A woman was stricken with grief as her son died when he was a toddler. The woman couldn’t accept the reality of her child’s death. The woman in a distressed state wandered the streets for days with the child in her arms asking everyone for a medicine to save her child.
Thus she went to a wise man and asked him to give her the medicine that would restore her dead son to life. The man told her to get some mustard seeds from a home where there had been no death. Overjoyed at the prospect of having her son restored to life, the woman ran from house to house, begging for some mustard seeds. Everyone was willing to help but she could not find a single home where death had not occurred. The people were only too willing to part with their mustard seeds, but they could not claim to have not lost a dear one in death. As the day dragged on, she realized hers was not the only family that had faced death and that there were more people dead than living. As soon as she realized this, her attitude towards her dead son changed; she was no longer attached to the dead body of her son and she realized how simply the man had taught her a most important lesson: that everything that is born must eventually die.
She buried her dead son and told the man that she could find no family where death had not occurred. Then the man said: “you should not think that you are the only one who has lost a son. As you have now realized, death comes to all beings. Before their desires are satiated death takes them away.”