Once there lived a rich man who was famous for his charitable acts. He always gave alms to the poor. A poor hermit happened to be his neighbor. The hermit was called the Silent Buddha, for he was an enlightened person and spent all his time in meditation.
Once he meditated for seven days and seven nights at a stretch without any food or water. When he awoke from his trance, he was very hungry. So he went to the rich man to beg for food.
Mara, the God of Death, was jealous of the rich man’s reputation and decided to stop him from giving alms. He wanted the Silent Buddha to die to starvation. When the rich man came forward to offer alms to the Silent Buddha, Mara lit a huge fire between the two. But the rich man was determined and trusting the strength of his good deeds, walked through the fire and, emerging unharmed, offered the Silent Buddha food. Mara was defeated and departed saying, “Indeed the power of generosity is great!”
The author of this story is unknown and greatly appreciated!