Buddha said: "I will tell you another parable. Once upon a time the only son of a wealthy man left his home and fell into extreme poverty.

"When the father traveled far from home in search of his son, he lost track of him. He did everything he could to find his son, but in vain.

"Decades later, his son, now reduced to wretchedness, wandered near where his father was living.

"The father quickly recognized his son and sent his servants to bring the wanderer home; who was overcome by the majestic appearance of the mansion. He feared that they were deceiving him and would not go with them. He did not realize it was his own father.

"The father again sent his servants to offer him some money to become a servant in their rich master's household. The son accepted the offer and returned with them to his father's house and became a servant.

"The father gradually advanced him until he was put in charge of all the property and treasures, but still the son did not recognize his own father.

"The father was pleased with his son's faithfulness, and as the end of his life drew near, he called together his relatives and friends and told them: 'Friends, this is my only son, the son I sought for many years. From now on, all my property and treasures belong to him.'

"The son was surprised at his father's confession and said: 'Not only have I found my father but all this property and treasure is now mine.'"

The wealthy man in this parable represents Buddha, and the wandering son, all people. Buddha's compassion embraces all people with the love of a father for his only son. In that love he conceives the wisest methods to lead, teach and enrich them with the treasure of Enlightenment.