generosity. 

What a happy ending.

If I were the traveller, I would take the stone, sell it to someone who has use of it and then return with the money to look after the woman and travel along with her looking after her.

Besides generosity, gratitude is also a virtue for Buddhist to develop.

MoMo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: A Short Story : MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM - what would you do?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2015, 12:36:19 PM »
It is mentioned in the Lamrim  one sentence of Dharma is worth more than a wish fulfilling jewels as the wish fulfilling jewels can only fulfil all our wishes for this life but the Dharma when heard and take into practice  will benefit us and all our future life.
Most of us had been working in the circular world, I would say monetary wise we would be doing much well than when we are at our teens. Ask ourselves with all these little success coming from worldly pursue, how many of us are truly contented and happy about it ? Wouldn’t it be wonderful that we could be contented with whatever situation that we are in and always have a positive onlook to our future that it could turn better if we put our efforts and work on it.  Only through Dharma practice we could have real generosity and contentment as mentioned in the story.
If I would get the stone I would trade it off so that I could share with the less fortunate and help spreading the words of this wise woman who could just give it away without thinking twice . She surely must be some Bodhisattva of high bumi. Even becoming her students would be a good idea too. Eventually, I too could emulate her actions in the future.