22. A Rude Man
23. Words of Praise 24. Kindness to Animals
25. The power of Love 26.
The King and the Spirit Tree 28. Equal love to All
29. The Final days
Issued a Buddha poornima wallpaper Buddha & Sai Baba
A Rude Man
Another day Buddha was walking
through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began
insulting him. "You have no right teaching others," he shouted. "You are
as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake."
Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead, he asked the young man,
"tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it,
to whom does the gift belong ?" The man was surprised to be asked such a
strange question and answered, "it would belong to me because I bought the
Buddha smiled and said " that is correct. And it is exactly the same with
your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then
the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes
unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself. "If you want to stop
hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving
instead. When you hate others, yourself become unhappy. But when you love
others, everyone is happy."
The young man listened closely to these wise words of the Buddha. "You are
right, O Blessed one," he said, "please teach me the path of love. I wish
to become your follower." And Buddha answered, "Of course, I shall teach
anyone who truly wants to learn. Come with me."
Words of Praise
Soon Buddha had a great number of
followers, or disciples, who followed him from place to place. One day one
of them came up to him and said, "O Blessed, one, you are certainly the
greatest of all teachers who ever lived !"
Buddha was not flattered by this praise. Instead, he asked the disciple,
"tell me, have you met all the great teachers who have appeared in the
world?" "No, of course not," he answered. "And do you know all the
teachers who are alive now or will be born in the future ?" "No, I do
not," he answered again. And so the Buddha said, "then it is foolish to
say that I am the greatest of all teachers. You have no way of knowing if
this is true or not." "But I only wanted to praise you because your
teachings are so excellent and helpful, " the disciple replied.
Then Buddha said, "If you find my teachings helpful, the best thing to do
is practice them. Do not waste your energy praising me. The only reason I
have come into the world is to teach others. If you want to please me,
follow the teachings. This will please me much more than praise." At
another time Buddha asked a disciple, "If you want to buy some precious
gold, will you pay for it without testing it first ?"
"No, of course not," was the answer. "It might be fake, and then I would
be wasting my money." "It is exactly the same way with my teachings,"
Buddha replied. "You should never accept what I say as true simply because
I have said it . Rather, you should test the teachings yourself to see if
they are true or not. If you find that they are true and helpful, then
practice them. But do not do so merely out of respect for me. "Also, do
not criticize the teachings of others and say they are no good. There are
many other great teachers in the world and they all have their own way of
helping people. So do not insult any of them. This is not your business.
Your only business is to find happiness and help others find it, too."
In such ways, then, Buddha taught his followers to think for themselves,
to be kind to others and to respect everyone.
Kindness to Animals
In those days it was common in India
for people to kill animals as a sacrifice, or offering, to their gods.
This was supposed to make the gods happy. Then the gods would give the
people what they prayed for, such as wealthy, or rain for their crops.
Wherever he went, Buddha told people that it was wrong to sacrifice
animals like this. Some people who heard him became angry with Buddha and
said, "our holy books say that it is correct to kill animals and offer
them to our gods. How dare you teach differently ?" And Buddha replied,
"It is not right to make another unhappy so that you can be happy.
Everyone wants to remain alive just as you do. Therefore, If you sacrifice
an animal, you are just being selfish. And I have taught again and again
that a selfish person finds nothing but unhappiness in life.
"Also, any god who demands the blood of an animal before he will help you
is not a kind god. He is not worthy of being worshiped by anyone. But if
you act with love and kindness towards everyone-animals and people alike -
then the gods themselves should worship you !"
Many of the people who heard these words of wisdom saw that they were
true. Immediately they gave up their custom of sacrificing animals. In
this way a great deal of unhappiness was brought to an end.
The Power of Love
Buddha never forgot the promise he
make to king Bimbisara to return and give him teachings. So when the time
was right, he journeyed to Rajagriha. Outside this royal city was a hill
called Vulture's Peak, and Buddha and many his disciples went and lived in
King Bimbisara often went to Vulture's Peak to hear the words of the
Buddha. The people of the city went also, and soon the number of Buddha's
followers grew very large. After some time, the King and several other
rich people gave Buddha and his followers parks where everyone could stay
and listen to his teachings in comfort.
Buddha's cousin, Devadatta, became very jealous. "He has so many people
following him, " he thought, "and everyone shows him so much respect. But
they all ignore me, and I am as great as he is. I must destroy him !"
