NO PAIN NO SIGN
“All our feelings of pain and pleasure depend upon the attitude of our mind.” – Sri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. XX.
For the love of the Buddha, a nobleman’s son became a bhikkhu. He renounced his wealth and comfort and accepted the hardships of a mendicant’s life. He slept on the bare earth: he ate what he got by way of alms. He was happy.
One day, he got an attack of rheumatic pain. At first, he treated it with indifference. Days passed by: the pain persisted. He could not walk with ease: at times, he could not meditate properly. He felt miserable. Gone was the joy of life. However hard he tried, he could not recapture his lost peace. His mind became sluggish: he felt nerve tired and weary.
One day, as he was out begging alms, he found a little girl playing with her friends. She was a cripple: she had but one leg and hobbled on crutches. She was happy. She shouted and laughed and made merry with other children.
Seeing her, the bhikkhu felt ashamed of himself. “This little girl who has only one leg is bright and happy,” he said to himself, “and I, a disciple of the Buddha, despair because of a little pain!” He returned as a new man. The pain no longer trouble him. He was free!