The story of the Buddha tooth

It is said that there was once, a Tibetan monk who would have decided to go on pilgrimage to India. When he left, his grandmother asked him to bring him from there a precious relic, which would offer support to his faith.

The monk went on pilgrimage, and when he arrived in India he visited a lot of temples and monasteries, copying sacred texts and learning all kinds of religious rituals. Then he took the road home. Just when he had little left to get to his village, he remembered his grandmother’s prayer. What more could he do now? From the way he could not go back, India was far away. Saddened that he could not fulfill his grandmother’s prayer, looking for a solution….when he saw next to him, a skeleton of a dog. An idea sprouts in his mind. She had broken a tooth from the skeleton’s teeth, cleaned it well, and put it in a precious wooden box.

When he went to Tibet, he visited his grandmother and, giving her the knife, she said:

– Here’s grandma, I brought you the promised gift! In this box is found the buddha’s tooth! I have it from a famous monastery!

Grandma took the knife with awe and placed it in her little prayer altar. With the passage of time, they came to see the wonderful canine, to pray and worship him, first the close friends of the monk’s mother, then in turn all the villagers. Some of them found comfort in the soul, others even healed almost miraculously, and from so many miracles they decided to build a temple.

Said and done. They built a small temple closed to the Buddha’s tooth, to which slowly, slowly, slowly pilgrims from all over the region began to come.

The village began to prosper from these visits, and in time it turned into a small town.

Miracles multiplied and more and more people who came on pilgrimage, were healing only at the sight of the wonderful tooth, so that it came to be famous throughout Tibet.

The little temple soon became incapable, so they had to build with the help of believers a new temple that was called the Temple of salvation of the Tibetan nation, which became the most wonderful and imposing building in all of Tibet. Now they came here, and the Indians, even those from the monastery from which the monk had said that he had taken the tooth, which was already known as the land of the Styrofoam Buddha.

At one point, the monk in our story returned to his village and was amazed by the changes produced and the constructions that appeared where he knew that there were some modest houses. He asked someone what temple it is and why so many people come there and he was told that it is the temple where people worship the buddha’s tooth that works miracles and offers health.

Realizing that his lie that he thought was somewhat innocent (!) had huge consequences, he goes to his grandmother, retreats with her to a room and confesses his lie about the dog tooth he offered him as the buddha’s tooth.

Grandma listened to him very carefully and finally told him that she does not believe that what he says is true because she knows absolutely for sure, through direct knowledge of the influences and subtle qualities of that tooth, that that tooth is the tooth of the Buddha and that the one who is cheating is her own grandson.

How is that possible?

Well, all these things that happened in this story they are not related to the Buddha’s tooth.
In fact, even if it had been buddha’s tooth, people would not have known the subtle effects and miracles mentioned on his part from the beginning. Because a tooth does nothing. Not even (only) the presence of the Buddha himself, alive and healthy, in the midst of a collectivity, would not make those people go through the spiritual path.

The so-called Buddha tooth in the story (which, in fact, was a dog tooth) performed miracles for the following reasons:

– with the help of the tooth people related to the true Buddha, who, anyway, exists and is alive now, even if he no longer has a physical body; benefiting from this connection, they subtly received from the Buddha, because they wanted and because they asked for a certain kind of help, depending on the particular aspects of each case;

– with the help of the tooth, people even related not only to the Buddha, but even to a personal image of what they thought Buddha meant, an image that can be, on a case-by-case basis, taller, more universal and more complete than buddha Sakyamuni himself (or Buddha Gautama).

– because the tooth was thus adored, obviously, even after the people who thought that it was the buddha’s tooth were intensely related to these aspects, the tooth is loaded, in turn, with those resonances emitted, this time, by the worshippers themselves; thus, since the worshippers were many and passed daily in front of the tooth, it became more than an anchor—it became an object very heavily loaded with the resonance of what people thought of it from the beginning.

Finally, after all this, the reference to that dog tooth that was mistakenly considered a buddha’s tooth produced real, valuable and exceptional effects on his worshippers, so that it no longer had any importance what he really was: the dog tooth or even the tooth of the Buddha himself.


Leo Radutz



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