Buddha’s Footprints – A Zen Buddhist Spiritual Story by Osho
He was sitting under a tree. One astrologer approached him – he was very puzzled, because he saw the footprints of the Buddha on the wet sand and he could not believe his eyes. All the scriptures that he had been studying his whole life had been telling him about certain signs that exist in the feet of a man who rules the world – a chakravartin – a ruler of all the six continents, of the whole earth.
And he saw in the footprints in the wet sand on the riverbank all the symbols so clearly that he could not believe his eyes! Either all his scriptures were wrong and he was wasting his life in astrology… otherwise, how was it possible on such a hot afternoon, in such a small, dirty village, a chakravartin would come and walk barefoot, on the burning hot sand?
He followed the footprints, just in search of the man to whom these footprints belonged. He found the Buddha sitting under a tree. He was even more puzzled. The face was that of a chakravartin – the grace, the beauty, the power, the aura – but the man was a beggar, with a begging bowl!
The astrologer touched the feet of the Buddha and asked him, “Who are you, sir? You have puzzled me. You should be a chakravartin, a world ruler. What are you doing here, sitting under this tree? Either all my astrology books are wrong, or I am hallucinating and you are not really there.”
Buddha said, “Your books are absolutely right – but there is something which belongs to no category, not even to the category of a chakravartin. I am, but I am nobody in particular.”
The astrologer said, “You are puzzling me more. How can you be without being anybody in particular? You must be a god who has come to visit the earth – I can see it in your eyes!”
Buddha said, “I am not a god.”
The astrologer said, “Then you must be a gandharva – a celestial musician.”
Buddha said, “No, I am not a gandharva either.”
And the astrologer went on asking, “Then are you a king in disguise? Who are you? You can’t be an animal, you can’t be a tree, you can’t be a rock – who exactly are you?”
And the answer the Buddha gave is of immense importance to understand. He said, “I am just a Buddha – I am just awareness, and nothing else. I don’t belong to any category. Every category is an identification and I don’t have any identity.”
From Osho – The Dhammapada: Way of the Buddha Vol. 1