This Labor Day I asked my daughter to translate the story of Matthakundali , the Tavatimsa deva ...for you all.
Matthakundali : The Tavatimsa Deva
[translated from Dhammapada Thai Version by Dr.Sirikanya Sastri, MD]
While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (2) of this book, with reference to Matthakundali, a young Brahmin.
Matthakundali was a young Brahmin. His father, Adinnapubbaka, was a very stingy man who did not believe in charity. He was stingy with his own family, so stingy that even the gold ornaments for his only son were made by his own hands to save money. When his son was ill, he avoided consulting a doctor to save money until it was too late. And because he was so scared of others seeing his possessions, he had his only son placed outside on the verandah for people to come visit instead of entering his comfortable house.
On that morning, the Buddha arose from a deep meditation in order to enlighten the dying boy, Matthakundali and his stingy father. While entering Savatthi for alms-food with his disciples, the Buddha sent forth a ray of light to attract the attention of the son.The son saw the Buddha, but he could not walk to the Buddha since he was so weak and ill. Instead, he professed his faith mentally. But that was enough....when he passed away, he was reborn in the Tavatimsa deva world since he left the world with complete devotion to the Buddha.
From his deva abode, Matthakundali watched his father mourning over him at the cemetery. He showed himself as the body of the son his father knew and revealed to the father his rebirth in the Tavatimsa deva world. He urged his father to pay homage to the Buddha and invite him to a meal. At Adinnapubbaka's house, the father, his family and his friends wanted to know if it was possible to be reborn in the Tavatimsa deva world without giving to charity or upholding the moral precepts, and soley from mentally professing profound faith in the Buddha. The Buddha willed that Matthakundali should appear in person. So Matthakundali appeared fully adorned with celestial ornaments and told them about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa deva world. Only then did the audience become convinced that Matthakundali attained much glory by simply devoting his mind to the Buddha.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 2: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.
At the end of the discourse Matthakundali and his father Adinnapubbaka attained Sotapatti Magga and Sotapatti Phala. Adinnapubbaka also donated almost all his wealth to the cause of the Buddha's Teaching.
Love Buddha's dhamma,