Editor’s note – A short story from the life of the Buddha which illustrates the power of words, as well the how our actions ultimately reflect back on to us. Excerpts from lectures of IYF Pune.

Nobody could make Buddha angry very easily. Once when He was passing by, a man wanted to incite anger in Buddha’s heart. He went to Buddha and shouted at Him scorching, painful words of insult. Buddha still appeared to be smiling. It’s said there is aura around Buddha. Even if tiger and deer came into that circle, they would forget their mutual enmity, under the influence of his aura. When the person was shouting all these harsh words, He (Buddha) didn’t take it seriously. After sometime, the man felt great pain in this heart. He was surprised , “I am giving such painful words of insult to the Buddha, and yet instead of him feeling pain, I am feeling the pain. Why?”

Buddha in turn asked him , “Do you ever get guests at home? The person replied in affirmative. Buddha continued asking him, “So when they come, do you offer some gifts to them?”. The person was affirmative in his response, yet again. “What will you do if they don’t accept?”. The man replied  “Who cares? I would keep them with my own self”. Buddha remarked,  “That’s what I did with you also; you offered me something(harsh words) which I didn’t accept”.

So Life is like a mirror. The words which you give will come back to you. We should be careful about what we give to others. Now some one might say “I gave so much love to some person, still that person is rude with me”. No! If you give love to someone, don’t expect love from same person, it may come from somebody else. For example- Dhruva Maharaj was gentle to his step mother. But He was mistreated by her. He didn’t get love from his step mother, but he got love from Krishna later. His mother told him “The Supreme Lord can give you so much love that millions of mothers like me cannot give”. Similarly in our life also, if we become vehicles of love and give love, we will get that love back…

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