Sujata’s Offering



SUJATA was the beautiful daughter of a landowner, and she prayed to the spirit of a banyan tree for a good husband and son. Her wish was granted, and every year, in gratitude, she made an offering of sweet, thick milk-rice at the foot of the tree. Meanwhile, after six years of severe austerities, Siddhartha was close to death from starvation. One day he sat down in meditation beneath Sujata’s banyan tree. That same day Sujata dreamed that she should make her annual offering. She sent her servant to prepare the place for the offering, and the servant ran back, crying, “A god is sitting under the tree!” So Sujata made up the milk-rice in a golden bowl and carried it to the tree with her own hands. She offered it to Siddhartha, saying, “Just as my wish has been fulfilled, so may yours be granted.” He ate the milk-rice with gratitude, and it was the finest food he had eaten in many months. Then he cast the golden bowl into the river, saying, “If I am to fully awaken, may this bowl float upstream.” The bowl floated upstream. Later that day, renewed by Sujata’s offering, he sat down, determined to awaken, and his wish was granted. Sujata and her son later became disciples of the Buddha and members of the sangha.

(2013-10-21). The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women (p. 283). Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition.

The prompt is gift. Write about a gift you have received or given.

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