All Honor to Geshe Wangyal-la!
To continue your teachings we say:

Geshe WangyalThere once was a Tibetan man who traveled to India to trade. He took things like salt or yak tails, and brought back tea and other things to sell. Since India was where Shakyamuni taught, this trip also became a pilgrimage. Because of this latter aspect, his mother, a very religious woman, asked him to bring back a momento from the Holy Land. He promised to do so. However, over the years although he took many such journeys, he forgot and came back empty handed. His mother no longer inquired on his return as to what he had brought. “Next time,” he promised always, “Next time.”

One year coming back, almost in sight of home he remembered.“Uh oh,” he said, which translated from Tibetan is Uh oh. “I’ve forgotten again, and my mother is getting older. Why—she may even be dead already.” He felt he could not come home empty handed again.

Seeing a dead dog by the wayside he took out one of his teeth, wrapped it in silk, and placed it into a portable amulet box. “She will not know,” he said, “and it will not do any harm.”

At home his mother was making mo-mo’s, and he called, “Guess what I brought you from India?”

“You finally remembered?” she laughed.

“Yes. I brought you a Buddha’s tooth.”

She was overcome with joy. “Oh, I only expected a little dirt where Buddha walked. This is so sacred!”

She placed in on her altar and every morning did prostrations to it. The son smiled at the sight of his happy mother.

One day he was passing the room and a beam of light came out. On striking old people, they became young. Poor people became rich. Sad people became happy.

“What is happening?” he asked his mother, who was churning butter. “What do you expect of a Buddha’s tooth?” she replied.

The mind of the woman, through her devotion, had changed the dog’s tooth into a Buddha tooth. We can do that also.
John Brzostoski
Maitreya Festival 2003


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