One morning when the Lord Buddha went for an alms round he saw a merchant setting up his shop to run a business for the three seasons i.e. for summer, winter and autumn. Knowing his future, the Buddha smiled, that caused Phra Ananda to ask the Lord as to what he had seen.
The Lord Buddha said that this merchant didn’t know that something tragic would happen to him. That he only had 7 days to live. He was still busy with his business. Hearing that Phra Ananda took pity of the merchant and asked the Buddh’s permission to let the merchant know about his fate.
The merchant got terribly frightened and sad. He thought to himself that he didn’t have any refuge and now death is getting closer. He then invited the Lord Buddha and the sangha of bikkhus to have meal at his place for 7 days. The Lord felt compassionate towards him and accepted to be his field of merit on the 7th day.
The Lord expounded that:
“normally pundit should not be reckless, should not think death will not come and keep oneself busy working through the three seasons. Reckless one is similar to a dead person.”
After the Lord finished his sermon the merchant had become a stream winner, Phra Sodapana, who will definitely go to Nirvana, lead a precious and safe life in the cycle of existence. The merchant finally died after 7 days.
Trnslated by Chan