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ANANDA, the favorite disciple of the Buddha, having been sent by the Lord on a mission, passed by a well near a village, and seeing Pakati, a girl of the Matanga caste, he asked her for water to drink. Pakati said: "O Brahman, I am too humble and mean to give thee water to drink, do not ask any service of me lest thy holiness be contaminated, for I am of low caste." And Ananda replied: "I ask not for caste but for water"; and the Matanga girl's heart leaped joyfully and she gave Ananda to drink.

Ananda thanked her and went away; but she followed him at a distance. Having heard that Ananda was a disciple of Gotama Sakyamuni, the girl repaired to the Blessed One and cried: "O Lord help me, and let me live in the place where Ananda thy disciple dwells, so that I may see him and minister unto him, for I love Ananda." The Blessed One understood the emotions of her heart and he said: "Pakati, thy heart is full of love, but thou understandest not thine own sentiments. It is not Ananda that thou lovest, but his kindness. Accept, then, the kindness thou hast seen him practice unto thee, and in the humility of thy station practice it unto others. Verily there is great merit in the generosity of a king when he is kind to a slave; but there is a greater merit in the slave when he ignores the wrongs which he suffers and cherishes kindness and good-will to all mankind. He will cease to hate his oppressors, and even when powerless to resist their usurpation will with compassion pity their arrogance and supercilious demeanor.

"Blessed art thou, Pakati, for though thou art a Matanga thou wilt be a model for noblemen and noble women. Thou art of low caste, but Brahmans may learn a lesson from thee. Swerve not from the path of justice and righteousness and thou wilt outshine the royal glory of queens on the throne."

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