But one day that boy also died, and Krishagautami went completely mad. It was a coincidence that Buddha was staying in the same city of Shravasti. Somebody suggested to Krishagautami, “A great mystic is here. Why don’t you take your son to him? He can do anything; he is a man of tremendous power. Seeing your situation, and knowing his compassion, something is possible. Perhaps your son may come back to life.”
Krishagautami went with the dead body. She put the body at the feet of Gautam Buddha and said, “I have lost everything – all my children, my husband. I was living only for this son; now he is also dead. I have heard much about your compassion. Now is the time to show it. Let my son get up again, resurrect him.”
Buddha said, “On one condition: you go into the town…to resurrect your child I need a few mustard seeds, but they should be from a family where nobody has ever died.”
Krishagautami was not in a state of mind to think that this was impossible, that the condition could not be fulfilled. She went from one house to another and people said, “We can give you as many mustard seeds as you want. We can fill our bullock carts with mustard seeds and bring them to Gautam Buddha if your son can be revived. But our mustard seeds won’t help, because not only one but thousands must have died in our family. For generations after generations, people have been dying. These mustard seeds are not going to fulfill the condition.
She went on, and the same was the answer everywhere. She went to the king of Shravasti and told him, “Can’t you do just a small thing for me? A few mustard seeds and my son can be back, alive.”
The king said, “You can have as many mustard seeds as you want.”
But the woman said, “There is a condition, and the condition is that in your family no one should have died. And your family is royal – certainly you will fulfill my condition.”
The king said, with tears in his eyes, “Royal or not royal, death makes no difference. My father has died, my son has died, and an unaccountable number of people must have died in my family before I was born. You have to forgive me; I can give you anything you want, but that condition cannot be fulfilled.”
The whole day going round the city, the woman became alert of a fact…that death is inevitable, today or tomorrow.
After seeing the king she came back to Buddha, touched his feet and said, “Please forgive me. I was asking you to do something against nature, and you were wise enough not to say no to me. Instead you gave me an opportunity to understand that my asking was wrong. Please initiate me. I don’t have anything to live for, but I would like to know what it is that lives and what it is that dies.” Buddha initiated her, and she became one of the great meditators among his followers.
Now, which one do you think is a miracle, Lazarus or Krishagautami? Which one do you think is doing the miracle? – Jesus or Gautam Buddha?
Gautam Buddha is not doing a miracle at all, but if you understand it rightly, he is doing the miracle, because he is changing the woman from a mad state into a meditative state. Even if Lazarus becomes alive he remains Lazarus, and one day he will die again, so what is the point?