This beautiful story made my heart jump with joy from the very minute that I read, up until I finished posting the story.
The Handsome Goldsmith
[Translated from the Pali by Daw Mya Tin, MA]
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (285) of this book, with reference to a bhikkhu, a pupil of Thera Sariputta.
Once, a young, handsome son of a goldsmith was admitted into the Order by Thera Sariputta. The young bhikkhu was given loathsomeness of the dead body as the subject of meditation by Thera Sariputta. After taking the subject of meditation he left for the forest and practised meditation there; but he made very little progress. So he returned twice to Thera Sariputta for further instructions. Still, he made no progress. So Thera Sariputta took the young bhikkhu to the Buddha, and related everything about the young bhikkhu.
The Buddha knew that the young bhikkhu was the son of a goldsmith, and also that he had been born in the family of goldsmiths during his past five hundred existences. Therefore the Buddha changed the subject of meditation for the young bhikkhu; instead of loathsomeness, he was instructed to meditate on pleasantness. With his supernormal power, the Buddha created a beautiful lotus flower as big as a cart-wheel and told the young bhikkhu to stick it on the mound of sand just outside the monastery. The young bhikkhu, concentrating on the big, beautiful, fragrant lotus flower, was able to get rid of the hindrances. He was filled with delightful satisfaction (piti), and step by step he progressed until he reached as far as the fourth level of mental absorption (jhana).
The Buddha saw him from his perfumed chamber and with his supernormal power made the flower wither instantly. Seeing the flower wither and change its colour, the bhikkhu perceived the impermanent nature of the flower and of all other things and beings. That led to the realization of the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and the insubstantiality of all conditioned things. At that instant, the Buddha sent forth his radiance and appeared as if in person to the young bhikkhu and instructed him to get rid of craving (tanha).
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 285. Cut off your craving as one plucks an autumn lily with the hand. Nibbana has been expounded on by the Buddha; cultivate that Path which leads to it.
At the end of the discourse the young bhikkhu attained arahatship.
Love Buddha's dhamma,