Today's Beautiful Gem: The story of Kisa Gotami from Dhammapada

"Yo ca vassasatam jeeve
apassam amatam padam |
Ekaaham jeevitam seyyo
passato amatam padam ||"

"Though one should live a hundred years without seeing the
Deathless State, yet better indeed, is a single day's life
of one who sees the Deathless State.

"Story: A young mother named Kisa Gotami, lost her only child.
As she had never come across an instance of death she carried
the corpse on her hip believing the child to be ill and
searching for a remedy. A wise man directed her to the Buddha
who advised her to collect some mustard seed from a household
where none had died. She got mustard but found no household
where none had died. The Truth dawned upon her. When she
returned, the Buddha preached Dhamma to her. She became a nun.
One day she observed the flickering of a lamp and reflected on
the impermanence of life. The Buddha projected His image before
her and uttered this stanza comparing life to flickering lamp."

Note: The verse is in Prakrit, a popular form of Sanskrit;
`amatam padam' signifies the unconditioned state of Nirvana.

Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao