Tra Maestra e discepoli

Whatever You Do Is All for Yourself, Part 3 of 9, Jan. 21, 2022

Lingua del discorso:English
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The title says something like, “Whatever you do is all for yourself.” It’s always for yourself. Meaning, you’re not working for anyone else, even if you say you work for the world or whatever. I have always told you that. (Yes, Master.) Because you gain merit, or you gain bad karma out of whatever you do. (Yes, Master.) So, whatever you do is all for yourself. Bad or good. So, better do good.

Are you still drooling for the story? (Yes, Master.) I keep you waiting. It comes now. The story is, of course, in Aulacese (Vietnamese) and I have to translate.

The title says something like, “Whatever you do is all for yourself.” It’s always for yourself. Meaning, you’re not working for anyone else, even if you say you work for the world or whatever. I have always told you that. (Yes, Master.) Because you gain merit, or you gain bad karma out of whatever you do. (Yes, Master.) So, whatever you do is all for yourself. Bad or good. So, better do good. (Yes, Master.)

This story is one of the stories in that book that’s published in Amsterdam, Holland, Netherlands in the 19th century.

A long, long time ago, there was a very, very poor old woman. She stayed in a grass hut, a thatched hut. Very shabby, and it was almost like it could collapse anytime. (Oh. Wow.) Very poor and didn’t repair it that often. And her thatch hut was in the suburb of a city, and it was near a forest. Every day she went out to beg from door to door, but just a little bit. Enough to survive, in a very meager fashion, daily.

But even then, every time, though she was very poor and lived such a very meager existence, every time she received some donation money from anybody, instead of saying, ‘Thank you,’ like every other beggar, she always said one sentence all the time. She said, ‘Whatever you do is only for you, (Wow.) only for yourself.’ Whenever people heard her say such things, they were kind of perplexed. But nobody understood what she meant.

One time she went to the palace and then the queen gave her a good gift, a very decent gift. And this lady, the woman, she took the gift in her hand and at the same time she said, ‘Whatever you do is only for yourself.’ (Yes.) And then the queen, hearing that, she felt just so very weird. But the queen thought to herself, ‘Oh, this is probably just a poor, uneducated woman. She just learned something and then just says it like that. That’s all.’ (Yes, Master.)

And then some time later, this old, poor beggar woman came back to the palace again. And this time, the queen gifted her with an even more generous gift, present, and donation. This time, the old beggar woman repeated the same sentence. Then, after the queen heard it again, this time she was very, very angry. The queen became angry. She told all of her servants like this. ‘You, all of you, you heard this old woman talking in such an impolite, rude way. And then even she dares to ridicule the people who help her like that.’

And in the heat of her anger, the queen called her baker, the chief of the bakers, to come to her, and she told him that he had to bake a cake that looks very beautiful, and is very, very delicious. But inside, the pastry, he has to mix, saturate it with poison. (Wow.) So, the chief of the bakery in the palace made it. Because he obeyed the order of the queen.” He dared not, no? (Yes, Master.) “And then he really did that. No one else knew, only the queen and him.

The next time the old woman came to the palace begging again, the queen brought this cake out, that looked so beautiful, (Yes.) and looked delicious and gave it to this old beggar woman. (Wow.) And then the old woman repeated the same sentence, ‘Whatever you do, it’s all for you anyway.’ Right. So, she took the cake and then happily went away from the palace.

She went back to her little hut, but she did not eat immediately that cake, because she thought it was too beautiful. She wanted to save it for a few days so that she could enjoy the look of it. (Oh, right.) And then thinking how delicious it will be when she finally eats it. (Right.) So she thought even just to look at it, it is already such a blessing, such a satisfaction, (Yes. Yes, Master.) such luck, such happiness, (Yes.) because she never had such a thing before in all her life. (Right.) And the queen already specially ordered to make it exceptionally beautiful and look delicious. She wanted to make sure that the old beggar would not be able to resist. (Yes, Master.) But the old woman, because she never had such a thing, so she felt it’s such a pity to eat it immediately, so she kept it in a corner and kept looking at it whenever she could.” Right. (Yes, Master.)

“So, in that week, a few days within that week, the crown prince, the first son of the queen, went hunting with some of his servants. All day long, the prince went all over, inside the thickets and the forest, focusing on his hunting, and felt very, very enjoyable about the game. So, he did not eat or drink anything because he was too concentrated on his hobby, hunting, (Yes.) hunting and running after animal-people and all that. Because that’s his biggest hobby; he loved hunting.

So, on the way back to the palace, he felt now suddenly very, very, very exhausted, (Oh.) and then he was thinking, ‘Oh, why don’t I just stop here and take a rest under the roof of this woman’s hut.’” (Yes, Master.) Because she lived next to the forest where he was hunting, you see. Remember? (Yes, Master.)

“So, he went to her door, her hut. When the old, little woman, poor woman beggar saw the prince come, she was trembling with joy, (Yes.) with excitement. And then she very, very respectfully said to the prince, ‘Oh, how much honor, how lucky I am that a prince, such a precious guest, even steps into my humble hut like this. (Yes.) I will have to offer you the best I have.’” (Oh, no.) OK, you will know what it is.

“‘Normally, I don’t have anything more than just old bread and water. But luckily now, I just remembered I have a beautiful cake. It’s beautiful and looks delicious. I will offer it to you. Your Highness, would you like to eat one piece of this cake? And it’s even specially made by your mother, your very, very exceptionally kind mother, that made it and gave it to me. Would you like to have a piece?’

And then she brought the cake out. And then gave one piece to the prince. After he swallowed that piece, he screamed out, ‘Oh! I am poisoned. I’m poisoned.’ And he died. (Oh. Oh no.) He fell to the floor and died immediately. (Oh, gosh.) (Wow.)

Oh, the old beggar was so terrified. (Wow.) She was screaming, yelling, at the same time as she was running to the queen in the palace to tell her the story, the bad, unfortunate event that just happened. After hearing that, the queen also fell down, collapsed, and fainted, (Oh, yes.) unconscious. Of course, many of the best doctors were summoned to the palace, (Yes.) summoned to the palace to save her. (Right.)

After she regained her consciousness, (Yes, Master.) the queen said to the old beggar woman, ‘Now I understand what you have always been saying, like, “Whatever you do is only for you, yourself.” Now, I understand why you always said that. And you are right.’

From that day on, the queen treated her very, very respectfully. And made sure that she lived a very comfortable life, with everything she needed for the rest of her life.”

End of story. (Wow.) Wow. (Wow. What a story.) You see that? Huh? (Yes, Master.)

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