Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to her lifted her and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.
In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman?” The elder monk answered “yes, brother”. Then the younger monk asked again, “But then sir, how is it that you lifted the woman on the roadside?”
The elder monk smiled at him and told him,” I left her on the other side of the road but you are still carrying her in your mind”.
Kisa Gotami was the wife of a wealthy man of Savatthi in eastern India. She had only one child. When her son was old enough to start running about, he caught a disease and died. Kisa Gotami was deeply saddened. Unable to accept that her son was dead and could not be brought back to life again, she took him in her arms and went about asking for medicines to cure him. Everyone she encountered thought that she had lost her mind. Finally, an old man told her that if there was any one who could help her, it would be the Buddha.
In her distress Kisa Gotami brought the body f her son to the Buddha and asked him for a medicine that would bring back his life. The Buddha answered, “I shall cure him if you can bring me some white mustard seeds from a house where no one had died”. Carrying her dead son, she went from door to door, asking at each house. At each house the reply was always that someone had died there. At last the truth struck her. “No house is free from death”. She laid the body of her child in the wood and returned to the Buddha, who comforted her and preached her the truth. She was awakened and entered the first stage of Arhatship. Eventually she became enlightened.
These are two of the most educative Buddhist stories that I grew up listening to.