Buddha And The Abusive Crowd – A Zen Buddhist Spiritual Story by Osho

You just watch yourself. Just watch your thoughts – and you will be amazed what kind of thoughts go on in your mind. Watch your actions, what kind of actions you go on doing. Are they actions or are they only reactions?

A sane man behaves differently. A Gautam Buddha is surrounded by a crowd which is abusing him, using ugly words, obscene words, because he is against the organized religion of the Hindus and he is against the Hindu holy scriptures, the VEDAS. He has criticized them as hard as it is possible, and they need it. It is not that he is wrong. He has condemned the whole priesthood, that these are the exploiters, parasites. Naturally, brahmins were enraged.

And this was a brahmin village through which he was passing. And the brahmins surrounded him and said every kind of bad thing that they could manage. He listened silently. His disciples became angry, but because Buddha was present it was not courteous to say anything before the master. The master was standing so silent, and listening as if they are saying very sweet things.

Finally Buddha said to them, “If your things that you wanted to say to me are finished, I would like to reach to the place where people must be waiting for me. But if your things are not finished, after a few days when I will be returning I will inform you. And I will have enough time to listen to all that you want to say.”

One man said, “Do you think we are saying something? We are condemning you. Do you understand or not? Because anybody else would become angry, and you are standing silently…”

The statement that Buddha made to these village people is immensely significant. He said, “You have come a little too late. If you had come ten years ago when I was as insane as you are, not a single person would have gone alive.”

Ten years ago he was a prince, a warrior, one of the best archers of his time, a great swordsman, and those brahmins… he could simply have removed their heads with a single blow, without any difficulty. Because those brahmins know nothing about swords or arrows or being a warrior. He would have just cut them – almost like vegetables.

He said, “You have come late. Ten years ago if you had come… but now I am no longer insane. I cannot react and I would like to ask you one question. In the last village people came with sweets and fruits and flowers to receive me, but we take food only one time a day, and we had already taken the food. And we don’t carry things, so we had to tell them, ‘You please forgive us, we cannot accept sweets, flowers. We accept your love, but these things you will have to take away.’ I want to ask you,” he said to this angry crowd, “what must they have done with their sweets and flowers that they had brought as presents to us.”

One man said, “What is the problem in it? They must have distributed the sweets in the village.”

Buddha said, “That makes me very sad. What will you do? – because I don’t accept what you have brought, just the same way as I did not accept the sweets and the flowers and other things that the people brought to me in the other village, if I don’t accept your obscenity, your ugly words, your dirty words, if I don’t accept, what can you do? What are you going to do with all this garbage that you have come with? You will have to take it back to your homes and give it to your wives, to your children, to your neighbors.

“You will have to distribute it, because I simply refuse to take it. And you cannot make me angry unless I accept your humiliation, your insult. Ten years ago I was not conscious; if somebody had insulted me he would have lost his life immediately. I had no idea that insulting me is his problem, and that I have nothing to do with it – I can simply listen and go on my way.”

This is what I call sanity. Do you think humanity is sane? It only appears… just superficial sanity, mannerism, etiquette, culture, civilization, just skin-deep. Scratch a little deeper and the barbarous comes out.

If you really want, Premnath, to be a sane being, sannyas is the way for sanity, for dropping all those unconscious layers of your mind which force you to behave unconsciously. And in your unconsciousness you are doing things for which you yourself will repent when you will become a little alert and aware, “What have I done?”

The insane person can only react. The sane person acts, the sane person responds – he never reacts.

The way is simple and you are at the right place where your mind can become calm and quiet, so much so, as if it is absent. You should be certain of your sanity only if you can attain a state of no-mind. Only then can you be certain that nothing can drive you mad, because the mind that was possible to become insane is no more – you have transcended it.