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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 6
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Chapter 5: Live in Joy

The disciple said, “Whatever you say, I will do. I will go. It hurts to leave you. It hurts, it is painful to go away from you, but if you say so, I will go. If you had told me before.” See the love of a disciple, of a devotee. He says, “If you had told me before, I would not have tried for enlightenment at all, because to be with you is far more significant. I would have risked enlightenment; I would have dropped the very project, if I had known that I would have to leave. But now it is too late. If you say so, I will go.”

Buddha said to him, “You can choose the direction, the place, where you would like to go.”

In Bihar there was one part where no disciple of Buddha had ever gone: Suka was the name of the place. The disciple said, “I will go to Suka.”

Buddha looked a little surprised. The disciple was young, very young, not only in age but young also in his enlightenment. He did not know the ways of the world. Buddha said, “You are not aware, it seems, that the people of Suka are very dangerous people, murderers, thieves, robbers. That’s why no one has chosen to go there yet.”

The young man said, “But that’s why I am choosing to go there, because they also need your message. They also need you, and more so than others. Bless me so that I can go and help a few people there.”

Buddha said, “Then you will have to answer three questions. The first is: those people are so mischievous - I know them - if you go there they won’t listen to you. They will insult you, they will try to humiliate you; they are going to be very nasty to you. When they will insult you and are nasty to you, how are you going to respond?”

The young man said, “There is no need to ask me - you know how I am going to respond. I will thank them, will be grateful to them, because they are good people. They only insult me, they only humiliate me. They could have beaten me and they are not beating me. They could have thrown stones at me and they are not throwing stones at me. They are good people, I will be grateful to them that they are not harming my body.”

Buddha said, “And if they start hitting you, beating you, wounding you, throwing stones at you, then what will your response be?”

And the young man said, “I will still be tremendously grateful to them that they are only throwing stones at me, beating me, but are still leaving me alive, are not killing me. They could have killed me!”

Buddha said, “Now the last question. If they kill you, by the time you are dying, in those last moments when you are dying, what will be your response?”

The young man said, “I will still be grateful to them because they have only killed my body; they cannot kill me. And sooner or later my body is going to go anyway. And I will also be grateful that they have destroyed my body and now they have taken from me all opportunities of committing any error. I will not be able to commit any error; I will not be able to go astray. I will be thankful; I will die with great gratitude.”

Buddha said, “Now you can go anywhere. You can go to Suka or wherever you choose, you are ready. If this is your response, you have become a buddha; you are the shining one.”

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