Buddha Had A Disciple Called Purna – A Zen Buddhist Spiritual Story by Osho

He had been initiated and had become self-realized. Purna said, “Now I want to leave and spread your message to all the people who need it.”

Buddha said, “I can give you permission to leave, but I have to ask you one thing first: where do you want to go?”

There was a small region in Bihar called Sukha. Purna said, “I will go to Sukha. Until now no monk has ever visited this area, and the people of this region have never heard your message.”

Buddha said, “There is a reason why no one has ever been there. The people there are very bad. It is possible that if you go there they will insult you. Then what will your response be?”

And Purna said, “I will thank them. I will thank them because even if they abuse me, at least they did not hit me – they could have hit me.”

Buddha said, “It is possible that one of them may hit you; then what will your response be?”

He replied, “I will thank him because even if he hits me, at least he did not kill me. He could have killed me.”

Buddha said, “I want to ask you one last question. It is possible that someone will kill you. Then what will your response be?”

Purna said, “I will thank him for releasing me from this life in which I could have gone astray.”

And Buddha said, “In that case, you can go anywhere! Now wherever you go, for you, everyone will be a part of your family. Because when a person’s heart is so full, at such a peak, nothing on this earth can hurt him.”

OSHO – The Path of Meditation

What is the Spiritual Moral / Meaning of Osho's “Buddha Had A Disciple Called Purna” Story?

Purna's unwavering commitment to spreading Buddha's message despite potential rejection and harm demonstrates a deep inner strength and conviction. It reminds us that on our path to self-realization, we may encounter challenges and opposition, but it is our response to these obstacles that truly defines our spiritual growth.

At its core, this story speaks to the transformative power of gratitude. Purna's willingness to express gratitude even in the face of insult, abuse, or violence highlights the profound spiritual principle of choosing love over fear. By cultivating a mindset of gratitude, we shift our perception from one of victimhood to one of empowerment, recognizing the inherent value and lessons in every experience, no matter how challenging.

The story also illuminates the essence of forgiveness and compassion. Purna's readiness to forgive those who may harm him reflects a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings and the transformative potential of forgiveness in healing wounds and fostering harmony. It reminds us that true strength lies not in retaliation but in extending compassion and understanding, even to those who may cause us pain.

Furthermore, the narrative underscores the concept of surrender and acceptance of the divine will. Purna's response to the possibility of death reveals a profound trust in the unfolding of life's journey and an acceptance of whatever may come. It invites us to release attachment to outcomes and surrender to the higher wisdom that guides our path, knowing that every experience serves a greater purpose in our soul's evolution.

In essence, this story invites us to embody the qualities of grace and equanimity in the face of life's uncertainties. Purna's unwavering faith and inner peace demonstrate the transformative power of cultivating a deep spiritual connection and aligning with the divine flow of existence. It encourages us to embrace every moment with an open heart and a spirit of surrender, knowing that we are guided and supported by a higher wisdom beyond our understanding.

Moreover, the narrative reflects the universal truth of interconnectedness and the oneness of all beings. Purna's recognition of everyone as a part of his family underscores the inherent unity that binds us all together in the tapestry of existence. It reminds us that love transcends boundaries and distinctions, uniting us in a shared journey of awakening and transformation.

Ultimately, this story serves as a powerful reminder of the boundless potential within each of us to embody love, compassion, and forgiveness in our daily lives. It calls us to rise above fear and limitation, and to embrace the fullness of our being with gratitude, grace, and unwavering faith. In doing so, we not only honor our own spiritual journey but also contribute to the collective evolution of consciousness, spreading seeds of love and light wherever we go.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. Reflecting on Purna's unwavering commitment to spreading Buddha's message despite potential challenges, how can you cultivate a similar level of dedication to your own spiritual path, even in the face of adversity?
  2. Consider Purna's response of gratitude in the midst of potential insult and abuse. How can you incorporate the practice of gratitude into your daily life, especially during challenging times?
  3. Imagine yourself in Purna's shoes, facing the possibility of physical harm. How can you cultivate inner strength and resilience to respond with grace and forgiveness, even in the most difficult circumstances?
  4. Reflect on Purna's profound trust in the divine will, even in the face of death. How can you deepen your own sense of surrender and acceptance, trusting in the wisdom of the universe to guide your path?
  5. Ponder the idea of seeing everyone as a part of your family, as Buddha suggested to Purna. How can you expand your circle of compassion to embrace all beings with love and understanding?
  6. Consider the significance of Purna's journey to Sukha, a place where no monk had ventured before. How can you step out of your comfort zone and courageously share your truth, even in unfamiliar or challenging environments?
  7. Reflect on Buddha's warning about the potential negativity in Sukha. How can you navigate situations where you may encounter resistance or hostility with grace and compassion?
  8. Imagine yourself facing criticism or rejection for your beliefs or actions, as Purna did. How can you respond with kindness and understanding, rather than defensiveness or anger?
  9. Consider the power of forgiveness in Purna's willingness to thank those who may harm him. How can you cultivate forgiveness in your own life, releasing resentment and embracing healing and peace?
  10. Reflect on the profound truth shared by Buddha, that when one's heart is full, nothing on this earth can hurt them. How can you cultivate a heart so full of love and compassion that it becomes a source of unshakeable strength and resilience?