Kisa Gautami was a young woman from a well-to-do family and was married to a wealthy
merchant. When her only son was about a year old, he fell ill and suddenly died. Overcome
with grief, Kisa Gautami took the dead child in her arms and went from house to house asking
people if they knew of a medecine that would restore her child to life. Of course, no one was
able to help her. Finally, she met a follower of the Buddha, who advised her to see Him.
When she carried the dead child to the Buddha and told Him her sad story, He listened with
patience and compassion, and then said to her, "There is only one way to solve your problem.
Go and get me four or five mustard seeds from any family in which there has never been a death."
Kisa Gautami set off to look for such a household, but without success. Every family she visited
had experienced the dead of some person or other. At last, she understood what the Buddha had
wanted her to find out for herself - that death comes to all. Accepting the fact that death is
inevitable, she no longer grieved. She took the child's body away and later returned to the Buddha
to become one of His followers.