In the time of the Buddha, there was a blacksmith named Cunda. Blacksmiths had low social status, but Cunda was hard-working and intelligent, and so he prospered and owned a beautiful mango grove. On one occasion, the Buddha visited Cunda’s village and chose to stay in his mango grove. At that time in India, the sons of wealthy and important families, like the Buddha’s Sakya clan, would not normally interact with common workers like blacksmiths, so Cunda was delighted that the Buddha would honor him by staying in his grove.
Cunda delighted in the Dharma taught by the Buddha and invited the Buddha and his Sangha to partake in a special meal at his home. The Buddha indicated his acceptance of the invitation by remaining silent, so Cunda proceeded to prepare a scrumptious feast, including a variety of foods with good textures, well-cooked soft foods, and a dish made with a special kind of mushroom.
When the mushroom dish was served, the Buddha immediately claimed it for himself and instructed Cunda to serve the remaining dishes to the other monks. After eating his fill of the mushroom dish, he told Cunda to bury what remained of it in the ground, saying, “This food can only be eaten by one who has mastered the Dharma and attained awakening.”Continue reading “The Buddha’s Final Meal”