The Power of Buddha Law
There is a story from Buddhism. In ancient India, there was an extremely clear and strict separation of the social classes. The lowest and poorest class was the Sudra race, which was looked down upon by others. Most of them were servants or slaves, performed the hardest, most difficult work and were often abused.
In Sravasti City, there was a Sudra (the lowest of the four Hindu castes) named Niti. His job was to carry manure for people - the last job that anyone wanted to do. He was an honest, kind person and rarely spoke more than necessary.
Shakyamuni once observed Niti when he was in meditation. Niti's karma had almost been paid off, so it was the time for him to break away from the sea of misery. Thus Shakyamuni and Ananda went to the city of Sravasti. They came to the street where Niti lived, and Shakyamuni asked him, "Niti, do you want to become a monk? Do you want to break away from the sea of misery?"
Niti said with shame, "You are so honorable and respectful. Even your disciples are from royal families. I am such a low class person, how can I be compared with them? How do I have the fortune to be a monk and free of suffering?"
Shakyamuni said, "Buddha Law is like pure water. It can wash away all the dirt. No matter what is on the earth, once it is washed by the pure water, it becomes brand new. Buddha Law is like a flame. It can burn everything. No matter what it is, once it is touched by the sacred fire, it becomes pure immediately. Buddha Law is most fair. It does not distinguish rich from poor. Any person, as long as he believes in Buddha, wants to escape the suffering, and cultivates diligently, can become a monk."
Niti was deeply moved by Shakyamuni's words. He followed Shakyamuni to his residence, had his hair cut and became a monk. He listened to Shakyamuni's teachings and cultivated in meditation with a calm mind, and gradually became enlightened. Not only was he able to understand the Law that Shakyamuni taught, but he was also able to act accordingly. Soon he enlightened to the Arhat level.
Many people with regular everyday thoughts could not accept the fact that Niti had become a monk. How could a low class person become a monk and be materially supported by the people? They could not accept it, so they asked the king to tell Shakyamuni not to take Niti as his disciple.
The king rode in his carriage to Shakyamuni's residence. When he arrived, he was surprised to see a monk who walked through a stone with no opening. When he saw Shakyamuni, he saluted him, then folded his palms and asked Shakyamuni, "The person who reported to you of my arrival has a lot of supernormal capabilities. May I know his title?"
With a smile, Shakyamuni said to the king, "The King of Prasenajit, you came here for a reason. You wanted to ask me why I will save the person whom you thought was the lowest person. But I don't care whether a person is rich or poor. They are all the same in my eyes. That monk you asked for was Niti, and he has reached the Arhat level. The person you saw just now is him."
After Shakyamuni's explanation, the king praised Buddha’s mighty virtue, the boundless benevolence of the Buddha Law and his actions to save people.