Buddhist parable

Buddha was seated with his disciples. A man came along, fired a tirade of abusive words against Buddha and also spat on him. Buddha did not react at all; he was very cool and composed. When that man left, Buddha’s disciples told Buddha, "We did not react because of Your presence here. Otherwise, we would have thrashed him". Buddha replied, "There are no worse cowards than you in this world. At least that man was bold enough to spit on me directly because he felt like doing so, whereas you feel like reacting only after he left". (Baba laughs). "He is smarter than you, I trust him."

The following day, that man returned, and spoke to Buddha, "Please forgive me for offending you yesterday. I was in an irritated mood and did not really think before I acted". Buddha replied smiling, "Whom did you offend yesterday? Whom did you spit on?" Stunned, that man said, "Swami, you were seated here yesterday. And I insulted you with abusive language and spat on you. Why are you asking thus?" To which Buddha replied, "The Buddha whom you spat on yesterday is not, today. So also, he who spat on the Buddha of yesterday, is also, not, today." The visitor was totally confused. Buddha told him to take a dip in the river nearby. He complied with Buddha’s instructions. Buddha asked him, "Where is the water you bathed in?" The man pointed to water flowing at some distance. Buddha said, ‘Similarly, the state Buddha was in yesterday is different and so also the state you were in. That state has gone by, just like the running water. Time has changed"