Long ago, there was a shramanera who practiced under a Sangha. His Master, who had attained the Path, possessed the spiritual power of foreseeing others’ lives. He knew that the shramanera had only seven more days to live. So he told him to go back to his hometown to see his mother. He said to him: “You can come back after the eight day”. He expected that he would die by then.
After seven days, the shramanera returned. The Sangha was very surprised to see him alive and also noticed that his physiognomy had undergone a change too. He then sat in meditation and entered Samadhi so as to contemplate the happenings in the past seven days. He found that the shramanera, on his way home, had used a branch to save many ants which were stranded by flood waters from the stream. The stream had burst its banks as it was raining heavily that day.
The Shangha then related what he seen to the shramanera and confirmed that it was indeed true. The Master was glad and said: “You were supposed to die within the past seven days but because of a single thought of kindness and compassion, you had saved many ants and hence accrued abundant merits. Your physiognomy has undergone a transformation and you will attain longevity”.
The shramanera had indeed escaped from the destiny of a short lifespan and lived till the age of eighty. Besides, he also attained the sagely fruition of Arhatship, thereby freeing himself from the sufferings of transmigration on the six paths.