Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories
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Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories

Submitted by Yuri Klitsenko, Russia

Year after year, Tsong-kha-pa studied scriptures in the lamasery. It was spring. One day as he took out the scriptures and was about to chant, he noticed a cuckoo singing outside. This reminded him of a kind mother calling to her wandering son.

Distressed, Tsong-kha-pa no longer felt like diligent study. He stepped out of the hall and found many blooming flowers. Not far away was a green willow grove, and he decided that the cooing came from there. He longed to enter the grove and enjoy the singing of the cuckoo. He also wished to return home to see his parents. Then he remembered that he still had much doctrine to study, and that there was still an urgent need in Tibet to propagate Buddhism. He was then at a crucial stage, and any laxity might lead to failure. Contemplating this, he suppressed his nostalgia and said, "Cuckoo, I must ask you to leave so that I can concentrate on my study."

The cuckoo seemed to understand and left.

From Asian Folklore Studies, Volume 51, 1992: 219-242

Feng Lide and Kevin Stuart
Qinghai Education College, Xining, Qinghai, PR China Folklore Concerning Tsong-kha-pa

This article is a selective translation of tales centering around Tsong-kha-pa (1357-1419), the great Tibetan Buddhist reformer.

Yuri Klitsenko is a Russian living in Moscow.  He works for the Russian Orthodox Church.

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