He knew that he would need help in killing the Buddha, so he went to King
Billiards's son. "Don't you want to be King ?" he asked. " Why should your
father have all the wealth and power ?" Come, if you help me kill the
Buddha, I shall help you kill your father. Then you can become King in his
place." The King's son listened to these wicked words and agreed. Then the
two of them tried many ways to murder the Buddha. One day, while Buddha
was sitting in meditation near Vulture's Peak, they rolled a very large
boulder down the hill towards him. But just before it was going to crush
him, the rock split in half, leaving Buddha unharmed.
Another time, Buddha was walking through the city with several of his
closet disciples. The two men knew he was coming and were ready. They had
bought an elephant and gave it lots of liquor to drink. When it was quite
drunk, they beat it with sticks until it was crazy with anger. Then they
released it in the direction of the Buddha, hoping the elephant would
trample him to death.
When the disciples saw the enraged elephant charging towards them, they
ran away in fear. All except Ananda, Buddha's closet companion, who stayed
by his teacher's side, holding onto Buddha's robe. Buddha saw the elephant
coming and , instead of being frightened or angry, felt great love and
pity for the poor beast. Even though the elephant was drunk and crazed, it
felt the power of Buddha's love. It stopped charging and walked over to
the Buddha meekly, and then bowed down its large head at Buddha's feet.
Buddha patted the elephant gently an turned and said to Ananda, "the only
way to destroy hatred is with love. Hatred can not be defeated with more
hatred. This is a very important lesson to learn."
One day Buddha said to his
followers, "it is time that I returned to Kapilavastu, the city of my
father." And so they all began the long walk to Buddha's childhood home.
News of Buddha's approach quickly reached the city and everyone became
very excited and happy. "At long last our beloved Prince is returning !"
they cried. "Now he is a great teacher with hundreds and hundreds of
followers. How good it will be to see him again !"
King Shuddhodana was overjoyed to hear of his son's return. When he
learned that the Buddha had many followers he became proud and thought,
"My son has become a great leader after all. He has brought great honor to
He could not wait for Buddha's arrival, but sent a servant ahead by horse
to see what his son was like after so many years. By the next morning the
servant had arrived where Buddha and his followers were staying. They were
all carrying wooden bowls. They went from door to door in the village
begging for their food. Then they returned to where they were staying and
ate their simple meal together in silence.
The servant returned to Kapilavastu and reported all of this to the King.
The King was furious. He shouted, "my son, a royal prince, has become a
beggar ! I am disgraced. I must put a stop to this at once !"
Immediately he rode out of the palace and went to where his son was
staying. When he saw his Siddhartha, now a radiant Buddha surrounded by
hundreds of disciples, he was very impressed. They greeted each other
lovingly. Then the King asked, "Is it true what I hear, that you beg for
your food each morning ?"
"Yes," was the answer, "this is true. It is our custom to beg." At this
the King became angrier than he was before. "Our custom ?" he shouted.
"You come from a long line of Kings who never had to beg for anything in
their lives. Our custom is to eat from silver and gold plates, not our of
simple wooden bowls. What are you talking about, our custom ?"
The gentle answer came, "Father, you come from a long line of royal kings.
This is true. But I come from a long line of teachers, the Buddhas of the
past. These teachers have always been very humble. They received their
food from the people they met. When I say it is our custom to beg, I mean
it is the custom of Buddhas."
Then he took hold of his father's hand and walked alone with him for a
long while. He taught him the Nobel Truths and the path leading to the end
of all suffering. After listening to him for a long time the King said,
"It is true, you are far more than just my son. As the holy man Asita
predicted when you were just a baby, you have to become a great teacher. I
bow before you, O Buddha. Please accept me, who once wanted you to be a
king, as one of your disciples."
Soon afterwards Buddha's wife Yasodhara, his son Rahula, the ant who
brought him up and many others from the palace also asked to become his
followers. "We were so unhappy when you rode away from us so many years
ago," they told him. "But now you have brought us so much happiness and
peace of mind with your teachings of the truth. We are glad that you left
us and have returned as a Buddha."
The King and the Spirit Tree
From the time he was thirty five
years old, Buddha gave his teachings to everyone who was interested. For
the next forty five years he traveled around India bringing people peace
about love and kindness, he would tell them stories that would catch their
imagination. Here is one of those of stories he told.
A long, long time ago there lived a proud King. He wanted to build a very
large palace for himself, so he told his ministers, "Go out into the
forest and find the tallest tree there. This I shall use for my palace.
