Once a boy died. When the boy's mother saw his body, then she suffered. She thought - why has my son died? All my life I have saluted the Lord with devotion and praised his power. I thought that the Lord gives happiness to those who are virtuous and devoted. My son was virtuous and devoted. If the Lord had judgement, power and virtue, why should my son die? Therefore there is no Lord, his power and intelligence don't exist. Why should I rejoice in life since my son has died? I don't wish to live. Therefore I should go to the forest and abandon my life in the water of the river. With this thought in mind, the woman went to the forest and threw herself in the warer of the river. Just then a certain sage was diving into the river for his bath. He saw the woman's body in the water, and carried her from the water to the bank. The woman sat on the bank of the river and shivered. The sage said to the woman, o woman, people think "life is happy" and no one abandons it. Why did you abandon your life in the river? Why do you not wish to live? The woman miserably said "o sage, why did you protect my life? Since my son died, misery was born in me. Because my misery doesn't cease, I abandon my life and falll in the river. I don't want to live. I should fall in the river, or let fire burn me, or animals in the forest devour me. My son was my only happiness. Life without my son is only death. If I do live, I would live only with suffering. However if here today I would die, then today I might go to heaven, and there I might see my son, and he and I might live happily together. The sage said to the woman - "o woman, you don't know death or life. Don't torture yourself. Don't be depressed. See this! When a son is born, people rejoice. Yet when a man dies, people don't rejoice. However whoever has life, they all die also. Whoever dies, then live again somewhere. There is no life without death. There is no death without life. Just as trees are born, grow, and perish, so animals too are born, grow and perish. As with animals, so with people. People think "let my son be born!". And his son is born. "May I see the son of my son. May I see his wife. Let no one die! May I not die! My wife should not die. Nor should my son die. May I live forever!" However people don't think "whoever has life, they also die". Therefore, o woman, you should live. Don't torture yourself.
When the woman awoke to these words of the sage, she said, "o sage, I salute you, I salute the Lord, him who anyone should salute. Even though I know "he who lives, dies" I still ask you to restore my son's life with your power. The sage said "if you would give me a single mustard seed, then your son might live again. You must go to the village. There, from that house in which no one has died, bring one mustard seed. If you bring a mustard seed then your son might live."
The woman went to the village. There she went to all of the houses. The people told her "o woman, we can give you mustard seed. However in those houses they were not without death. In all those houses some people, sometime, have certainly died. The woman wandered from house to house, from village to village. Nowhere could she obtain mustard seed. Everywhere she knew only this - "he who lives, he dies". When the woman knew "no one has not died" she returned to the sage. She said to him "o sage, I salute you. You have shown me the truth. Even though my son has died, still I am not depresseed. In the world there are children without a mother, I might be their mother. I may give them happiness. Their happiness might end my misery, and I might also obtain happiness. The sage said "suffering never devours he who knows and contemplates this, he devours suffering and obtains happiness.