A young ascetic sitting in meditation under a tree was splattered by the droppings of a bird. He looked up angrily at the culprit and such was the intensity of his wrath that the bird was reduced to ash.
His concentration disturbed, the ascetic got up and went in search of food. He knocked at the door of a house but there was no answer. He knocked again and the lady of the house shouted that she was coming. Presently she came out with food and seeing that he was annoyed at having had to wait so long, smiled and said: "Please don’t try to burn me with your angry glance like you did with that bird. My dharma as a housewife is first to take care of the needs of my family before attending to the needs of others." The ascetic realised that she was no ordinary woman and asked her to teach him what dharma was. She said he should see Dharma Vyadha.
The ascetic went in search of Dharma Vyadha, expecting to find a venerable sage but the man turned out to be meat seller. Dharma Vyadha made him wait while he served his customers. When the ascetic showed signs of impatience, the meat seller smiled and said : "Just as the woman’s first duty was to her family, my first duty is to my customers."
When the last customer had gone, the meat seller turned to the ascetic and invited him home. The ascetic was again made to wait while his host lovingly attended to his parents. The ascetic learnt his lesson and was transformed. "Now I know what dharma is," he said. Giving up the path of asceticism, he returned home and started serving his aged parents.
This is a story my mother had told me, and I was deeply attached to her. She never visited any place of worship and her
only wish was that I should be by her bedside at the time of her death. That happened; I stood in tears beside her body. There was glow on her face.