Deep in the forest the ministers found such a tree. It was magnificent and
stood surrounded by many other smaller trees. That night they reported
back to the King and announced, "your Majesty, we have found just what you
wanted. Tomorrow, we shall return to the woods and chop it down."
The King was very happy and went to sleep. That night he had a very
strange dream. He dreamt that a spirit, which lived in the great tree,
appeared before him. "Oh, King!" it said, "please do not cut down the home
in which I live. If you do so, each cut will hurt me very much and I shall
die." But the King answered, "yours is the finest tree in all the forest.
I must use it for my palace." The spirits pleaded, but the King was very
stubborn and insisted the tree would be cut down. Finally the tree spirit
said to him, "Alright, you may cut it down. But please do it like this. Do
not cut it down from the bottom, as people usually do. Instead, have your
men climb to the top of the tree and cut it down little by little. First
have them cut off one piece, then another, until they have cut down the
The King was very surprised by this and said, "But if I have my men do as
you say and cut through your tree many times, it will cause you much more
pain than if they cut it down just once from the bottom."
The spirit answered, "yes, this is true. But it is better for the other
creatures in the forest if you do as I suggest. You see, my tree is very
large. If it falls down in one big piece, it will crash into the other
smaller trees around it and kill many small animals. Many birds and
insects will lose their homes and many smaller trees will be destroyed.
But if you cut it down piece by piece, it will not do so much damage."
Then the King awoke. He thought, "that spirit would have let itself be cut
a hundred times so that the small animals of the forest would not suffer.
How brave and kind it is ! And how selfish of me to want to cut that tree
down for my own pleasure and pride. Instead, of cutting it down, I should
honor it ! This dream has taught me that I should also be kind and gentle
And so the King went to the forest the next day and decorated the tree.
And he was a kind and just ruler from that day onwards.
Equal love to all
One day Devadatta fell ill. Many
doctors came to see him but no one could cure him. Buddha went to visit
him. One of Buddha's followers asked him, "oh! Buddha, why are you going
to help Devadatta ? He had tried to harm you many times. He has even tried
to kill you !" And Buddha answered, "There is no reason to be friendly
with some people and an enemy to others. All people are equal in that
everyone wants happiness and no one likes to be sick and miserable.
Therefore, we should have love for everyone." Then he approached
Devadatta's bed and said, "if it is true that I love Devadatta, who is
always trying to harm me, as much as I love Rahula, my only child, then
let my cousin be cured of his sickness !" Immediately Devadatta recovered
and was healthy once again.
Buddha turned to his followers and said, "remember a true Buddha helps all
The final Days
When Buddha was eighty years old he
thought to himself, "I have done all I could to help others. I have taught
them how to live with love and how not to fear anything in life. Now it is
time to show them how to leave this world without fear."
So he called the faithfull Ananda to him and said "Ananda, it is time for
us to return to Kapilavastu for the last time. I wish do die in the city
where I grew up." Ananda was grief stricken. "Oh, Buddha," he cried,
"please do not leave us ! For so many years you have been our guide. What
shall we do without you ?" Then he began to sob bitterly.
Buddha answered, "do not cry, dear Ananda. I have always taught that the
death is a natural part of life. It is nothing to fear. You must
understand that. And when I am gone, let my teachings be your guide. If
you have understood them in your heart, you have no more need of me. Come,
let us go."
And so Buddha and his disciples traveled toward to the North. Kapilavastu
was not so far from the place that they lived. Buddha and his followers
started their strip. During the strip, they passed through the village of
Kushinagar. Buddha asked his students to stop there and rest. Then he
returned to Ananda and said, "this is a place where I shall pass away."
Although this was to be the last day of his life, Buddha did not stop
helping others. An old man from the village asked to see him, and Buddha
agreed. He listened to the man's problems and gave him kind words of
advice. The man was put at ease and felt happy once again. Then Buddha
went out into the garden and lay down between two trees. His students
gathered around him. Some were crying, but others, their minds completely
at peace, looked on silently.
Then Buddha spoke for the last time. "Remember ! what I have taught you.
Craving and desire are the cause of all unhappiness. Everything sooner or
later must change, so do not become attached to anything. Instead of this,
you devote yourself to clearing your mind and finding true, lasting
Buddha then turned onto his right side and placed his right hand under his
head. He closed his eyes and very peacefully passed away. It was the full
moon day of the fourth month.