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The Story of Relying On Joy

There is a Buddhist story that says that at the time of the Buddha there lived an old beggar woman named Relying On Joy. She was a fervent practitioner of meditation and devoted follower of Buddha. During one of his travels, the Buddha visited her village. Relying On Joy watched sadly as all the rich merchants made beautiful offerings to Buddha, being but a poor beggar woman she had nothing to offer him in gratitude for his teachings. Still she spent the day begging and managed to beg enough oil to fill a tiny lantern. She brought her gift to the Buddha, sorry that she could not offer him more. The next morning, the Buddha's attendants were astonished to find that although all the large and fancy lamps given by the merchants and filled with oil had gone out long ago, the flame of the beggar woman's lantern still burned brightly. The attendants tried to put out the tiny lantern but no matter what they did the flame would not extinguish. Finally, the Buddha said, "Do not try to put out that lamp. Even if you smothered it with all the sand on earth or dumped all the water of all the oceans over it, that tiny lamp would not extinguish. It was offered with such pure love and sincere motivation that nothing can ever put out such a flame."


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