Mencius was the second Confucian sage, the second one after Confucius but perhaps even a greater man. His mother was a woman of realisation. She was a weaver, a very good one. She had this little boy. When he was 5 or 6 she took him to school and introduced him there and left him there and came back. It was summer and she was in the open air in the garden and she was beginning to weave a very beautiful brocade. It was a small piece as yet but it already looked beautiful.
The boy didn’t like the school and he left school and went back home. When he returned she looked up and saw the boy. She picked up a knife and slashed the brocade she just began and said: ‘I have done the same as you have’. The boy turned and went back to school. He became one of the greatest scholars and greatest sages of China.
This was the Atman in her. It struck the Atman in the small boy.
© Trevor Leggett